ISIS helps UK magnesium producer with a cracking problem
16 Nov 2011



Scientists from ISIS have worked in partnership with UK company Magnesium Elektron to solve manufacturing challenges.




Magnesium Elektron is a world leader in magnesium technology and alloy development. The company, who first produced magnesium in Manchester in 1936, specialises in the development, manufacture and supply of magnesium products to technology industries worldwide. Their alloys are extensively used for applications in the aerospace and automotive industries. “Magnesium is 30% lighter than aluminium, and therefore it could be used for components in the transport industry to help reduce emissions. For magnesium to be a financially viable alternative to aluminium, we need to be able to mass produce it. However, we were unable to mass produce it as large slabs because they cracked during casting,” explained Dr Mark Turski, a senior metallurgist at Magnesium Elektron.

The company used Engin-X, the engineering beamline at ISIS, to examine the residual stress in large magnesium alloy slabs that caused the cracking. Using neutrons, scientists from Magnesium Elektron were able to build up an accurate picture of where the strain and stress were within the casted slabs

M Turski (Magnesium Elektron, Manchester, and Open University), AM Paradowska, S-Y Zhang (ISIS), D Mortensen, H Fjaer (Institute for Energy Technology, Norway), J Grandfield (Grandfield Technology Pty Ltd, Australia), B Davis, R DeLorme (Magnesium Elektron North America, Madison, USA)

Research date: August 2011

Further Information

Contact: Dr. M Turski,

Further reading: M Turski et al., submitted to Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A (2011)​