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China’s First Magnesium Alloy Lightweight Trailer Unveiled

© by Xi"an Jiaotong University

This week, China’s first magnesium alloy lightweight trailer was unveiled at the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Port in Xi’an, China. The trailer uses magnesium alloy parts that weigh just a little more than 800 kg, and the single largest such part is 13 m long. Nearly 1 tonne lighter than a similar trailer using mainly steel, the lightweight trailer has the potential to significantly improve the economic efficiency of highway freight transport.

The vehicle was jointly researched and developed by Xi’an Jiaotong University and Shaanxi Automobile Group Dechuang Future Automotive Technology Co. The collaborative project took place between fifteen different groups in six provinces working together with the University’s Shaanxi Magnesium-Based New Materials Engineering R&D Center, an innovative consortium developed through the cooperation of the two groups.

The R&D center successfully developed China’s first magnesium alloy lightweight trailer after only a little more than 500 days. Rather than simply substitute components with ones made of magnesium alloy, the researchers developed a holistic design scheme based on magnesium alloy, applying the concept of lightweighting throughout the entire process of design, research, manufacturing, and testing of heavy-duty trucks.

Currently, China is reported to produce about 85% of the world’s magnesium supply. With advantages such as low specific gravity, high strength, good shock absorption, and anti-electromagnetic radiation, and lower weight than aluminum, magnesium and its alloys can be widely used in aerospace, automobile, rail transit, and many other industries.

About Shaanxi Automobile Holding Group

Shaanxi Automobile Holding Group was founded as Shaanxi Automobile Manufacturing Plant in 1968. It is currently located in the city of Xi’an, Shaanxi Provence, and employs over 27,000 personnel, with over 76 billion Yuan in total assets. The group’s two main subsidiaries are Shaanxi Automobile Group Co., Ltd and Shaanxi Automobile Industrial Co., Ltd.  The group designs and manufactures a wide range of products including military off-road vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, medium and light trucks, medium and large coach buses, mini vehicles, mini vehicle axles, Cummins engines, heavy-duty axles and various vehicle components.

About Xi’an Jiaotong University

Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) is a key university under the direct administration of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and is one of China’s oldest universities. Currently, XJTU is a comprehensive research university with nine major categories of discipline: Science, Engineering, Medicine, Economics, Management, Humanities, Law and Philosophy and Art, of which Science and Engineering are its highlights. XJTU has 27 schools (departments/centers), nine colleges for undergraduates, and three affiliated hospitals.

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