Reuters - By Bernie Woodall
DETROIT | Tue Oct 23, 2012
Engineers and scientists at General Motors Co believe they are making major strides toward lighter vehicles by developing a way to expand the use of magnesium in auto parts.
Making auto parts from magnesium sheets by heating the lightweight metal so it can be formed into precise, rigid shapes will help GM and other automakers meet demanding U.S. fuel economy requirements, said GM metals researcher Jon Carter.
Magnesium auto parts formed by high pressure die casting are already common in cars and trucks, for steering wheels and other parts.
Using magnesium sheets to make auto parts could be a significant breakthrough for GM and eventually lead to much more magnesium in vehicles, said Dick Schultz, managing director of Ducker Worldwide and an expert on metals used in manufacturing.