Magnesium

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Magnesium is a chemical element with an atomic mass of 24.31. It is the ninth most abundant element in the universe by mass. Magnesium ions are essential to most carbon based living cells.

Uses

Magnesium is one of the most commonly used structural metal, along with steel and aluminium.

Magnesium compounds, primarily magnesium oxide, are used mainly as refractory material in furnace linings for producing iron, steel, nonferrous metals, glass and cement. Magnesium oxide and other compounds also are used in agricultural, chemical and construction industries. As a metal, this element's principal use is as an alloying additive to aluminium with these aluminium-magnesium alloys being used mainly for beverage cans.

Magnesium, in its purest form, can be compared with aluminium, and is strong and light, so it is used in several high volume part manufacturing applications, including automotive and aerospace craft components.

The second application field of magnesium is electronic devices. Due to low weight, good mechanical and electrical properties, magnesium is widely used for manufacturing of communicators, electronic computers, cameras, and other electronic components.

Other uses include:

  • Removal of sulfur from iron and steel.
  • Production of Titanium
  • Combined in alloys, this metal is essential for airplane and missile construction.
  • When used as an alloying agent, this metal improves the mechanical, fabrication and welding characteristics of aluminium.
  • Additive agent for conventional propellants and used in producing nodular graphite in cast iron.
  • Reducing agent for the production of pure uranium and other metals from their salts.
  • Easily reacting with water, it can serve as a desiccant

Magnesium is also flammable, burning at a temperature of approximately 2500 K (2200 °C, 4000 °F). The autoignition temperature of magnesium is approximately 744 K (473 °C, 883 °F). The extremely high temperature at which magnesium burns makes it a handy tool for starting emergency fires during outdoor recreation. Other uses include flashlight photography, flares, pyrotechnics, sparklers, and incendiary bombs.