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Magnesium alloys are well-known for being the lightest structural alloys [1].

They are made of magnesium, the lightest structural metal, mixed with other metal elements to improve the physical properties. These elements include manganese, aluminium, zinc, silicon, copper, zirconium, and rare-earth metals [2].

Some of magnesium’s favourable properties include low specific gravity and a high strength-to-weight ratio. As a result, the material lends itself to a range of automotive, aerospace, industrial, electronic, biomedical, and commercial applications

Properties and advantages advantages   Applications

Magnesium alloys cover a wide array of applications, from automotive and aerospace applications to electronic and biomedical uses.

Structural applications Automotive, aerospace, industrial, and commercial applications are examples of structural applications. The advantage of magnesium alloys to be used in such applications is their light weight, high strength-to-weight ratio, high stiffness-to-weight ratio, castability, machinability, and great damping [4].

Automotive: support brackets for brakes and clutch, housing for transmission

Aerospace: landing wheels, helicopter rotor fittings, gearbox housings

Industrial: high-speed operating machinery, such as textile machines

Commercial: luggage, hand tools, computer housings, ladders

Electronic applications Electronic applications include electronic packaging, hard drive arms, cell phone and portable media device housings. Magnesium alloys are being used instead of plastics due to their light weight, strength and durability. They also are relatively better for heat dissipation and protection against electromagnetic and radio frequency interference [5].

Medical applications Portable medical equipment and wheelchairs that require light material make good use of magnesium alloys. Also, cardiovascular stents and orthopaedic devices are potential applications of some magnesium alloys due to magnesium’s biocompatibility and bioabsorbability [4].


[1] Trang, T. T. T. et al. (2018) Designing a magnesium alloy with high strength and high formability, Nature Communications 9, 2522

[2] National Research Council. (1975) Properties of Magnesium and Magnesium Alloys. In Trends in Usage of Magnesium. (pp. 37-42). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press

[3] ASM International. (2017) Introduction of Magnesium Alloys. In C. Moosbrugger (Ed.), Engineering Properties of Magnesium Alloys. (pp. 1-10). Novelty, OH: ASM International

[4] Woodhead Publishing. (2010) Overview. In P.K. Mallick (Ed.) Materials, Design and Manufacturing for Lightweight Vehicles. (pp. 1-32). Woodhead Publishing

[5] (n.d.) Magnesium Applications. International Magnesium Retrieved from: https://www.intlmag.org/page/mg_applications_ima