Efforts to reduce vehicle weight have mostly focused on aluminum, plastics and composites, but another lightweight material is also getting attention: magnesium. The ninth most abundant element in the universe, magnesium is as strong as steel, but 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 60 percent lighter than titanium, and 75 percent lighter than steel.
If we are to build a better world, politicians tell us, power must be placed in the right hands. This statement will draw no protest from assemblers. After all, these skilled workers require state-of-the-art power tools to build long-lasting quality products on a daily basis.
While designing the A350 XWB (extra wide body) airplane in early 2010, Airbus’ engineers proposed a revolutionary way to build the plane’s wings at the company’s plant in Broughton, UK. Specifically, they wanted the wings built horizontally rather than the traditional vertical method.