• By Kirk Gaw

Fostering The Future Of Technology At Opta Minerals - Rossborough Manufacturing

The Walkerton "Rossborough - Magnesium Technologies" plant is a supplier of specialty alloys for injection molding. Companies rely on magnesium feedstock alloy chips made there to produce top quality die-casting of parts. You will find molded components in automobile designs, computer casings, and building supplies.

Opta held Magnesium Technologies Corporation at the Rossborough manufacturing plant on Highway 104 produces and sells desulphurization systems and products for the steel industry. They are the biggest supplier of thixomolding feedstock chips in the World at the Walkerton operation.

Dave Hostetler, is a patriarch of the thixomolding (TXM) industry. Hostetler was the first person anywhere to create a magnesium alloy TXM chip. He also, was the first to make zinc and aluminum TXM chips.

He has been developing the next-generation of TXM feedstocks, and offers metallurgical design assistance to help in developing specialty alloys. Rossborough also buys back scrap from customers for regrinding. But most of its customer service activities deal with safety. Rossborough helps customers design safety-first materials handling systems. In-house safety training at customers’ plants is yet another service provided, as is assistance in designing safe TXM manufacturing plants at other regions.

Die casting and semi-solid molding is used Worldwide for car seats, laptop computers, cellphones, pc's, television consoles, digital camera's, control panels, copy machines, fans, fishing reels, and bicycle parts.

Magnesium is viewed as an important part of the future for transportation planning too! It is the lightest of all metals. Magnesium can be machined faster and has the best strength-to-density ratio of any commonly used metals. It is an attractive element of the aerospace industry. Also, because of increasing pressures to improve automobile gas mileage magnesium lightweight properties are causing more demand by carmakers from around the world for magtech parts.

During work one Monday morning on December 18th, of 2001 two workers testing for new methods of processing magnesium had an accident while handling materials in the research lab. An explosion leveled a building and damaged two others. The two scientists escaped with minor injuries. It blew I-beams into nearby trees after the accident. Employees at Polygon Co. said they saw a fireball shoot into the sky. Many Walkertonians may remember that time? Today, the company is committed to safety.

The operation is owned by Opta Minerals:

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