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Magnesium (Mg)

Last updated: May 15, 2019

What Does Magnesium (Mg) Mean?

Magnesium (Mg) refers to a naturally occurring metal element with the chemical symbol Mg and an atomic number of 12. It is silver-white lustrous in appearance and widely used in its alloyed form to reduce rates of corrosion for various industrial applications. It is also used to manufacture magnesium anodes that are used as a sacrificial anode for cathodic protection.


Corrosionpedia Explains Magnesium (Mg)

Magnesium is prone to severe physical deterioration and corrosion under certain conditions. As such, it is often avoided as a construction material unless alloyed, galvanized or surface protected in some other way.

The corrosion resistance of magnesium alloys is of primary concern. There are two major magnesium alloy systems that are widely used:

  • 2 to 10% aluminum, combined with zinc and manganese. These alloy mechanical properties are good up to 95°C to 120°C (203°F to 248°F).

  • Various elements (rare earth, zinc, silver and others) containing a small amount of zirconium. These alloys possess better properties at elevated temperature.

Some properties of magnesium:

  • Melting point: 650°C (1,202°F)
  • Boiling point: 1,090°C (1,994°F)
  • Atomic weight: 24.305
  • Specific gravity: 1.738 (at 20°C)


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