Magnesium alloys can be found in almost everything we use nowadays and for good reason: When well manufactured, the alloys can resist both corrosion and ignition. Over and above, with a density of 1.74 gm/ cm3, magnesium is one of the lightest structural metals out there, making it ideal for aircrafts, vehicles, and armor plates. This is not to mention the importance of magnesium in biomedicine as well as the numerous applications of magnesium powders.
About Magnesium Elektron
No conversation about the magnesium industry would be complete without mentioning the company that has been leading the field ever since it was started in England in 1936: Magnesium Elektron. Not only does Magnesium Elektron develop, manufacture, and supply various technology industries around the world with cutting edge magnesium products, but the company also is a pioneer when it comes to research and development, advancing the technology as well as finding new applications for it.
Magnesium Elektron: Applications
Magnesium Elektron has been the prime supplier of magnesium to different markets. To start with, in the biomaterials industry, magnesium’s physiological compatibility and bioresorbable qualities make it an ideal element for usage in areas such as cardiovascular intervention and osteosynthesis. Consequently, Magnesium Elektron has been developing a new alloy, Elektron SynerMag, with the aim of shaking up the field of metals with bioresorbable qualities. Also, the strength, light weight, and electromagnetic interference s (EMI) shielding properties of magnesium enable Magnesium Elektron to aid medical equipment manufacturers in creating cutting edge products, including portable x-rays along with ultrasound units and orthotics. Over and above, magnesium plays a pivotal role as a reducing agent in the pharmaceuticals industry.
There are several more industries that require high quality magnesium alloys. A case in point is the defense sector, where the importance of light weight, durable armor cannot be overstated. Another field in which Magnesium Elektron has plenty of experience is the automotive industry, particularly when it comes to racing cars. After all, using lighter metals means producing a faster car. Moreover, Graphic artists are no strangers to using magnesium in their work, especially in the area of metal engraving and etching. Consequently, Magnesium Elektron has a long history of collaborating with Revere Graphics. Even the oil and gas industry resorts to the use of magnesium, which is why Magnesium Elektron produces SoluMag, a strong alloy with a high corrosion rate that was developed with the oil and gas industry in mind. Along with all of this, magnesium can be found in various appliances whose effects can be felt on a daily basis, including cellphones and textile machines.
Obviously, magnesium is also integral to the aerospace industry, and Magnesium Elektron’s expertise in creating alloys that are resistant to both corrosion and ignition has enabled the company to offer airplane designers a light, stiff material that won’t combust when being manipulated. As a matter of fact, magnesium is used today in commercial and military planes. For instance, airplane designers use magnesium in the seats, the wheels, the engines, and the flight deck of commercial airliners. Alternatively, military helicopters use magnesium in their weapons rack, main transmission housing, tail rotor gearbox, avionics, and so much more.
The Benefits of Using Magnesium Alloys in Aerospace
So, what are the benefits of introducing magnesium alloys into aerospace structures?
- The biggest advantage can be jotted down to the lightness of magnesium when compared to other metals. In fact, magnesium is approximately 30% lighter than aluminum, which in turn is 60% to 70% lighter than steel. This reduction in weight of the aircraft translates directly to better efficiency and lower fuel demands. It also means that for the same fuel cost, an airplane can carry a larger payload. In simpler terms, a commercial plane using magnesium can carry more passengers during each flight as opposed to one that relies solely on steel or aluminum. Similarly, a military aircraft incorporating magnesium within its structure will outperform one that isn’t.
- Even though magnesium is one of the lightest metals out there, it is also one of the strongest. As a matter of fact, magnesium is stiffer than steel and aluminum, which can come in handy when needed. A case in point is how advantageous magnesium’s strength proves to be when an aircraft is accelerating at many times the acceleration of Earth’s gravity, also known as flying at high G.
- On the other hand, magnesium alloys can be versatile and highly machinable, giving manufacturers the ability to form any shape they want out of these alloys while producing a strong final product
- Magnesium alloys offer EMI and RFI shielding, affording military aircrafts better protection from the elements.
- Although magnesium alloys are ignition resistant, magnesium on its own is prone to being combustible when exposed to heat. This quality may be of use when designing flares or when ensuring that a satellite burns thoroughly when reentering Earth’s atmosphere.
- It is worth noting that despite magnesium being more expensive than aluminum and steel at the moment, there is a very good chance that this will change in the near future owing to the increased production as well as the discovery of new sources for extracting the metal.