Worldwide, vehicle mass reduction in the automotive industry has become a major objective. With every nation setting increasing fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission targets for engine-powered vehicles, and the growing threat from the extended range of electric vehicles, automobile manufacturers are being driven to reduce vehicle mass.

As a result of mass-reduction opportunities in structural automotive appliances, demand for lightweight alloy castings like magnesium as component substitution, is growing at a rapid pace the world over.


Magnesium is one of the lightest and most pliable metals used in alloy die casting and machining today.

While pure magnesium on own is too volatile, combustible, and corrosive to be used in its purest form, it can be combined with other lightweight metals like aluminum to be die-cast into almost any shape or texture. Put together, they both offer excellent potential for thin-wall and complex structure formation, thus making them a leading choice for automotive industry which handles delicate works. Further, the attractive cost-to-material ratio of magnesium also makes it a favored choice for use in bulk machining work or mass production.


The 8th most abundant material on EARTH, Magnesium is the brightest and lightest of all structural materials which is what makes it a preferred material used in the die casting process; it is around 70% lighter than steel and 33% than aluminum. An excellent die cast material, it offers the perfect combination of light-weight, rigidity, and resistance to wear for diverse die cast part applications.


Magnesium components are between 40-60% lighter than steel designs. For example, a value cover weighs 2 kg less in magnesium than aluminum while it is 3 kg lighter than a plastic version. Thus, magnesium components provide a significant mass saving opportunity.


With magnesium components, more expensive (heavier) options are possible without changing the vehicle’s IWC. Typically, vehicles are sold with a range of expensive options since more expensive items return more profit to the OEM. These include multiple CD players, leather/reclining seating and so forth.

By adding a relatively low-cost magnesium component, the OEM can sell a heavier option that can return a higher profit.


Craftsmanship is what describes the vehicle’s fit and finish.

When compared to a typical steel instrument panel (IP), a one-piece magnesium die casting component improves craftsmanship by reducing the dimensional error that is normally associated with welding and joining of all of the elements that make-up the full IP structure (steering column brackets, radio, air conditioning, glove box, and so forth). Furthermore, one-piece magnesium IP will be sufficiently accurate to be used as a gauge to define the frontal vehicle dimension.


Automobile squeaks and rattles can bother customers.

In the case of a steel IP, many elements are assembled to make it up. On the other hand, in the case of magnesium IP, a single magnesium casting allows less room for manufacturing error and misfit. Thus, there are reduced chances for rubbing and vibration between the elements and ultimately reduced squeaks and rattles.


Just a single-piece magnesium die casting provides an enhanced ability to design for crash when compared to stamped and welded steel elements. This ability to cast-in ribs and add surface promotes controlled deformation during a sudden deceleration. Furthermore, the casting can also be designed to incorporate varied section thicknesses that can locally change stiffness and rigidity, wherein improved crash-response is needed.


Lighter vehicles can also be safer, since they will, be more maneuverable, can accelerate faster, and have shorter deceleration distances (with the same power-train configuration). Further, lighter elements (magnesium components) in a smaller vehicle can be deflected away from the driver and passenger(s) of a larger, heavier vehicle, in the event of any crash, which will reduce overall human damage.


Magnesium die cast components have the potential to drastically reduce manufacturing costs.

Some examples are:

  • Steel IP version has 37 elements, whereas magnesium IP has only 6 elements. This reduces the overall tool requirements and complexity (in the steel IP fabrication, a tool and gauge is needed for each element)
  • Rigid one-piece magnesium beam can eliminate the need for a separate cross-bar beam to connect the ‘A’ pillars.
  • Magnesium parts are easier to handle and manipulate during vehicle assembly.
  • Magnesium die castings allow packaging improvements. For instance, magnesium IP allows air conditioning ducts, air bag housing, instrument clusters, etc, to be cast in place, when compared to the stamped and welded architecture of a steel IP.

Apart from the above, the benefits of using magnesium die cast components in the vehicles are compelling as can be masked out from the following revelations.

  • Offers the best strength-to-weight ratio of any commonly used structural metal.
  • Offers component and feature integration with a high-dimensional stability that improves fit and finish.
  • Offers excellent dimensional stability with high-impact and dent resistance.
  • Has low weight; weight of only 1.8 g/cm3 (a reduction of 33% compared to 2.7 g/cm 3 of aluminum).
  • Offers exceptional dampening capacity and low-inertia. This makes it ideally suitable for parts that undergo frequent and sudden changes in motion direction, so predominant in automobiles.
  • Can be die-cast into single, thin-walled structures rather than assembled from several components. They help automotive designers and engineers in simplifying designs; and eventually minimize or reduce machining and assembly costs.
  • Has a consistent and predictable shrink rate which in turn ensures minimal distortion or casting stress.
  • Has low heat content which means less energy is needed to reach casting temperatures. This way, castings cool quicker so cycle times are faster.
  • Requires fewer joints, fasteners, and welds.
  • Is extremely cost-effective. Just one pound of magnesium typically replaces three pounds of ferrous metals and two pounds of aluminum. This results in dramatic weight savings without compromising safety while the resultant fuel savings can lower the operating costs of the vehicle over its lifetime and reduce emissions.
  • Is 100% recyclable.

With the advantage of greater strength, stability, and rigidity along with inherent EMI/RFI shielding, durability, heat-dissipation, and full recyclability features, magnesium remains the most preferred die-casting alloy for the automotive industry.

In addition, lower temperatures and low affinity for iron reduces the effects of thermal fatigue and erosion on dies so they last longer. Moreover, the newer high purity magnesium alloys can deliver better corrosion resistance than carbon, steel, and even some aluminum alloys.

Overall, the major benefit of using magnesium die castings in automotive applications is weight-reduction, through both part replacement and compounding mass savings due to downsizing. Further, it also facilitates significant part reduction through consolidation and integration of functional and design features into one cast component.

Once limited to electronic components and portable tools, today magnesium is widely used in the automotive industry with the ability to produce complex castings (that are structural and safe). This reduces the weight of the vehicle and eventually, their fuel consumption. More importantly, it is favored by many designers, engineers, and manufacturers for its strength-to-weight ratio, that has been often cited as the best of any commonly used structured metal.

In the automotive industry, the most common use today for magnesium diecast alloy components is in high-performance cars. Being lightweight, and aerodynamically smooth, it can be fitted to most frames easily. Cutting-edge sports cars frequently incorporate light-alloy components and shell castings to cut down on weight and increase vehicle speed and fuel efficiency.

Mass reduction in weight means lighter weight vehicles are more fun to drive as well as more nimble and responsive which moves the mass center of the vehicle (its center of gravity) rearward.

Magnesium die cast light alloy casing is also environmentally friendly. By ensuring the same and facilitating increased fuel efficiency, it helps to significantly reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle.


The past decade has seen the automotive industry increasing its use of magnesium die cast components at a rapid pace. With the clamor for fuel-efficient and lighter vehicles growing, the rate of demand for and growth of magnesium die cast components is only expected to get better

The only drawback will be that magnesium alloys, even though being amongst the lightest structural materials available, cost more per unit mass than competing materials like steel and aluminum. This is where the automotive industry will be reluctant to pay a premium for weight saving.


If you’re looking to purchase aluminum components, then look no further than SBMI Group based out of Hyderabad, India; this Group diversified portfolio comprises segments ranging from aluminum and magnesium to fan manufacturing, and retail.

One of its division, Sri Balaji Metal Industries, is a leading high-performance; high-quality aluminum and magnesium ingot manufacturer (one of the biggest non-ferrous alloy manufacturers in SOUTH INDIA); it presently manufactures 35+ different grading GDC & PDC alloys.

The company’s magnesium die-cast casting components offer easy machinability, good thermal and electrical conductivity, thin-wall and complex parts applications, noise and vibration dampening, finishing, and above all, full recycling capability.

The company’s extensive portfolio of aluminum and magnesium components also offers superior mechanical properties that meet specific & stringent quality criteria requirements, thereby catering to the overall customer-satisfaction. All the magnesium alloys undergo stringent quality checks to match the complex compositions & specifications of the customer.

You can count on SRI BALAJI METAL INDUSTRIES to meet all of your metal requirements!!!!!

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