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GM wins funding to develop magnesium diecasting process.

General Motors, in collaboration with Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc., Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, and the Ohio State Univ., Columbus, Ohio, has won a $2.7 million Energy Department grant to explore magnesium diecasting technology.

The project, which will also be funded by $668,031 in cost sharing, is intended to develop an integrated supervacuum diecasting process using a new magnesium alloy to achieve a 50% energy savings compared to the stamping and joining process currently used to manufacture car doors. By substituting thin-walled magnesium castings for steel inner panels, car doors could weigh 60% less, resulting in significant fuel economy improvements and carbon emission savings.

In 2010, Meridian won several awards for a 17.6-lb. magnesium liftgate casting used on the Lincoln MKT The part was at the time the largest diecast magnesium closure panel used in the world. It replaced a six-piece steel weldment and offered the customer more than 20% weight savings while functioning as the primary structural load bearing component in the liftgate assembly.

The Energy Department award was part of more than $54 million allocated to 13 projects across the country to advance technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers increase energy efficiency.

"By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama's blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy and skills for American workers," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

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Additional awards were presented to Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, Pa., the American Iron and Steel Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah, Delphi Automotive Systems LLC, Rochester, N.Y., Lyondell Chemical Co., Newtown Square, Pa., MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., St. Peters, Mo., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., Poly-Plus Battery Co., Berkeley, Calif, the Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, N.C., Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, Thousand Oaks, Calif, the Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Third Wave Systems Inc., Minneapolis.
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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY NEWS
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jul 1, 2012
Words:334
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