Magnesium Elektron to develop sheet material with POSCO

Magnesium Elektron and South Korean steel maker POSCO have signed an agreement to develop technologies that will lead to volume applications of magnesium sheet.

The aim is to bring together Magnesium Elektron’s technical research base and alloy development experience with POSCO’s magnesium process and volume automotive sheet knowledge, as well as the two companies’ research and development resources.

Magnesium Elektron operates the world’s largest magnesium slab casting and rolling plant at its facility in St Louis, US, while POSCO have a twin roll casting and rolling facility near Gwangyang in South Korea.

According to a statement, magnesium weighs a quarter of steel’s weight and is 35 per cent lighter than aluminium. Wider application of magnesium sheet, however, particularly for automotive applications, not only requires the material to be cost competitive but supporting technologies – such as forming, joining and coating – must facilitate competitive use of the sheet when compared to steel and aluminium.