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Looking for HK31A alloy, mag-thor (Mg Th, Magnesium Thorium).

  1. Oct 18, 2014 #1
    I am trying to locate HK31A (magnesium thorium alloy) for a research project. I have tried my usual suppliers but they came up empty handed. Calls were then placed to the major magnesium alloy manufacturers (e.g. Magnesium Elektron) but to no avail.

    Upon further investigation the manufacturers said they ceased production primarily due to law changes in the 1990's (there were concerns about the alloy's mildly radioactive nature) that placed unreasonable requirements on shipping. To further compound the issue with this material, pressure was placed on these companies by uninformed environmental groups to cease production. Long story short they were successful and this is now a remarkably difficult alloy to find.

    I have consulted with Professors on campus, experts in the field, and publications (current favorite is Principles of Magnesium Technology by Emley - alternative suggestions are always welcome!) about trying to process the alloy independently but it is a somewhat tedious process and current market values for Thorium is at a premium due to a halting of mine production of this mineral (and heavy rare Earth elements in general).

    Any suggestions about where to locate this alloy would be appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2014 #2


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    According to this article:

    http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer products/magthor.htm

    there were two producers of mag-thor alloys, Wellman Dynamics Corp. and Hitchcock Industries. As of 2001, both companies indicated that they might cease production of this material since transport regulations had recently became more strict. You might try contacting them for more information:


  4. Oct 19, 2014 #3
    Hitchcock Industries worked with the alloy but did not manufacture it (and are out of stock).

    Wellman wasn't interested in talking about it but did verify they have ceased production. Going by the information I received from other companies, and taking into consideration Wellman's distaste to even discuss what happened, it is likely they were put through the same 'environmental' wringer as Mag Elektron and others.

    It seems unlikely for there to be a path to acquire this material from industry as all attempts have resulted in failure as all supplies appear to be exhausted from a lack of production. Either finding scrap or an uninstalled part are the only likely sources available at this time although I am always open to other suggestions!
  5. Dec 22, 2014 #4
    I have a small amount (2kg) of what I believe is Mag-Thor alloy that needs a new home. I estimate it is about 2% Thorium based on radiation measurements and I am waiting for more information from Mg test. Just pick up the shipping.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  6. Dec 23, 2014 #5
    This is excellent Curtis, I just responded via your 'conversation'. No problem on picking up the shipping! I'll 'pm' you my address :D
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