Aerocast Inc. reports it has started to produce test castings in magnesium for aerospace applications at its foundry in Nogales, Mexico. For this series, the Canadian company says its has added new equipment to the plant, which was developed specifically to take advantage of lower labor costs to supply aluminum and magnesium-alloy aerospace castings.
The magnesium alloys were supplied by Magnesium Elektron Powder Products North America, a division of Magnesium Elektron U.K. The same supplier also provides technical support for casting magnesium alloys.
Aerocast did not detail the nature of the castings, nor the aerospace manufacturers who will receive the finished prducts.
Magnesium is approximately 30% lighter than aluminum and is easy to machine, which makes it desirable for use in the manufacture of aircraft components. However certain difficulties in working with magnesium, such as the fact that magnesium will burn in the molten state when exposed to air and can explode if it comes in contact with water, have significantly limited the number of foundries that produce magnesium castings. The demand for these castings, however, is very high and Aerocast's customers have been very supportive of the Company's addition of magnesium castings to its line of products.