Auto sector-benefiting research recognized at corrosion science conference

Graduate students Yuri Savguira and David Miklas win 2nd place poster prize at the 2012 National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Northern Area Eastern Conference


Photo: Yuri Savguira (left) and second author David J. Miklas (right), MSE MASc Candidate, in front of  their award winning poster 

November 12, 2012

Congratulations to Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) PhD candidate Yuri Savguira, who was recently awarded second place in the student poster competition at the 2012 National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Northern Area Eastern Conference. This year’s event, held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, gathered industry professionals, academics and students in the field of corrosion science from across southern Ontario between October 29-31, 2012.

Savguira’s research poster, entitled “Localized Corrosion of Friction Stir Spot Welds (FSSW) in AZ31 Magnesium Alloy,” investigates corrosion effects commonly found in a specific type of lightweight metal employed in the automotive industry. Magnesium alloy AZ31 is comprised of 3% aluminum, 1% zinc, and the rest magnesium. Its lightweight and mechanical strength properties make it a prime materials candidate in the automotive and aerospace industry especially when designing for improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, and enhanced vehicular performance. However, AZ31 Mg alloy is observed to exhibit undesirable corrosion effects when an industry standard technique, known as friction stir spot welding (FSSW), is applied to the material in the manufacturing process. Savguira’s work investigates further into these localized corrosion effects to provide quantifiable data as to precisely how this mechanism occurs in real life.

“Understanding both joining and its impact on corrosion is critical to future engineering applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. Yuri’s work is becoming a seminal piece in the field, bringing a concise and novel series of experimental techniques to address this problem,” says Professor Steven J. Thorpe, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies for the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and one of Savguira’s co-supervisors. “We are most grateful to AUTO21 and our collaborators at Queen’s University, McMaster University, and the University of Waterloo for this exciting opportunity.”

Savguira is a PhD candidate of the Surface Engineering & Electrochemistry (SEE) Research Group within the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is co-supervised by Professor Steven J. Thorpe and Professor Emeritus Thomas H. North.