4.7 Magnesium Alloys

Magnesium alloys are best known for their low density, which results in forgings with very low weight. They are sometimes alternatives to aluminum when low weight is essential. Tensile and yield strengths are generally lower than for aluminum, particularly at elevated temperatures; material and processing costs are generally higher. The modulus of elasticity, 45 GPa (6.5 x 106 psi), is the lowest of the forging alloys. Both the density and modulus of elasticity are approximately two-thirds that of aluminum alloys, so that the specific stiffness is nearly equal.

The Magnesium grades most commonly forged are:

  • AZ31B - 3% Al, 1% Zn
  • AZ80A - 8% Al, <1% Z
  • ZK60A - 6% Al, <1% Th (thorium)
  • HM31A - 3% Th, 1% Al

The first three alloys are most commonly used mainly at room or slightly elevated temperatures; the HM31A is one of several designed for use at elevated temperatures.

Magnesium alloys require special handling procedures that are not required with other alloy groups.

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Magnesium alloys are best known for their low density, which results in forgings with very low weight. They are sometimes alternatives to aluminum when low weight is essential. Tensile and yield strengths are generally lower than for aluminum, particularly at elevated temperatures; material and processing costs are generally higher. The modulus of elasticity, 45 GPa (6.5 x 106 psi), is the lowest of the forging alloys. Both the density and modulus of elasticity are approximately two-thirds that of aluminum alloys, so that the specific stiffness is nearly equal.

The Magnesium grades most commonly forged are:

  • AZ31B - 3% Al, 1% Zn
  • AZ80A - 8% Al, <1% Z
  • ZK60A - 6% Al, <1% Th (thorium)
  • HM31A - 3% Th, 1% Al

The first three alloys are most commonly used mainly at room or slightly elevated temperatures; the HM31A is one of several designed for use at elevated temperatures.

Magnesium alloys require special handling procedures that are not required with other alloy groups.

Return to Table of Contents

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Magnesium alloys are best known for their low density, which results in forgings with very low weight. They are sometimes alternatives to aluminum when low weight is essential. Tensile and yield strengths are generally lower than for aluminum, particularly at elevated temperatures; material and processing costs are generally higher. The modulus of elasticity, 45 GPa (6.5 x 106 psi), is the lowest of the forging alloys. Both the density and modulus of elasticity are approximately two-thirds that of aluminum alloys, so that the specific stiffness is nearly equal.

The Magnesium grades most commonly forged are:

  • AZ31B - 3% Al, 1% Zn
  • AZ80A - 8% Al, <1% Z
  • ZK60A - 6% Al, <1% Th (thorium)
  • HM31A - 3% Th, 1% Al

The first three alloys are most commonly used mainly at room or slightly elevated temperatures; the HM31A is one of several designed for use at elevated temperatures.

Magnesium alloys require special handling procedures that are not required with other alloy groups.

Return to Table of Contents

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