Combustible Metals

Motor vehicles are incorporating a growing volume of combustible metals (such as Magnesium and Aluminum) for weight reduction. The following table lists properties of some of these metals in their pure form. The metals used in vehicles, likely to be alloys developed to improve properties related to corrosion and high temperature resistance, would have different properties than those listed.  

Material

Melting
Point (°F)

Solid Metal Ignition Temperature (F)

Aluminum [1, 2]

1220

1030

Magnesium [2, 3]

1200

885-1150

Titanium [2]

3140

2900

Zinc [2, 4]

786

1652

Properties of Combustible Metals

 

Magnesium is light in color, silvery white, and when ignited burns with a "dazzling white flame." It is used in flares and pyrotechnics. [5]

References

  1. Shackelford, J., Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers, Prentice Hall, 2000.
  2. NFPA 484 Standard for Combustible Metals, Metal Powders, and Metal Dusts, 2002.
  3. Mallinckrodt Chemicals, MSDS "Magnesium Metal, Powder," 1979.
  4. Shackelford, J.F., et al., The CRC Materials Science and Engineering Handbook, CRC Press, 1992.
  5. Weast, R., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 49th Edition, 1968.