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Magnesium- Properties and Uses

physical and Chemical Properties of Magnesium

What is Magnesium metal?

Magnesium metal is naturally found in abundance in the Earth’s crust, making it one of the most abundant elements in nature. It is a shiny, silvery-white alkaline earth metal that is used in numerous commercial applications, due to its properties such as high strength-to-weight ratio, thermal and electrical conductivity, and combustibility. Magnesium is highly reactive and can quickly oxidize when exposed to oxygen or water. This reactivity makes it an ideal material for fire starters and the main component of bright light fireworks. Additionally, magnesium is used in products such as aircraft parts, decoy flares, and tinfoil paper products. Consequently, magnesium is an indispensable element with multiple uses.

Chemical Properties of Magnesium


Magnesium is highly reactive and produces a lot of heat when it comes into contact with other elements or materials. This makes it useful for welding and other industrial processes, as well as for generating electricity through thermoelectric generators. Its reactivity also means that it can be used to create strong alloys with other metals like aluminum, which are used in the construction and aerospace industries. Additionally, magnesium reacts with carbon dioxide or water vapor to produce hydrogen gas; this reaction has been used to power engines in cars and aircraft.

Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Magnesium also plays a vital role in oxidation-reduction reactions (also known as redox reactions). Redox reactions involve the transfer of electrons between two species; they are essential for many metabolic processes in living organisms, including respiration and photosynthesis. Magnesium acts as an electron donor during these processes; it donates two electrons to form its oxide (MgO) or four electrons to form its hydroxide (Mg(OH)2). The oxidation-reduction potential of magnesium makes it essential for biological processes such as cellular respiration and energy storage.

Chemical Compounds Magnesium forms many different compounds when combined with other elements. For example, when combined with chlorine, magnesium forms magnesium chloride (MgCl2), which is widely used in agriculture as a fertilizer and soil conditioner. When combined with oxygen or sulfur, magnesium forms oxides or sulfates, respectively; these compounds are often used as building materials or fertilizers as well. Additionally, when combined with other metals like iron or zinc, magnesium forms alloys that are useful for making products such as engine parts or machinery components.


Group 2
Period 3
Block s
Atomic number of magnesium 12
State at 20°C Gas
Electron configuration [Ne] 3s2

Physical Properties of Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most abundant elements on earth and plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives. From its use in agricultural practices to its application in medical treatments, magnesium is a versatile element with many benefits. To understand how we can best utilize this element, it’s essential to understand its physical properties. Let’s take a closer look at the physical properties of magnesium.

Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal with an atomic number of 12 and an atomic weight of 24.3050 grams per mole. It is silvery white and malleable, meaning that it can be easily manipulated and shaped into different forms. It has high electrical conductivity, making it a great conductor of electricity, as well as thermal conductivity, which means it can also be used for heating purposes.

Magnesium is also highly reactive; when exposed to air or water, it will quickly oxidize and form a protective oxide layer on its surface, which prevents further oxidation from taking place. This makes it ideal for corrosion-resistant applications such as aircraft bodies and external components like car parts or tools. Additionally, magnesium has a high melting point of 650°C (1202°F) which makes it helpful in casting metals or working with heat-sensitive materials such as plastics.

Magnesium has many other advantages; it is non-toxic and non-magnetic, making it safe to handle and use in any environment. Furthermore, its strength-to-weight ratio is higher than other metals like aluminum or steel, so by utilizing magnesium, you can build lighter structures that are still strong enough to withstand heavy loads or impacts without sacrificing strength or performance.


Melting point of magnesium 650°C, 1202°F, 923 K
Boiling point of magnesium 1090°C, 1994°F, 1363 K
Density (g cm−3) 1.74
Relative atomic mass 24.305
Key isotopes 24Mg
CAS number 7439-95-4

Uses of Magnesium

Magnesium metal is an incredible resource because of its widespread uses. It is used throughout many industries and applications due to its unique characteristics. One use of magnesium metal is in the production of really strong alloys and lightweight materials, making it ideal for items like airplanes, car engines and electronic components. It also plays an important role in fire safety due to its flammability and ability to quickly extinguish flames. Magnesium metal can also be found in various chemical compounds like fertilizer, food additives, plasters and pharmaceuticals where it helps aid chemical processes or provide needed nutrition. Its wide range of uses makes it a valuable asset for many different purposes, which demonstrates why it continues to be so widely used today.

  • Magnesium is used in the production of aluminum alloys.
  • Magnesium is used in the production of castings.
  • Magnesium is used as a deoxidizer in the steel industry.
  • Magnesium is used in the production of titanium alloys.
  • Magnesium is used as an igniter in pyrotechnics.



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