Shaking Off The Rust
The heavier a car is, the more fuel it consumes, so finding ways to reduce vehicle weight is a key goal in the auto industry.
To help achieve this goal, Dr. Janine Mauzeroll from McGill University, working with Dr. Gianluigi Botton from McMaster University, and Dr. David Shoesmith from Western University and their team of researchers are studying magnesium alloys—light-weight metals that are exceptionally strong but unfortunately susceptible to rust. This multidisciplinary team includes experts in electron microscopy, corrosion science and electrochemistry. Applying the learnings from discovery research focused on understanding cancer cells, and using highly sensitive instruments, they are analyzing and predicting corrosion rates for magnesium alloys made with various combinations of materials.
The research team’s partners in the auto industry are already using the results to develop a new, lighter, rust-free alloy, and methods of casting this alloy to manufacture components for cars.
For the period 2010-16: NSERC contribution, $1.2 million; industry partners and others, $1.7 million.