The Daily Manila Shimbun


New Magnesium Alloy to Drastically Cut Weight of Shinkansen Train

June 13, 2018

Yokohama- A materials research organization and related companies have prototyped a Shinkansen train body part made of a newly developed magnesium alloy that is some 30 pct lighter than aluminum alloys currently used in Shinkansen and other high-speed trains.

The prototype part, a section of a car body, which is one meter long, 3.4 meters wide and 2.9 meters high, and weighs 239 kilograms, was unveiled to reporters at the plant in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, of Japan Transport Engineering Co., a unit of East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, on Tuesday.

Magnesium alloys, which are generally flammable, are used for small devices and vehicle interiors, but have not been employed in large structures.

The new alloy overcomes the previous weak point, with calcium-added coatings shutting out oxygen in the atmosphere.

The Innovative Structural Materials Association, which comprises about 40 entities including private companies and national institutes, takes charge of the project, commissioned by the government-backed New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO.

"While receiving advice from JR (Japan Railways) Group companies, we aim to propose commercialization at the end of the project in fiscal 2022," ISMA project manager Takao Horiya said. Jiji Press