Message from the Director of MRC
Magnesium is the lightest among structural metals, and is used for personal computers, mobile phones and other applications. In 2003, Kumamoto University developed an innovative magnesium alloy that is superior in both strength and heat resistance, called “KUMADAI Heat Resistant Magnesium Alloy”. This was followed by the development of “KUMADAI Non-flammable Magnesium Alloy” in 2012. The development of these alloys has been carefully followed by industries in Japan and around the world. Kumamoto University is currently advancing with the development of this material for expanded applications to bring advancements to a number of industries. The use of KUMADAI magnesium alloy in automobiles and airplanes, for example, enables reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and improvements in fuel efficiency due to reduced weight making KUMADAI magnesium alloy an “ecologically friendly material”.
With the aim of making Kumamoto University the R&D base for this magnesium alloy, the University has established the “Magnesium Research Center (MRC)” in order to enhance the development of human resources and material research.
Director of Magnesium Research Center
Expansion of advanced research on magnesium alloys
By developing basic and applied research to make maximum use of the light weight and other properties of magnesium alloy, we aim the development of alloys with future practical applications. Our organization has engaged in research targeting application to spacecraft, aircraft, high-speed railway cars, and automobile parts, and recently is conducting research involving application to medical care and welfare equipment such as stents. In addition, in recent years the Research Center has also been engaged in research on magnesium alloys with first-principles electronic structure calculation and solid dynamics calculation based on the finite element method as the primary approaches, and is promoting research aimed at achieving multiscale calculation material design linked to experiments.
Construction of a global research network
We will construct a Yellow Sea Rim Magnesium Network (YSR Mg Network) to serve as an academic foundation for the development of materials manufacturing fundamental technologies, with the advanced technology of Kumamoto University Magnesium Research Center (MRC) in high-performance Mg alloys as a core technology from East Asia. To spread this technology worldwide, we will grow the network into a global one encompassing Europe, the US, and Oceania
Promotion of mutually-beneficial YSR international research through the establishment of an open laboratory
As a venue for conducting joint research within the YSR Mg Network and with other researchers in Japan and overseas, we will establish an open laboratory within MRC to provide a research environment with state-of-the-art experimental equipment. We conduct the MRC Joint-Usage Research Subsidy program with the aim of constructing an international research hub by promoting the use of MRC facilities for magnesium-related joint research to research groups outside the university.
The research organization is composed of materials design division, materials characterization division, shape and properties control division, and materials integration division. These divisions cross beyond existing academic framework to address interdisciplinary issues as well. Our organization also collaborates with national and local government bodies and with companies, functioning as an advanced international hub for the development of magnesium.