T-Mag™ casting technology

By Colin WardFebruary 10th, 2011

Future cars will be far lighter – but just as strong – thanks to a CSIRO-developed casting process that uses super lightweight magnesium alloys. The technology, called T-Mag®, consistently produces high-integrity magnesium alloy castings from permanent moulds, free of porosity and other defects.

With T-Mag® components made of super-light magnesium alloys are now an economically viable alternative to steel, iron and aluminium. The T-Mag® process results in quality castings that are virtually free of defects, and can be heat treated and welded. T-Mag® also uses far less metal than high pressure casting processes – only 3.7 kg of metal is needed for a 3.5 kg casting (compared to traditional methods where 7 kg of metal is needed for a 3.5 kg casting).

The T-Mag® casting machine combines melting and casting in a single, compact unit. Unlike high pressure die casting, T-Mag® allows incorporation of sand cores, so it can be used to make complex internal features in products such as engine blocks, cross members and motorcycle swing arms.

The Light Metals Flagship has partnered with three South Australian companies in a joint venture, T-Mag® Pty Ltd to take the technology to the international market. Commercialisation of the technology received a significant boost from the Australian Government with the award of a A$1.9 million grant from the AusIndustry Commercial Ready program in July 2007. The T-Mag commercialisation team won a CSIRO Medal for Business Excellence in 2007.

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