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Old 10-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default GM Turns to Magnesium Sheet Metal to Lighten Vehicles




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General Motors is pioneering the use of magnesium sheet metal on its vehicles with the possibility of double-digit fuel economy gains.

Other automakers are turning to carbon fiber to help lighten the load on their vehicles, but the General is going another direction. Its currently testing an industry-first thermal-forming process and proprietary corrosion resistance treatment for lightweight magnesium sheet metal as an alternative to steel and aluminum.

According to GM, other automakers have struggled to reliably make strong and non-corroding magnesium sheet metal panels using traditional panel-forming methods. GM, on the other hand, is working on a patented process that can heat magnesium to 842 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the magnesium to be molded into precise, rigid shapes.

Magnesium weighs in at 33 percent less than aluminum, 60 percent less than titanium, and 75 percent less than steel helping lighten vehicles and in turn, increasing fuel economy.

The American automaker is showing off a production-ready magnesium rear deck lid inner panel that has been tested to withstand 77,000 robotic slams and 250-kilogram impact drops without any problems.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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Well it is a good thing magnesium is not highly flammable or anything
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Well it is a good thing magnesium is not highly flammable or anything
Maybe they can make a battery case for their PHEVs from this A match made in heaven... or wait was that hell
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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nor expensive...
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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fast forward to about the 1 minute mark when the magnesium transmission case gets hit with the water...
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY9ri-UOoLo

fast forward to about the 1 minute mark when the magnesium transmission case gets hit with the water...
Whoa!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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fast forward to about the 1 minute mark when the magnesium transmission case gets hit with the water...
I was expecting footage of LeMans 1955 but this will do.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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I was expecting footage of LeMans 1955 but this will do.
+1 Exactly what I was thinking. I do hope this turns out to be a prank or myth, because otherwise it is almost too dumb to be true.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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fast forward to about the 1 minute mark when the magnesium transmission case gets hit with the water...
What the hell man?!
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Default





Its what they use in one time use flashbulbs.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Well it is a good thing magnesium is not highly flammable or anything
It takes some pretty serious heat to ignite the magnesium they use in cars. Once it goes though......

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Originally Posted by b4wantab View Post
Once mag is ignited it will burn and keep burning. Road flairs are basically magnesium. Light a flair and through it in water, it will get brighter and keep going. The water is what caused the accelerated burning. The burning will separate the oxygen from the hydrogen and they will both burn.

Never put of a mag fire with water. Any firemen want to chime in?

Peace,

Greg
That looked like magnesium burning in that video, but didn't look like there was a lot of product. I also don't think that was from a transmission case. There would have been much more of that bright burning and water, of course, would do absolutely nothing. The stuff in the video burned out pretty quick.

He would have gotten that fire out faster if he would have concentrated on the front of the car where the bulk of the fire was .
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:04 AM   #12
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There was no way that was a magnesium transmission case. Not even close to enough energy release. Maybe the battery popped or something, I don't know, but definitely not a transmission case.

It's really, really hard to ignite a large block of magnesium in a normal fire. Powder, yes, like the flash bulb and road flares people are using as example, but not a solid chunk of mg. Not enough surface area, too much thermal conductance.

Sheet metal, eh, maybe. I wouldn't worry about it though. If you're still in the car by the time the magnesium ignites you're already dead as a doornail.


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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post

fast forward to about the 1 minute mark when the magnesium transmission case gets hit with the water...

Last edited by sniper1rfa; 10-28-2012 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #13
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Stupid GM, why the hell didn't they remember to come to NASIOC first to make sure this wasn't a horrible idea?
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #14
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Great idea and alternative to carbon, plastic, or fiberglass

Based on the Viper community, I have a feeling that a lot of GM body panels are going to be melted accidentally in the future.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:02 PM   #15
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I can't remember where I read it. But the article talks about how car companies are trying to make lighter cars, but it get's cancelled out because americans are getting fatter. we are nation of fatties

Also, not too keen on magnesium. They burn hot as hell. Their burning temp is off the chart. I'm sure the GM knows properties of magnesium.

Hopefully, it will turn out well. If not, there will be crap load of people ready to sue.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #16
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I can't remember where I read it. But the article talks about how car companies are trying to make lighter cars, but it get's cancelled out because americans are getting fatter.
That's silly, unless you believe car companies can only figure out how to shed 25 pounds of weight.

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we are nation of fatties
It's not just the U.S. Any place that has easy access to calories tends to see an increase in average weight. Biology is a bitch.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by poorlilpoop View Post
I can't remember where I read it. But the article talks about how car companies are trying to make lighter cars, but it get's cancelled out because americans are getting fatter. we are nation of fatties

Also, not too keen on magnesium. They burn hot as hell. Their burning temp is off the chart. I'm sure the GM knows properties of magnesium.

Hopefully, it will turn out well. If not, there will be crap load of people ready to sue.
Get a bigger chart. It burns at 3100C

You people make it sound like GM is planing on building body panels out of C4 for ****'s sake. Magnesium has been used in consumer goods and automotive applications (not to mention aerospace since WWII) for decades. It takes a LOT to ignite magnesium, especially a large chunk of it. If you have a fire hot enough to autoignite a large piece of magnesium you're in trouble no matter what. What is used is likely an alloy of magnesium that has an increased autoignition temperature by design anyway.

Hell, since 2006 GM has used a magnesium alloy for the engine cradle in Z06s and you don't hear about those spontaneously igniting and blowing a crater a mile deep in the earth.

Last edited by skywaffles; 10-28-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:05 AM   #18
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Hell, since 2006 GM has used a magnesium alloy for the engine cradle in Z06s and you don't hear about those spontaneously igniting and blowing a crater a mile deep in the earth.
Exactly my point! This is why I have been insisting folks do the right thing by offloading their highly flammable late gen Z06s to me for pennies on the dollar. I will find a way to safely dispose of them.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #19
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If only GM had the existing technology to build vehicles with plastic or fibreglass bodies.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #20
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If only GM had the existing technology to build vehicles with plastic or fibreglass bodies.
+1234
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #21
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If only GM had the existing technology to build vehicles with plastic or fibreglass bodies.
hitting the nail on the head...
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #22
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hitting the nail on the head...
Their plastic car panels were as heavy as the metal panels, afaik, which was a big reason for not developing them further.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:06 PM   #23
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Their plastic car panels were as heavy as the metal panels, afaik, which was a big reason for not developing them further.
Our '02 Avalanche has the plastic cladding and weighs around 4400 lbs. For vehicles like this, a small increase in weight is a good trade-off for corrosion resistance. My first chevy rusted out from under me sadly, and with the increasing use of more corrosive road salts, I pity people in the NE. I thought the reason for dropping plastic was because people didn't like the way it looked.

Our Avalanche also has single-side galvanized sheetmetal, which you can't do to magnesium (I don't think) or aluminum. I just noticed rust starting to form on the car after >10 years of rarely washing it. If you can anodize magnesium like you can aluminum, I guess that would be something. Paint is BS. Piant gets chipped too easily and then rust happens rapidly. Not the way to go.

Frank
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #24
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If you can anodize magnesium like you can aluminum, I guess that would be something.
Neither rusts the way iron does.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hondaslayer
If only GM had the existing technology to build vehicles with plastic or fibreglass bodies.



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hitting the nail on the head...
yep. that would be nice.
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