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Lightweight products are the goal for new magnesium piston


Brunel University London has teamed up with industry partner Husqvarna Group to develop a lightweight magnesium piston for outdoor power products such as chainsaws, brushcutters and powercutters, with the ultimate aim of increased efficiency and ergonomics.

The AMPD (Advanced Magnesium Piston Development) project will use the industry funding to investigate new alloys and process technology that could potentially result in a lighter, more efficient engine, together with reduction in vibrations. 

Husqvarna Group of Sweden is a global leading producer of outdoor power products and innovative solutions for forest, part and garden care: from garden tractors to robotic lawn mowers, chainsaws to trimmers, and more.

Developing a new magnesium piston has knock-on benefits in engine design and construction, explained Eric Nyberg, Director of Programmes at the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST): “Much like an automobile, these are very complex machines, and the interaction between components are related in so many ways.

“Being the lightest structural metal, using magnesium means that grams of weight savings can result in compounding benefits in associated engine components, leading to a higher-performing machine.”

Nyberg added: “Magnesium is recognised for its benefit in noise and vibration dampening that can result in a more ergonomically comfortable operation for the consumers.”

Martin Almgren, Husqvarna Group’s Lead Engineer for Primary and Concept Development, believes that successful development of this technology has the potential for widespread acceptance and use in the hand-held garden and forestry equipment industries.

“We are delighted to be working with BCAST and Brunel University London to further develop lightweight solutions for the mass production of small engine equipment and to establish a global leadership position for new technology in our industry,” he said.

For more information about BCAST's expertise and facilities, and for all collaboration enquiries, visit our BCAST pages.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268821