Session Details

Session 7: Decorative Automotive Considerations

Abstract Number:


Offers an introduction to a low-voltage, non-toxic PEO coating ‎technology for application to magnesium. ‎Cirrus Mg Defender™ is ‎a novel surface finishing technology that provides thin, adherent, ‎and durable ‎protection for magnesium and its alloys at low cost ‎with an exceptionally low energy and environmentally ‎sustainable ‎process. The process presented also has applications for aluminum ‎and titanium substrates.‎


Automotive Industry
Advances in Surface Finishing Technology

The need for energy efficiency, emission reduction and improved performance necessitates ‎the ‎development of lighter automotive and aerospace components. Light metals, such as ‎Magnesium, are ‎essential to reducing weight; however, Mg and its alloys require protective ‎surface finishes to prolong their ‎service life. Conventional magnesium coatings technologies ‎are energy intensive and often require toxic ‎chemicals, such as fluorine compounds. ‎Widespread use of magnesium alloys in high performance ‎applications requires low cost, ‎efficient and environmentally sustainable surface finishes.‎

A recent surface finishing innovation from Cirrus Materials Science, Mg Defender™, offers a ‎sustainable ‎magnesium coating technology that reduces the cost, energy consumption, and ‎coating thickness required ‎to protect magnesium components. Cirrus Mg Defender™ ‎employs a proprietary low voltage Plasma ‎Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) process to deposit a ‎tightly bonded protective layer to any magnesium surface. ‎Cirrus Mg Defender™ operates at ‎less than 5% of traditional PEO process power while producing a surface ‎that provides ‎outstanding corrosion protection. Doping the Mg Defender™ bath with either carbon and/or ‎‎nitrogen compounds which, under the influence of the arc temperatures introduce carbides ‎and/or nitrides ‎directly into the developing surface, achieves surfaces with higher hardness ‎‎(>875HV) and greater wear ‎resistance. Mg Defender™ surfaces also support direct deposition ‎of secondary functional coatings ‎including electro or auto catalytic metallic coatings and ‎electro deposited or traditional polymer surfaces, ‎which tightly interlock to the PEO surface ‎producing outstanding adhesion. Such secondary layers can ‎provide important functional ‎characteristics, including electrical conductivity, wear resistance, lubricity ‎and/or decorative ‎aspects, which support a plethora of applications. The presentation provides an update ‎on ‎this novel magnesium coating technology which extends the opportunities for magnesium ‎applications.‎


Chris Goode


Cirrus Materials Science