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Hindustan Magnesium > In the News!

Hindustan Magnesium Products Pvt Ltd Conducts Successful Trials For Complex Castings.

December 06th 2010

Hindustan Magnesium Products Pvt Ltd conducts successful trials for complex castings by using patternless manufacturing processes for the first time in India.

Magnesium castings have the following inherent challenges:

1) Part Design Challenges
Since magnesium is mostly used in critical areas such as engines, gearboxes, casings, aerospace panels etc, the part design is extremely challenging with feature sizes sometimes going below 5mm also.

2) Mold Design Challenges
Elimination of draft angles & certain unnecessary supports that increase the weight of casting and making castings for near net shapes. Mold design challenges also include location of runners, risers, applying appropriate draft angles, pouring point according to the properties of magnesium.

3) Challenges in Melting
Magnesium metal and its alloys are explosive hazards; they are highly flammable in their pure form when molten or in powder or in ribbon form. Burning or molten magnesium metal reacts violently with water also.  While melting magnesium can easily catch fire by oxidation. Hence, melting & pouring of magnesium and its alloys is the biggest challenge in casting magnesium. However, only few foundries in the world have mastered the art of melting magnesium, which is now done through fluxed melting. Recent innovations also include fluxless melting.

4) Challenges in pouring
Since magnesium is highly flammable metal, handling of magnesium becomes critical while pouring. Also pouring magnesium at the right temperature is very important since it gets easily oxidized on its way into the mold. Magnesium also reacts with sand at the surface thereby burning the surface of the metal leaving it unsuitable for using in castings.

5) Challenges in surface treatment/machining
Magnesium after being casted also reacts with the atmosphere especially in areas with high humidity making the casting unsuitable to be used. The castings get easily corroded when exposed to the atmosphere. Also, machining of magnesium after castings is a big challenge since there are possibilities of porosity cropping up after machining begins.

The company finally concluded successful trials and in the process established the following processes :

a. Flux Based Magnesium Melting
b. Flux based refining of molten metal
c. Proprietary Coating for eliminating silica mold reaction with molten magnesium.
d. Proprietary degassing & grain refinement.

A variety of processes which include sand casting, investment block molding & gravity die-casting have been established as a consequence of these trials. The company now has complete capability to offer castings by a variety of processes.

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