Year after year, consumer electronics companies work to create a lighter, faster, and smaller product that is capable of performing more tasks than the model before it. As a result, laptops have gotten thin enough to slip inside a large envelope and music players are so small that they are easily hidden within a pocket with room to spare. Meanwhile, the cell phone being the size of your palm plays up to the minute news reports, music videos and full-length movies. How are these innovations possible? With a metal that many people couldn't recognize it as it sits in the palm of their hands.
Steel is heavy and awkward, while aluminum dents easily. Naturally, the consumer electronics industry looked for something that had the strength and protection of steel and was malleable like aluminum. The malleability is needed in order to form the compact components. The shell of the electronics was especially important, as it needed to endure endless abuse, as well as exposure to air, dust, water, and other elements that are harmful to the electronic circuit board. The shell had to be able to withstand these elements without failing itself.
The solution was found in magnesium sheets. It is made of a magnesium aluminum alloy that allows the manipulation needed to form the small components without sacrificing strength. Magnesium sheets also has the strength that is greater than steel. Overnight, the magnesium sheet replaced the aluminum, steel and plastic shells on consumer electronics.
Yes, magnesium sheets replaced plastic. This may be confusing news to consumers holding what looks like a plastic encased cell-phone or digital camera. How can this be? Well, magnesium sheet, once formed and polished, has the exterior that resembles plastic. Companies also place a finish on the electronics that only adds to the plastic appearance. However, think back to the many times you dropped that music player. Did it chip or crack? The plastic would, but it takes a lot more force to break magnesium sheet.
The next time you go shopping for a cell phone, digital camera, GPS unit, etc. don't shy away from the ones that are extremely light and look as though they are made of cheap plastic. Instead, record the model number and manufacturer. Then, go online and look up the item. You'll be surprised to find that the item is comprised of magnesium-making it one of the most durable models on the shelf!