General Motors is testing an industry-first thermal-forming process and proprietary corrosion resistance treatment for lightweight magnesium sheet metal that will allow increased use of the high-strength alternative to steel and aluminum.
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GM conducted a production run of 50 vehicles to be bought by consumers in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, GM did not indicate the model or models that will test the expanded use of magnesium.
The United States Automotive Materials Partnership estimates that by 2020, 350 pounds of magnesium will replace 500 pounds of steel and 130 pounds of aluminum per vehicle, an overall weight reduction of 15 percent. This weight savings would lead to a fuel savings of 9 percent to 12 percent.