Magnesium is among the most common known elements on the planet and is believed to be found in abundance throughout the known universe. The element can be found inside the human body, and it is commonly found in many foods and vitamins. However, in its free element form, it is relatively flammable. Because it can be found naturally in different forms as well as converted into different forms in a laboratory or manufacturing facility, it is important to note that it has an abundant number of uses in our lives.
In the Human Body
This is considered to be an element that is essential to life. In the human body, magnesium plays a number of important roles. At the cellular level, it manipulates compounds such as RNA, DNA and ATP to perform basic life functions. It also has been proven to stabilize nerves and blood vessels that ease over-stimulating or spasmodic, so a compound form of magnesium is used in medicines such as antacids and laxatives.
Magnesium is a critical element for plant life as well. This is because magnesium serves as the ion base of all chlorophyll, a molecule that is critical in photosynthesis. Because of its vital importance in plant life, magnesium is typically used in fertilizers to supplement insufficiencies in the nutrients that plants draw from the soil.
Behind only steel and aluminium, magnesium is the most common metal used in manufacturing applications. Like aluminium, it is both lightweight and durable, and this makes it ideal for use with automotive parts and engine cylinders. It also is used as a lightweight and durable material for the body of some cars. In some cases, a magnesium alloy is used rather than pure magnesium for these purposes to make this material more durable as well as lower in cost.
When the reactive form of magnesium is used, it burns with a distinctive, white light. The flame is short-lived and bright, which makes it ideal for use in pyrotechnics, fireworks, emergency flares and other related purposes. It also may be used to ignite burners with grills, for camping purposes and more.
Other Unique Uses
Magnesium boasts many unique properties in its various forms, so it has unique uses that you may not find with other types of metals. For example, it can be used in propellants, and it may be used as an additive with graphite in cast iron products. It may be found in underground storage tanks, water heaters and pipelines. When used with zinc, it can be used in the roofing industry, with dry-cell batteries and even with photo-engraving processes. It is even used in uranium production.
Magnesium is a unique element because it is both essential to life as well as important in the manufacturing and production of various items. At the same time, however, it also can be flammable and reactive. Because of its abundance and exceptional properties, it will continue to be an essential component to life.
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