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IIT Madras develops magnesium alloy to replace steel, aluminium in cars

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IIT Madras develops light-weight alloy to replace steelThe research team of Dr. Sushanta Kumar Panigrahi, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras belonging to IMPCRG group and Professor Rajiv Mishra, University of North Texas and K.Cho, the United States(US) Army Research Laboratory has engineered a magnesium alloy to replace the steel and aluminium in the automobile industry to reduce the carbon footprint and increase fuel efficiency.

Development of magnesium alloy:

i.The magnesium alloy contains rare earth elements like Gadolinium(Gd), Yttrium(Y) and Zirconium(Zr).

ii.The ultrafine-grained magnesium alloy is obtained through thermo mechanical processing technique(severe plastic deformation and ageing treatment) on which the team engineered the nano-precipitates and thermally stable ultrafine intermetallic compounds to achieve the strength-ductility and high strain superplasticity.

Key Points:

i.The developed magnesium alloy reduces the manufacturing time, effort and cost.

ii.The lightweight material will support in reducing the carbon footprint of vehicles by reducing the weight of the vehicles, increasing fuel efficiency. 

iii.The density of magnesium alloy is two-thirds of aluminium and one-quarter of steel which makes this a potential replacement for the steel and aluminium alloys used in the automotives and aerospace components.

iv.Using microstructural engineering and processing of metals, the load bearing capacity of the metals and alloys can be increased. This can be applied to other magnesium alloys and metallic alloys to obtain strong materials with superior performance.


i.Dr. Sushanta Kumar Panigrahi’s Innovative Material Processing and Characterization Research Group (IMPCRG) is a pioneer in microstructural engineering and material processing based manufacturing for increasing structural efficiency of metallic materials.

ii.IMPCRG is associated with sponsored projects of government and private agencies like, Department of Science and Technology(DST),Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Aditya Birla Group and Rane NSK Steering system.

About IIT Madras:
Director- Bhaskar Ramamurthi
Inaugurated- 1959