Magnesium is the metal of the future!
This post was found on the web from an enthusiastic magnesium believer. It resumes fairly the consensus surrounding the future of the magnesium.
Magnesium is 33% lighter than aluminum, 60% lighter than titanium, and 75% lighter than steel. Yet for many applications it’s stronger per unit volume than all three of those structural metals. It is also an extremely versatile metal. Besides its basic functions as a component in aluminum alloys, titanium, and steel production, magnesium can also be cast into various mechanical parts and replace aluminum alloys for virtually anything you want to make lighter and stronger.
These days magnesium is making more headlines mainly because the automobile industry is starting to use more magnesium in various auto parts due to the looming CAFE standards and EU emissions standards. The US EPA CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards require automakers to increase average fleet miles per gallon by 15% to 31.3 by 2014 and 25% to 34.1 by 2016 from the current 27.3 average mpg. In addition, the Obama administration’s new CAFE standards require vehicles to average 54.5 mpg by 2025. With these tough laws in place, automakers are looking to magnesium to shave the vehicle weight drastically in order to meet these stringent mpg guidelines. Luckily for automakers, almost all of their auto parts, from wheels, engine blocks, panels, and even the entire roof top can be made from magnesium alloys.
Magnesium usage is not just limited to the automotive sector. It is also generating a lot of buzz in the sports sector. It has taken high performance to a whole new level. Not only is magnesium light-weight, durable, and stronger than aluminum, but it also absorbs 16 times more shock and vibrations, making it the ideal metal that gives competitive sports that extra edge. Many motorcycle and mountain bike manufacturers have incorporated magnesium in their premium designs for years while new innovations used in the sports sectors are generating additional attention. Skiers, snowboarders and even ice skaters now find some of their equipment made out of magnesium as it provides much better stability at higher speeds. It is also transforming the sport of golf, where drivers made with a magnesium crown are lighter with better weight distribution to allow golfers to deliver longer and more powerful drives.
Consumer electronics is another area where magnesium and its alloys are playing a major role. Everyone wants lighter and thinner laptops, cameras, and cell phones that are durable enough to withstand the daily wear and tear. Magnesium can make a big difference for these fragile products. Not only is magnesium the best metal with the strength to weight ratio, but it is also 100 times better than plastic for heat dissipation. So next time when you are in the market for a new laptop or cell phone, you might want to think about what’s making this product light-weight and more durable. If you have the choice, what would you choose: magnesium or plastic?
Magnesium applications are slowly coming of age and we are just scratching the surface of this metal’s potential. If you go back in time to the 1850’s, the use of aluminum was just beginning in commercial production and at that time it was more expensive than gold and platinum. By the mid 1900’s, aluminum was embedded in our everyday lives and it is certainly far less expensive than gold or platinum. Just imagine how much a platinum can of soda would cost you!! Magnesium already has the cost competitiveness to aluminum and as the new kid on the block with only 40 years of commercial applications.