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What is the use of magnesium alloy in modern weapon accessories?

From the analysis of the use characteristics and performance requirements of weapon parts, there are a large number of aluminum alloy parts and engineering plastic parts in firearms, armored vehicles, missiles, artillery, ammunition, photoelectric instruments, weapons computers and military equipment. According to the performance and use characteristics of magnesium alloy materials, it is technically feasible to use magnesium alloy to manufacture relevant parts, and the following development trends are shown.

use of magnesium alloy in modern weapon accessories

(1) Magnesium alloy and magnesium matrix composite materials are used to replace the aluminum alloy parts and some ferrous metal parts with medium and low strength requirements of weapons and equipment, so as to realize the lightweight of weapons and equipment. The main products include:

  • ① firearms and weapons: case, magazine, butt body, lower case, handle, front guard, cartridge plate, sight base, etc.
  • ② Armored vehicles: tank seat frame, pilot's mirror, gunner's mirror, gearbox box, engine filter base, water inlet and outlet pipe, air distributor base, oil pump housing, water pump housing, oil heat exchanger, oil filter housing, valve cover, respirator, etc.
  • ③ Missile: missile cabin, rudder body, instrument cabin, rudder frame, flight wing, etc.
  • ④ Artillery and ammunition: ammunition supply box, tractor, foot pedal, gunner's mirror, wheel hub, fuse body, hood, powder cartridge, etc.
  • ⑤ Photoelectric products: lens housing, infrared imager housing, base, etc.
  • ⑥ Computer and communication equipment: military computer, communication equipment box, shell, plate and other parts.

(2) Replace engineering plastics to solve the problems of aging, deformation and discoloration of parts. At present, light weapons, optoelectronic and communication equipment products, and instrument panels of combat vehicles are made of engineering plastics. Engineering plastics, especially fiber-reinforced plastics, have the highest specific strength, but the modulus of elasticity is small, the specific stiffness is far less than that of magnesium alloy, and it is difficult to recover, poor environmental adaptability, easy to wear, aging, deformation and discoloration. It not only affects the tactical performance of weapons, but also affects the appearance of weapons. These defects of engineering plastics can be fundamentally overcome by using magnesium alloy and magnesium matrix composite materials. The main products are:

  • ① firearms and weapons: plastic magazine, cover, accessory barrel, front hand guard, etc.
  • ② Photoelectric products: lens plastic shell, sight plastic shell, night vision plastic shell, etc.
  • ③ Military equipment: various instrument panels, communication equipment boxes, shell parts, military helmets, etc.

(3) Magnesium alloying of missiles and other aircraft parts. In the past, magnesium alloys were rarely used in missiles, and only magnesium powder was used in flares. In recent years, magnesium alloys have been used for the support section and aileron skin, wall panel, reinforcement frame, rudder surface, partition frame and other parts of tactical air defense missiles. The materials are MB2, MB3 and MB8 deformed magnesium alloys. On the satellite, ZM5 magnesium alloy is used to make the well beam and camera frame, as well as various instrument supports and housings. From 1995 to 2000, in order to reduce the weight of the kinetic energy armor piercing projectile, the research on the high specific strength magnesium alloy support material was carried out in China.

In order to meet the requirements of high dimensional stability of materials for missile and rocket weight reduction and high-precision parts (such as missile control system), the development of magnesium matrix composites with high strength, high stiffness and low expansion coefficient is one of the important ways.

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