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Magnesium isn't used in manufacturing without another metal in the mix to support it. The metal is the lightest and very strong on its own. However, it is very soft. When used in structures, such as for plane, trains, cars and computers, pure magnesium would lose its shape and bend under the pressure. To give the metal the hardness it needs to be a formidable structural metal. There are three common metals that are mixed with magnesium to form an alloy. Aluminum The most abundant alloy partner is aluminum. Magnesium aluminum alloys are popular for use in magnesium sheets, as the aluminum compliments the best of the magnesium's properties. Aluminum is lightweight, strong, and flexible as is magnesium. Together these elements form an alloy that is stronger, lighter, and much more flexible than steel. Aluminum is mixed with magnesium for casting, sheeting, forging, and extrusion. In fact, the resurgence of magnesium as an alloy has been facilitated by the corrosion-resistance traits that aluminum brings to magnesium, along with the strength and flexibility. Zinc Another common magnesium alloy partner is zinc. Like aluminum, the element adds strength to magnesium. It also adds heat resistance, and addition resistance to corrosion from stress. Magnesium zinc alloy is best used in casting, sheeting, and forging. Zinc also increases the magnesium's reaction to welding, making it more acceptable to the process for stronger welds without deterioration. The zinc alloys are most commonly used aerospace engineering where heat resistance is very important. Manganese Manganese is also a strengthening alloy. It is highly resistance to the fatigue of structural metal use and to corrosion from stress. Magnesium manganese alloys are especially treasured for their elongation abilities. They can be stretched into sheets, for example, without a significant sacrifice in strength. Manganese alloys are also known for something called creep resistance. The materials made from this alloy do not bow, buckle, or become otherwise distorted in high heat and as the structure bears a heavy load over time. This is extremely important in building structures and for strengthening steel. There are several other different types of alloys that are widely used, they are a growing part of structural metal innovation. The use of magnesium alloys is on the rise, therefore, knowledge of the metals used to strengthen the soft magnesium is necessary.

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