Editorial Feature

Magnesium Elektron 21 Alloy (UNS M12310)

Magnesium alloys possess high strength, and are light weight. They have excellent vibration damping characteristics.

Elektron 21 is a newly developed magnesium alloy with excellent mechanical properties coupled with good castability. It is a lightweight high performance alloy. Treatments such as chromating, anodizing, and finishing can be applied on this alloy.

The following sections will discuss in detail about magnesium Elektron 21 alloy.

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of magnesium Elektron 21 alloy is outlined in the following table.

Element Content (%)
Neodymium, Nd 2.6-3.1
Zinc, Zn 0.2-0.5
Gadolinium, Gd 1 - 1.7
Zirconium, Zr saturated
Magnesium, Mg Remainder

Physical Properties

The physical properties of magnesium Elektron 21 are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 1.8 g/cm3 0.065 lb/in3
Melting point 545-640°C 1013-1184°F

Mechanical Properties

The following table shows mechanical properties of magnesium Elektron 21 alloy.

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength 280 MPa 40610 psi
Poisson’s ratio 0.27 0.27
Elongation 5% 5%
Hardness, Brinell 65-75 65-75

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of magnesium Elektron 21 alloy are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal expansion co-efficient (@20-100°C/68-212°F) 25.3 µm/m°C 14 µin/in°F
Thermal conductivity 116 W/mK 804 BTU in/hr.ft².°F

Other Designations

Equivalent material to magnesium Elektron 21 alloy is AMS 4429.

Fabrication and Heat Treatment

Heat treatment

Heat treatment of magnesium Elektron 21 castings is based on T6 format. The material is solution treated for 8h at 520°C (970°F). It can be hot water quenched at 60-80°C (14-175°F). It can be aged for 16h at 200°C (400°F). After these processes the material has to be air cooled.


Magnesium Elektron 21 can be welded using tungsten arc inert gas process. A filler rod of similar composition should be used. After welding, this material should be heat treated to achieve good results.


Magnesium Elektron 21 can be easily machined using high powered tools and speed.


Magnesium Elektron 21 alloy was primarily designed to suit military, motorsport and aerospace applications.

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