A new lightweighting material on the scene?
Magnesium alloy company introduces products to cycling industry with an eye on other lightweighting markets.
In September Allite (Miamisburg, OH, US) launched its Super Magnesium alloy to a new market: the cycling industry. Originally developed in 2006 the material has been classified for defense and aerospace applications. Now the company is looking to open up the material to a whole new range of markets from sporting goods to electronics to aerospace — you name it.
Allite claims the material weighs “33% less than aluminum by volume, and stiffer and stronger pound for pound.” Meanwhile, it is less expensive than carbon fiber. The company seems to be gunning for a spot in between carbon fiber and aluminum in terms of lightweighting with three magnesium alloys: AE81, ZE62 and WE54.
According to Allite, the alloys are corrosion-resistant, wear well and display good hardness and electrical insulation.
Carbon fiber, of course, still leads the pack in terms of lightweighting. Allite’s magnesium alloys are around 20% denser than carbon-fiber composite, but in offering a lighter option than aluminum, magnesium may be a material to watch in terms of competition in the lightweighting world.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.
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