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See How Chrysler May Leapfrog Past Aluminum

by David Zatz on

FCA US is working on a better way to join magnesium to steel and to aluminum, fusing an expensive lightweight-yet-strong metal to  aluminum and to steel. Steel is strong and relatively cheap; aluminum is light and somewhat pricey.

Normally, joining dissimilar metals together can result in corrosion, seizure, or other problems, especially as they expand at different rates when heated.

Magnesium joined to steel or aluminum

Chrysler’s current work was revealed in a presentation to the Department of Energy, where they called their method “Upset Protrusion Joining.” (Thanks, patromigh). Automakers already use magnesium in some places, such as dashboard supports.

One problem of using magnesium, other than cost, is how hard it is to extinguish magnesium fires, a problem long known to racing circles.  (Thanks, Bob Lincoln.)


David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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