Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Benjamin Boesl

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Arvind Agarwal

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor's Name

William Kinzy Jones

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Bilal El-Zahab

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Hassan Mahfuz

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Magnesium Alloys, Precipitation, Nanoindentation

Date of Defense



The objective of this research was to explore the possibility of developing novel Magnesium-Tin alloys with improved mechanical properties by micro-alloying. Magnesium is the lightest of all structural metals. It can be machined faster and with almost half the power required for aluminum. There is a limitless supply of magnesium in sea water and it can also be recycled at 5% of initial energy requirements. These properties make magnesium an ideal green alternative to replace metals and polymers in automotive, aerospace, biomedical and defense sectors. The potential weight reduction in the US automotive market alone, leads to 100 billion gallons of gas saved and 6.5 billion gallons of CO2 emissions reduced per year.

In defense and aerospace markets, China is the leading foreign supplier of rare earth metals necessary for fabrication of current high-performance Mg alloys, making core defense technologies vulnerable to the interruption of Chinese imports. In the past, China has used its control over mining, application and import of rare earth metals as a strategic leverage. These new Magnesium-Tin ternary alloys offer an alternative that can be made from domestic resources improving national security and minimizing foreign dependence on rare earth metals import.

Our results establish that microalloying can tackle issues arising from sluggish precipitate formation kinetics and precipitate size distribution in binary Magnesium-Tin alloys. These new alloys also offer an order of magnitude reduction in heat treatment time (from approximately 1000 hours to less than 100 hours), which makes the benefits of their application two-fold by decreasing manufacturing energy costs and production time. This can also open the route for development of new age-hardenable wrought Magnesium alloys.





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