Magnesium Injection Molding Turns Out Lightweight Parts for Communication Gear

Feb. 17, 2010
Magnesium injection molding turns out lightweight parts for communication gear.
Request free information via our Reader Service Web site at www.machinedesign.com/rsc

One of the U.S. Army’s goals is to reduce the weight of equipment soldiers must carry by about 25%. One method of shedding some weight could entail replacing aluminum used on communication gear with parts made by magnesium injection molding, a process pioneered and refined by Phillips Plastics Corp., Hudson, Wis. (www.phillipsplastics.com). In the process, magnesium chips are fed into a screw and barrel where they are heated and mixed into a semifluid state. This lets the material behave like a thermoplastic for more-controlled, laminar flow into the die than the liquid metals used in die casting. Resulting parts are net shape and need no secondary finishing operations. The process uses no ozone-depleting gases and parts are 100% recyclable.

Magnesium components have the same EMI and RFI-shielding properties as their aluminum counterparts and are just as durable. But, magnesium is both lighter and stronger than aluminum, so engineers can substitute thinner-walled components that weigh 30% less than aluminum versions. The parts can be coated to resist corrosion and weather, and the magnesium parts can be overmolded with plastics if needed. And despite preconceptions about magnesium, it is not very flammable. Tests show it does not ignite until it reaches 875°F and will not sustain combustion once the flame or heat source is removed.

Edited by Stephen J. Mraz

Sponsored Recommendations

How BASF turns data into savings

May 7, 2024
BASF continuously monitors the health of 63 substation assets — with Schneider’s Service Bureau and EcoStruxure™ Asset Advisor. ►Learn More: https://www.schn...

Agile design thinking: A key to operation-level digital transformation acceleration

May 7, 2024
Digital transformation, aided by agile design thinking, can reduce obstacles to change. Learn about 3 steps that can guide success.

Can new digital medium voltage circuit breakers help facilities reduce their carbon footprint?

May 7, 2024
Find out how facility managers can easily monitor energy usage to create a sustainable, decarbonized environment using digital MV circuit breakers.

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!