Magnesium is an important element having the symbol Mg in its formula. It’s a silvery grey metallic solid that bears a close resemblance to the other six elements in the periodic table of elements. In fact, its symbol also looks like the letter ‘M’. There are more than 100 minerals and salts having this combination of letters.
This is why magnesium is called the most abundant metal ion in the earth. Another name for it is magnesium chloride and it is found throughout the world including in many toothpastes. But we can get the gist of what magnesium is without having to go into great detail about its chemical properties. Suffice to say, magnesium is a sodium-salt ion with the basic atomic number of 9.
When magnesium and potassium ions come together they create sodium magnesium chloride. Magnesium is a common constituent of most living cells and is therefore used extensively in cellular communications. Magnesium plays a vital role in how cells are powered and maintain their complex working. It is crucial for proper nerve and muscle contraction. This is why magnesium plays such a vital role in human muscle and nerve function. The chemical composition of magnesium and potassium make it ideal for carrying out all these functions.
Magnesium is found in various foods such as meat, fish and poultry and in plant foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, beans and soybeans. It is in most soils. A study made by NASA discovered that trace amounts of magnesium chloride had been detected in nearly all soil samples from beneath the surface. That’s why it’s important to take magnesium supplements. They come in various forms – in pill form, in powder or crystal form, etc. The type you choose to take depends on what form your body requires.
All magnesium is toxic if it comes in contact with air or water. So, for example, if magnesium chloride is used for making fireworks it would be highly flammable. So, it is important to store magnesium alloys in a safe place. Naturally occurring magnesium alloys are surprisingly stable under ordinary conditions, but brittle when exposed to air or water. But, recently, scientists have been developing extremely strong magnesium alloys that can withstand both high-pressure and high temperatures and which do not deteriorate in ordinary conditions.
Magnesium compounds are used in a wide range of industries such as aerospace, power generation, railway and road building, automotive, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and manufacturing. Magnesium oxide is one such compound. It is composed of two aluminum oxide molecules that bond together through electrostatic attraction and create a strong glue. It has high electrical and mechanical conductivity properties and is widely used in reinforcing steel structures.
Another very effective metal alloys is magnesium coated steel (MgSO 4). In this case, magnesium oxide is mixed with zinc and nickel to create a hard but flexible alloy. During the pidgeon process, magnesium ore is smelted at very high temperatures and the alloyed steel is formed. The major advantage of magnesium coated steel is that it can withstand high temperatures and is strong and durable. The process of pidgeon coating is relatively simple: the steel bars are placed in a vat of heated water, which forms a solid alloy layer. After cooling down, the alloy is passed slowly through rollers and sheet machines and then is manually drawn into shapes.
One of the most interesting magnesium alloys is the aluminum alloyed with magnesium. This mixture contains 60% of aluminum and 40% of magnesium and can also support high temperatures and resist corrosion. The magnesium-aluminum alloys are being used in a wide range of applications, and the magnesium-coated steel is an important development.
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