Magnesium is the twelfth element on the periodic table. It is located in the secondgroup called the alkaline earth metals. Natural magnesium contains three different isotopes,and there are twelve others that are recognized. Seawater is a rich source of magnesium inthe form of salt. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the earth’s crust.
Magnesium readily ignites upon heating in air and burns with a dazzling white flame. Toextinguish the flame water should not be used. Alkaline earth metal salts in general, are lesssoluble in water than the corresponding alkali metal salts. Some are even so insoluble thatthey resist weathering and leaching action in rainwater. Alkaline earth metals are extractedfrom the mineral ores like they have been for many decades. This second group of metals isalso less reactive than the alkali metals. They do not need to have a specific storageprocedure like that of the corresponding elements.
These alkaline metals react with acids,and in certain temperatures of water. They are also harder than their alkali friends. Ingeneral, they have a gray-white luster that tarnishes quickly in the air to form a tough, thinoxide coating. The coating protects the metal, particularly magnesium, from furtheroxidation.
This allows alloys of these metals to be used as low-density structural materials.Magnesium is one of the two most important alkaline earth metals. It is found inseawater. Today, though it is chiefly produced by electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride.
It has many uses. Magnesium is an important material that is a chief component in anumber of high-tensile-strength, low-density alloys. These properties allow the alloy to bevery valuable in air and spacecraft construction. Also, the alloyed metal is used to make alarge variety of other products, such as, artificial limbs, vacuum cleaners, opticalinstruments, recreational skis, wheelbarrows, lawn mowers, and outdoor furniture.
Magnesium is also found in asbestos. Asbestos was used in insulating materials up until itwas found to cause cancer and other types of lung diseases. The unalloyed metal ofmagnesium is used in photographic flashlight powders, incendiary bombs, and signal flares. This special element also has many important roles in the body. The most vital need for it ison the cellular level. It is as important as calcium, and is found in bones, blood and softtissues. Magnesium is essential for strong healthy bones and teeth. In the environment,magnesium reduces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitric acid, andnitrous oxide.
All of which are relatively harmful to the body or the environment. First discussing the alloyed metal, one can see its many uses on an everyday basis. Look in the sky, do you see any type of aircraft? It was made from the alloyed metal ofmagnesium.
There are advantages to using magnesium for die castings. It is better thanmost metals in many circumstances. Molten magnesium is poured into a cast then solidifiesinto its mold..It can make reasonably intricate parts made cheaper than machine partsbecause it occurs abundantly in nature, in the form of a light malleable, ductile metal.
In the body, magnesium is essential for many activities in the body including calciumutilization, cardiac function, energy production, many enzyme reactions, relaxation ofmuscles and restful sleep. In general, our bodies have been greatly depleted of magnesiumfor decades, and the foods we eat do not contain, as they did in the past, as muchmagnesium as may be needed. Fatty foods and alcohol actually inhibit magnesiumabsorption, and nearly forty percent of the magnesium in the foods we eat is lost duringcooking. Consequently, many people have a greater need for magnesium supplements thanfor any other nutrient. In every muscle , calcium and magnesium have a reciprocalrelationship.
Calcium stimulates the muscles to contract while magnesium allows them torelax. When our bodies are deficient in calcium, we can borrow from the vast reserves inour bones. But, when the body gets low in magnesium, we must obtain it from our muscles. As magnesium disappears from the muscles, calcium rushes in and the muscles tend tobecome tense or cramp. Many researches now believe that magnesium deficiency is alsorelated to constriction and hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure.
They havefound that heart attack victims have low levels of magnesium in their blood and heartmuscles. Magnesium is necessary for the metabolism of calcium, sodium, phosphorous, andpotassium.