Originally posted by humy
This would never be the material of choice for construction in the far future because light-weight composite materials of multiwalled carbon nanotubes and resin/polymer would have vastly greater strength for both less weight and less volume.
There are other considerations vis a vis composites vs metals.
If a composite breaks it often does so catastrophically. Metals might be more resilient and able to bend instead of breaking.
Of course with this new idea in magnesium, like aluminum, it starts out not being the strongest material around. Pure aluminum, elemental aluminum, sucks bigtime as a structural material. I found that out the hard way when I was charge with designing a small gas manifold. We had some pure aluminum hanging around and I thought I would give it a try. I actually succeeded but it was not fun trying to drill small holes and such in my design. I got the thing to work but you could dent the aluminum block with a fingernail, it was so soft. As it turned out, in my application, being soft wasn't a big deal as long as the device wasn't stepped on🙂
If I had to design it again, I would learn from that mistake and use a proper aluminum allow ten times stronger than the pure version.
I expect research to now pick up on this magnesium alloy and stronger versions will come out of it.
Look at the progress made with aluminum, which in the pure state can be bent by hand, you could bite the stuff in half with your teeth it is so soft but the material science guys have made the stuff now stronger than steel.
I expect the same from magnesium research.