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AMRC help develop new approach to magnesium moulding

posted 19 Jul 2010, 00:54 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 19 Jul 2010, 00:59 ]
Ultra lightweight, very strong, complex moulded components may soon be possible with a new approach to magnesium moulding. 

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, based at the AMP in Rotherham, is helping Cambridgeshire-based precision manufacturing company Shearline to create a test rig in order to evaluate the new injection moulding process for its clients in the aerospace, automotive and defence sectors. 

Charles Maltby, Technical & Commercial Director of Shearline, comments that the new process offers significant benefits.

“Thixomoulding is a relatively new process which enables the precise moulding of magnesium alloy components with thin walls and complex shapes within a single process. Magnesium alloys are already widely used for low cost, high volume components for computers and mobile phones and also in high performance cars where strength and lightness is required. 

“We see an opportunity to provide similar magnesium components for low volume, high value manufacture particularly for prototypes and first production cycles.

Shearline will be the first commercial facility in the UK to offer design for manufacture in magnesium. There are currently only a few sites capable of providing this service in Europe and they are almost all in research labs.

Iain Todd, at the AMRC said, “Shearline is a progressive company and this project provides a great example of the way universities can work with world-class organisations to bridge the gap between emerging research and industrial application. We see tremendous potential for this process with some compelling applications.”