LMG’s production process involves the extraction of magnesium metal from magnesium rich resources and produces valuable by-products as a result of its innovative process. The by-products that will be produce from the process utilised at the Latrobe Valley Project include Supplementary Cementitious Material, amorphous silica, char, iron oxide and calcium carbonate. Nearly 100% of the fly ash resource is repurposed into valuable products resulting in little to no waste, another advantage of LMG's process which further positively impacts the environment.
Magnesium metal more commonly referred to as the “Green Metal” is the lightest of all structural materials, the 8th most abundant element on earth and 100% recyclable. Given it has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all common structural metals, it is increasingly used in the manufacture of car parts, aviation industry, laptop computers, mobile phones, and power tools. Magnesium produced by LMG can replace steel and aluminium as it is stronger and 75% lighter than steel and 33% lighter than aluminium. It delivers:
• The best strength-to-weight ratio of any commonly used structural metal.
• Excellent dimensional stability as well as high impact and dent resistance.
• Exceptional dampening capacity and low inertia making it ideally suited for parts that undergo frequent and sudden changes in motion direction.
• The newer high purity alloys can deliver better corrosion resistance than carbon, steel and some aluminium alloys.
Key advantages include:
• The use of magnesium in both transport application has been analysed to results in lower greenhouse gas emissions over the whole life cycle.
• Given it is the lightest and strongest structural metal compared to steel & aluminium, its use has become even more crucial in the production of electric cars allowing all transportation to travel faster, quicker and with less petrol consumption therefore producing less CO2 emissions.
• Thin-walled die casting means structures can be made as one piece rather than assembled from several components, this simplifies design, lowers assembly costs, improves reliability, minimizes tooling costs and reduces joints, fasteners and welds.
• Consistent and predicable shrink rates mean minimal distortion or casting stress.
• Low heat content means less energy is required to reach casting temperatures and castings cool quicker so cycle times are faster.
• Lower temperatures and low affinity for iron reduce the effects of thermal fatigue and erosion on dies so they last longer.
Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM)
The major by-product is Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) which has a similar chemistry to Portland Cement and is used a cement replacement in concrete manufacture.
SCM’s are added to concrete mixtures to improve durability, decreasing permeability, aiding in pumpability, and improving the overall hardened properties of concrete. The use of SCMs in concrete has also grown considerably over the past 30 years given they are typically by-products of industrial processes, and their use can contribute to environmental and energy conservation practices.
By using this product as a partial replacement, LMG can provide the following advantages:
• Replacing up to 30% of Portland cement in concrete mixes
• Avoiding 0.9 tonne of CO2 per tonne of Portland cement otherwise produced in the cement making process.
• No additional CO2 is produced during its production in the LMG process.
• Supply stronger, more durable high-performance concretes that helps reduce global climate impact by lowering energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
• Char is produced from the acid leach step of the process and can be utilised as a charcoal replacement in fuel products such as heating briquettes.
• Amorphous silica is a similar product to Supplementary Cementitious Material and be utilised in the cement industry.
• Iron oxide or more specifically Hematite is a high-grade iron product that can be used as a complementary feedstock to Iron Ore in steelmaking.
• Calcium Carbonate is a pure lime product that can be utilised as an agricultural lime in agricultural industries.
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