Uses As a Metal

Uses as a metal

Uses As a Metal 1

Magnesium is the third-most-commonly-used structural metal, following iron and aluminium. The main applications of magnesium are, in order: aluminium alloys, die-casting (alloyed with zinc), removing sulfur in the production of iron and steel, and the production of titanium in the Kroll process. Magnesium is used in super-strong, lightweight materials and alloys. For example, when infused with silicon carbide nanoparticles, it has extremely high specific strength. Historically, magnesium was one of the main aerospace construction metals and was used for German military aircraft as early as World War I and extensively for German aircraft in World War II. The Germans coined the name "Elektron" for magnesium alloy, a term which is still used today. In the commercial aerospace industry, magnesium was generally restricted to engine-related components, due to fire and corrosion hazards. Currently, magnesium alloy use in aerospace is increasing, driven by the importance of fuel economy. The European Community runs three R&D magnesium projects in the Aerospace priority of Six Framework Program. In the form of thin ribbons, magnesium is used to purify solvents; for example, preparing super-dry ethanol. AircraftWright Aeronautical used a magnesium crankcase in the WWII-era Wright Duplex Cyclone aviation engine. This presented a serious problem for the earliest models of the Boeing B-29 heavy bomber when an in-flight engine fire ignited the engine crankcase. The resulting combustion was as hot as 5,600 °F (3,100 °C) and could sever the wing spar from the fuselage.AutomotiveMercedes-Benz used the alloy Elektron in the bodywork of an early model Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR; these cars competed in the 1955 World Sportscar Championship including a win at the Mille Miglia, and at Le Mans where one was involved in the 1955 Le Mans disaster when spectators were showered with burning fragments of elektron. Porsche used magnesium alloy frames in the 917/053 that won Le Mans in 1971, and continues to use magnesium alloys for its engine blocks due to the weight advantage. Volkswagen Group has used magnesium in its engine components for many years. Mitsubishi Motors uses magnesium for its paddle shifters. BMW used magnesium alloy blocks in their N52 engine, including an aluminium alloy insert for the cylinder walls and cooling jackets surrounded by a high-temperature magnesium alloy AJ62A. The engine was used worldwide between 2005 and 2011 in various 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 series models; as well as the Z4, X1, X3, and X5. Chevrolet used the magnesium alloy AE44 in the 2006 Corvette Z06.Both AJ62A and AE44 are recent developments in high-temperature low-creep magnesium alloys. The general strategy for such alloys is to form intermetallic precipitates at the grain boundaries, for example by adding mischmetal or calcium. New alloy development and lower costs that make magnesium competitive with aluminium will increase the number of automotive applications. ElectronicsBecause of low density and good mechanical and electrical properties, magnesium is widely used for manufacturing of mobile phones, laptop and tablet computers, cameras, and other electronic components. OtherMagnesium, being readily available and relatively nontoxic, has a variety of uses: Magnesium is flammable, burning at a temperature of approximately 3,100 °C (3,370 K; 5,610 °F), and the autoignition temperature of magnesium ribbon is approximately 473 °C (746 K; 883 °F). It produces intense, bright, white light when it burns. Magnesium's high combustion temperature makes it a useful tool for starting emergency fires. Other uses include flash photography, flares, pyrotechnics, fireworks sparklers, and trick birthday candles. Magnesium is also often used to ignite thermite or other materials that require a high ignition temperature. Magnesium firestarter (in left hand), used with a pocket knife and flint to create sparks that ignite the shavings In the form of turnings or ribbons, to prepare Grignard reagents, which are useful in organic synthesis. As an additive agent in conventional propellants and the production of nodular graphite in cast iron. As a reducing agent to separate uranium and other metals from their salts. As a sacrificial (galvanic) anode to protect boats, underground tanks, pipelines, buried structures, and water heaters. Alloyed with zinc to produce the zinc sheet used in photoengraving plates in the printing industry, dry-cell battery walls, and roofing. 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, sports equipment such as golf clubs, fishing reels, and archery bows and arrows. Specialty, high-grade car wheels of magnesium alloy are called "mag wheels", although the term is often misapplied to aluminium wheels. Many car and aircraft manufacturers have made engine and body parts from magnesium. Magnesium batteries have been commercialized as primary batteries, and are an active topic of research for rechargeable secondary batteries.Safety precautionsMagnesium metal and its alloys can be explosive hazards; they are highly flammable in their pure form when molten or in powder or ribbon form. Burning or molten magnesium reacts violently with water. When working with powdered magnesium, safety glasses with eye protection and UV filters (such as welders use) are employed because burning magnesium produces ultraviolet light that can permanently damage the retina of a human eye. Magnesium is capable of reducing water and releasing highly flammable hydrogen gas: Mg (s) 2 H2O (l) → Mg(OH)2 (s) H2 (g)Therefore, water cannot extinguish magnesium fires. The hydrogen gas produced intensifies the fire. Dry sand is an effective smothering agent, but only on relatively level and flat surfaces. Magnesium reacts with carbon dioxide exothermically to form magnesium oxide and carbon: 2 Mg CO2 → 2 MgO C (s)Hence, carbon dioxide fuels rather than extinguishes magnesium fires. Burning magnesium can be quenched by using a Class D dry chemical fire extinguisher, or by covering the fire with sand or magnesium foundry flux to remove its air source.

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