Wrought Alloy and Casting Alloy Differences

Magnesium alloy come in many forms within two primary categories: wrought alloy and cast alloy. These terms describe the processes by which the products are created and also alludes to the quality of the metal. Although both types of magnesium products are sought after for their lightweight, strength, and performance, there is a great difference between the two.

Wrought Alloy

Magnesium alloy sheets fall into this category of metals. Presses that apply extensive pressure in order to achieve a certain shape are used to cold form wrought alloys. Because they are cold formed from one piece of magnesium, wrought alloy products are considered to be stronger and more tensile. They are also lighter. Wrought alloys are also exposed to fewer opportunities to compromise the metal as cast alloys are.

Cast Alloys

The magnesium is heated to an extremely high temperature to melt it. The liquid is then poured into a mold. It is allowed to cool before the newly shaped part moves on to assembly. Cast magnesium can take on an infinite number of shapes, as long as a mold is created for the final shape. Strength and weight are qualities that put magnesium alloys over steel, but also the properties that make casts slightly worse than wrought alloys. The wrought alloys also cannot hold an unlimited variety of shapes, as can the cast alloys.

Unfortunately, injection molding has issues because of the heat, compromising the strength. Other issues that plague cast alloys are defects in the mold that cause blemishes, misalignment and more in the finished product. Unskilled alloy pourers can cause air bubbles in the liquid metal that lead to defects in the final product.

Casts, however, were thought of as the best thing in metals until recently. In fact, it was the cast alloys that were first on the market and widely used in manufacturing. Wrought magnesium alloys are joining the rush, but only as an alternative to the steel that forms frames, panels and more.

Any metal that is rolled, pressed, and sheeted is a wrought metal while shaped, solid pieces of the alloy may just be a cast alloy.