SBIR Phase I:Manufacture of Structural Magnesium MMC with Nanoparticles by Friction Stir Processing
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a low-cost fabrication technique for producing high-strength, creep-resistant magnesium material for structural applications in vehicles and aircraft. The properties of magnesium are significantly improved by introducing nanoparticles (NPs) into the metal matrix. Current techniques for producing nanoparticle-reinforced metal matrix composites (NPMMCs) involve multiple processing steps leading to high manufacturing cost or result in the clustering and agglomeration of the nanoparticulate reinforcement. As a result, the widespread application of magnesium nanocomposites in commercial structural applications has been severely restricted. We will investigate the feasibility of a novel friction stir process (FSP) for producing magnesium NPMMC?s for structural applications. Phase I of this research will focus on improving the strength and creep resistance of magnesium alloys so that scale-up and commercialization can be pursued in Phase II. The goal of this research is to produce material suitable for structural applications in the form of plate and master alloy material. The plate material can be further processed into sheet, tubes, forged blanks and machined parts. Material with a high volume percentage of nanoparticles will be used as a master alloy in casting operations to produce large net shaped components.
The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is concerned with the reduction of both fuel consumption and harmful emissions in the automotive and aerospace industries. Reducing the overall weight of vehicles and aircraft is key to achieving these goals and magnesium alloys, with their low density, can often be a viable proposition. However, the widespread use of magnesium is limited by its relatively poor mechanical and high temperature creep properties. The proposed effort will significantly reduce the cost of fabrication of structural Mg components, enabling widespread application in the automotive and aerospace industries. Additionally, the manufacturing technology developed will provide a cost advantage over foreign competition to manufacturers of structural automotive parts.
Small Business Information at Submission:
6281 Ford Road Ypsilanti, MI 48198
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