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Making the most of magnesium

Researchers

Supervisor: Professor Hanifa Shah and Dr Umar Daraz

Industrial supervisor: Randy Chalmers, Meridian Lightweight Technologies United Kingdom (MLTUK)

Research aims

This research aims to transform the fortunes of magnesium by showcasing it as a viable alternative for both the automobile and aerospace industry. It is also hoped that magnesium, when mixed to create hydrogen, will be able to power cars and smartphones.

Method of research

Following the University’s exclusive partnership with Meridian, the world’s largest producer of magnesium components, the newly-established Magnesium Innovation Group will head the research. The group - comprising of academics from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, the Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences, and expert Meridian staff – will work together to establish the efficiency of magnesium use within multiple industries.

They will begin by interviewing engineers from across the UK to understand why magnesium has been overlooked in product design, despite its availability, lightness and sustainability. The group will also investigate ways in which excess material can be recycled and used to create further value, such as being crushed for tablets.

Research findings will be published ahead of a major international magnesium conference, which be held at the University in July.

Applications

It is hoped that the research’s findings will enhance lightweight technologies across the globe, providing manufacturers with cost-effective and sustainable magnesium components.

Benefits

The research will provide more sustainable goods for low-volume manufacturers, enabling them to offer magnesium components to leading businesses and ensuring financial growth. It will also ensure magnesium, and all of its potential benefits, are fully utilised by future engineers.