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High-tech magnesium coating facility development

SMW Group AS has secured support for its Project titled “Development and purchase of high-tech equipment for the coating of ultra-light and environmentally friendly forged magnesium automotive and motorcycle wheels”. Funding was granted through The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia under the Norwegian Financial Mechanisms Programme “Business development, Innovation and SME’s” in the open call activity “Application of green industry innovation and ICT products and technologies”.

The primary mission of the Project is to continue the evolution toward more eco-friendly coatings – by ways of employing a custom paint application system that possesses self-healing capacity — filling of the pores of the PEO (Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation) layer, to further improve the corrosion resistance properties. One of the most reputable research institutes, SINTEF, is participating in the project implementation as the Donor state (Norway) project partner.

The developed improvements in the technological method/process will enable to more efficiently process forged magnesium wheels for passenger cars employing magnesium alloy AZ80 and magnesium alloy ZK60. The end product will be certifiable for road use and will facilitate wider acceptance and use of significantly lighter automotive and motorcycle wheels, providing for weight reduction of 20% to 50% as compared to the wheels that currently prevail on the market. This will meaningfully contribute to decreasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Within 24 months and with the project budget that has been estimated at 570 309,60 EUR, where Norway Grants support is granted for an amount of 259 010,00 EUR, SMW plans to set up a new coating plant for magnesium wheels and to develop several new products, initially creating at least 7 new jobs. The resulting total reduction in CO2 emissions in the five years after the project implementation is estimated to average at 20 t per year, at an upward slope – reaching the level of 100 t per annum by year six.

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