Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mg Soleil Project-7

III. Magnesium
3.1 Excellent Properties of Magnesium
3.2 Magnesium Market and its Trends
3.2.1 World Market

3.2.2 Japanese Market
3.3    Something to be solved

3.2.2 Japanese Market
2013magnesium demand in Japan (predicted) (JMA)
1) Structural material section – 7,845 tons (decreased 4.5% on the previous year)
2) Additive agent section – 28,250 tons (decreased 1.1% on the previous year)
3) Overall – 37,395 tons  (decreased 1.6% on the previous year)

The above predicted figures are affected by overseas transfer of production bases and weak Yen.  The current magnesium demand keeps at around 40,000 tons.  70% or higher of the total magnesium demand is the additive agent to the aluminum alloy.  The die casting magnesium alloy is only about 10%. 
Also in Japan, application of magnesium die casting to automobiles parts will enter a full-fledge stage at high possibility. This is based on the facts that at least environment issue guides the automobile to their weight reduction and the automobile market is giant.  Note that magnesium (specific gravity = 1.8) is the lightest of the metals. 
Examples of magnesium die casting products:
1) steering, engine blocks, oil pan, etc. (automobiles), and 2) housings of single-lens reflex cameras, laptop PCs, mobile phones, etc. (electronics devices). 
Reference-1: (from 1960)
* Domestic Chronology (application to cars); -
  Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi
* Foreign Chronology (application to cars); -
  a) Northern America - GM、Ford、Chrysier
  b) European - VW、BMW、Daimier、Benz、Porsche、Fiat、Cromodla、 Audi


3.3 Something to be solved
It is predicted that the magnesium products for automobiles will increase in amount and expand in
the range of their applications.  At present, China exclusively (around 90%) supplies the smelted magnesium to the most of the countries in the world.  The fact shows that the magnesium used in Japan largely and inevitably depends on the import of the magnesium from China.  World economic affairs and the will of the manufacturing country greatly affect the magnesium supply and price in Japan.  The magnesium supply and price in Japan are not stable. 
It is said that manufacturing costs, including labor costs, caused the handling of the magnesium smelting business by China.  The smelting process used is the Pidgeon process.  The magnesium smelting based on the Pidgeon process was industrially carried out around 20 years ago also in Japan. It is said that the smelting technology in China has advanced to such a level that the CO2
emission/ton is comparable with that of the aluminum smelting process.
Japan is in a serious state of magnesium import dependency.  Use of the magnesium die casting products for automobiles will be in a full-fledge state, as referred to above.  The domestic magnesium market will increase in amount and expand in its application range from now on.  With the trend, the used magnesium will increase.  It is clear that problem how to make a disposal of the increase amount of the used magnesium will arise.  In this situation, a revolutionary magnesium smelting process has been proposed in Japan.  The new smelting process can effectively cope with the problem cleanly and inexpensively.  The smelting process has a potential to supersede the current smelting process.  The component technologies thereof have already been developed.  It is in an experimental stage.

Kohama Smelting Process:
Prof. Kohama proposes an innovative magnesium smelting process.  The most important feature of the
smelting process is to use solar energy for generating the smelting temperature.  The smelting process is a modification of the Pigeon process currently used. The conventional smelting process smelts magnesium by burning cokes and at 1,200 degrees C.  A large amount of CO2 emission is
inevitable in executing the smelting process. The Kohama smelting process uses a solar furnace for generating the smelting temperature of 1,200 degrees C.  Note that light is reflected on a mirror surface and the reflected light is directly used to generate the smelting temperature.  Little loss is generated during the light to heat conversion process.  The light to heat conversion efficiency is 70% or higher.  The heating process is clean as a matter of course.

3.2.2 日本の市場
日本の2013 年の需要予測 (JMA)
1) 構造部門: 7,845 トン (前年比 4.5%減)
2) 添加材部門:28,250 トン(前年比 1.1%減)
3) 全体:37,395トン (前年比 1.6%減)


自動車向けダイカスト製品の例: 1) ステアリング、エンジンブロック、オイルパン等 (自動車用)、2) ノート

ご参考-1: (1960年代からの)
* 車への適応年表(国内):
* 車への適応年表(国外):
    欧州:VW、BMW、Daimier、Benz、Porsche、Fiat、Cromodla、 Audi

3.3 課題など
現在、中国がマグネシウムを世界にほぼ独占的に (90%前後) 供給している。



Pro. Kohamaは新しいマグネシウム精錬法を提案している。特徴は精錬温度の確保に太陽光を利用している。現在主流となっているピジョン法の変形である。従来の方法では1,200℃の温度と触媒を使用してマグネシウム

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