The lightest of the base metals, magnesium is also one of the most abundant on Earth, which, in addition to being in the heart of chlorophyll, opens up lasting prospects for high-tech products.
It is an even lighter metal than aluminum (density = 1.74 vs. 2.7). It has a shiny white appearance but oxidizes and tarnishes fairly quickly when pure. Unalloyed, its mechanical properties are rather weak, which is why it is used in the form of alloys, especially with aluminum.
The two main uses of magnesium are as an additive element in aluminum alloys, and in magnesium alloys obtained mainly by die casting. Commercial alloys contain, in addition to a majority of magnesium, 5 to 9% aluminum, 0.2 to 0.9% zinc and 0.15 to 0.35% manganese.
These alloys have a high resistance to corrosion and are widely used in aeronautics, but also for laptop casings and high-end cameras. They are also becoming widespread in the automotive industry, where the search for lighter structures is a great challenge. The structures of dashboards, steering wheel frames and seat frames not only in cars, but also in duplex high-speed trains are applying it in this effort to reduce weight.