Message from the Director

Magnesium is the lightest among structural metals, and its alloys are used for personal computers, mobile phones and other applications. In 2003, at Kumamoto University, we developed an innovative Mg alloy that is superior in both strength and heat resistance, called “KUMADAI heat resistant Mg alloy”. Later, in 2012 we also developed “KUMADAI Non-flammable Mg Alloy”. The development of these alloys is increasingly attracting attention from industries in Japan and around the world. Kumamoto University is currently advancing with the development of this material for expanded applications to a number of industries. For instance, using KUMADAI magnesium alloys in automobiles and airplanes enables reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and improvement in fuel efficiency making KUMADAI magnesium alloy an “ecologically friendly material”.
With the aim to make in Kumamoto University the R&D base for this magnesium alloy and in order to enhance the development of human resources and material research, the University has established the “Magnesium Research Center (MRC)”.

Director of Magnesium Research Center
Yoshihito KAWAMURA

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.


2001 Development of Mg alloys containing long-period stacking ordered structure phase (LPSO type Mg alloys) by rapidly solidified powder metallurgy
2003 Development of cast LPSO type Mg alloy (KUMADAI Heat Resistant Mg Alloy)
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan “FY Regional Research & Development Consortium Project” (~2004)
Establishment of the association of Mg Alloys development and processing in Kumamoto University
2005 Kumamoto University “Advanced Research Project B”  has started.
2006 Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) “Collaboration of Regional Entities for the Advancement of Technological Excellence (CREATE)” (~2011)
2009 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan “Special coordination funds for promoting science and technology: Asia and Africa S&T Strategic Cooperation Promotion Program: Promotion of International Joint Research” (-2011)
2010 METI in Japan “Regional Innovation Creation R&D Program”
2011 MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Materials Science of synchronized LPSO structure” (~2015)
Establishment of Kumamoto University Magnesium Research Center (MRC)
2012 Development of non-flammable Mg alloy (KUMADAI Non-flammable Magnesium Alloy)
Japan Sciety for the Promotion Science (JSPS)”Core-to-core program” has started (~2014)
2014 JSPS “Strategic Young Researcher Overseas Visits Program for Accelerating Brain Circulation”(-2017).
2016 “International Research Core Program” of Kumamoto University has started.
2017 AMED Program of “Acceleration Transformative research of Medical innovation” has started.
2018 MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, “Materials science on mille-feuille structure (MFS)” (~2023)

Learn more about MRC KU in this video

Development of magnesium alloy containing long-period stacking-ordered structure phase (LPSO type magnesium alloy) by rapidly solidified powder metallurgy