Inaugural Karl Kainer Lecture

The Karl Kainer Lecture is held as part of the International conference on Mg Alloys and their Applications and given by an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the science and technology of Magnesium alloys and their applications. The lecture recognises the contributions Prof. Karl U. Kainer has made to the Mg alloy developments as well as applications of Mg alloys in an industry. It also recognises his contributions as chair and co-chair to this conference series.


Inaugural Karl Kainer Lecture

30 Years of Alloy and Process Development of Magnesium-based Materials –
What is the Outcome


Presented by:  Prof. K. U. Kainer

Magnesium Innovation Centre,Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht

Abstract: In the 1990s, there was a renewed interest in magnesium-based materials due to more demanding lightweight construction requirements in transportation industry. Since this time magnesium alloys made inroads into the applications in automotive industries as well as in consumer, computer and communication (3C) applications. Their favourable property profile – high specific strength, good castability, machinability, recyclability – promotes increased usage. Still, the full potential of Mg as a structural material has not been achieved. Despite magnesium alloys being in service for almost one hundred years, there is still a lack of knowledge potential of Mg alloys compared with other metallic materials such as steel or aluminium: Design, processing, potential etc. New alloys and new or optimised processes are also creating new ideas and stimulating competition for advanced developments to substitute traditional materials. However, the implementation of new alloys and advanced processes has always to face hurdles and hindrances. New fields of application like degradable implants or anodes for batteries require tailored microstructure design and functionalisation of surfaces for complex environments and functionalities. The presentation will assess 30 years on research in magnesium on alloy and process development and will give an overview on the status of the development for a selection of application fields, and discuss potentials and problems with the implementation into the market.


Prof. Dr-Ing. Karl Ulrich Kainer

Prof. Karl Kainer is an eminent metallurgical engineer known for his contribution to the world of magnesium research as well as his work in promoting magnesium for light-weighting applications in the transport sector. His research collaborations include research projects with major European car manufactures as well as with research institutes in Asia, America and Europe.

Prof. Kainer received his Doctorate in Engineering from Clausthal University of Technology in 1985. He is currently a director of the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, and the Head the Magnesium Innovation Centre that he established in 2000. The Magnesium Innovation Centre, fondly known as MagIC, looks at the full breadth of magnesium R&D, including alloy development, solidification processing, wrought alloy processing, corrosion and surface protection; and covers both fundamental and applied research and development. Additionally, he is a habilitated professor at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg in Germany (since 1999), and a visiting professor and a vice director of the National Engineering Research Centre for Magnesium Alloys at Chongqing University (since 2006). He is part of the international board of advisors for many organisations working with light metals, especially magnesium, and has been on the international advisory board for LiME Hub at BCAST Brunel University London and its predecessor. He was President of the International Magnesium Association (IMA) between 2013-2015.

Over the length of his career, his areas of interest have spanned the breadth of magnesium research, with special emphasis on the development of high temperature alloys, thixotropic processing of magnesium melts, formability of wrought magnesium alloys, magnesium biomaterials and magnesium composites. He has published over 300 journal papers and made over 120 invited presentations. Prof. Kainer has organised, either as the chair or a co-chair, many international conferences, and organised or co-organised from the 3rd until the 10th International Conference on Magnesium Alloys and Their Applications in Germany, Canada, Korea and UK between 1998-2015.



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The 11th International Conference on
Magnesium Alloys and Their Applications

24-27 July 2018, Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, UK