Definitions

magnalium

magnalium

[mag-ney-lee-uhm]
magnalium, alloy of aluminum and about 5% magnesium. Although weak and soft in the elemental state, magnesium alloys with aluminum, manganese, zinc, tin, zirconium, and cerium to produce alloys useful in engineering materials. The strength and hardness of aluminum increases when it is alloyed with such substances as magnesium, manganese, nickel, chromium, zinc, iron, copper, and silicon. Magnalium—lighter and more workable than aluminum—is used in making metal mirrors and scientific instruments.

Magnalium refers to an alloy of aluminium with 5-50% magnesium. Trace amounts of other elements are added to improve hardness. It finds use in engineering and pyrotechnics.

Properties

Alloys with smaller amounts of magnesium (about 5%) exhibit greater strength, greater corrosion resistance, and lower density than pure aluminium. Such alloys are also more workable and easier to weld than pure aluminium. Alloys with high amounts of magnesium (around 50%) are brittle and more susceptible to corrosion than aluminium.

Uses

Although they are generally more expensive than aluminium, the high strength, low density, and greater workability of alloys with low amounts of magnesium leads to their use in aircraft and automobile parts. Alloys with about 50% magnesium are brittle and corrode easily, which makes them unsuitable for most engineering uses. However, these alloys are flammable when powdered, are more resistant to corrosion than pure magnesium, and are more reactive than pure aluminium and are therefore used in pyrotechnics as a metal fuel and to produce sparks.

Notes and references

External links

http://www.vk2zay.net/article.php/85 (Making Magnalium)

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