Magnesium Foil and Sheet

magnesium foilMAGNESIUM FOIL


Magnesium (Mg) is a chemical element with the atomic number 12 and falls into the alkaline earth metal category. Magnesium is the ninth most-common element in the known universe as a whole, and the fourth-most in the Earth (behind iron, oxygen and silicon), making up 13% of the planet's mass and a large fraction of the planet's mantle. The abundance of magnesium is due to the fact that it builds up in supernova stars from a sequential addition of three helium nuclei to carbon (which in turn is made from three helium nuclei). Due to magnesium ion's high solubility in water, it is the third-most-abundant element dissolved in seawater.

Physical properties

Magnesium is a rather strong, silvery-white, light-weight metal (two-thirds the density of aluminum). It tarnishes slightly when exposed to air, although, unlike the alkali metals, an oxygen-free environment is unnecessary for storage because magnesium is protected by a thin layer of oxide that is fairly impermeable and difficult to remove. Like its lower periodic table group neighbor calcium, magnesium reacts with water at room temperature, though it reacts much more slowly than calcium. When submerged in water, hydrogen bubbles almost unnoticeably begin to form on the surface of the metal—though, if powdered, it reacts much more rapidly. The reaction occurs faster with higher temperatures. Magnesium's ability to react with water can be harnessed to produce energy and run a magnesium-based engine.

The free element (metal) is not found naturally on Earth, as it is highly reactive. The free metal burns with a characteristic brilliant-white light, making it a useful ingredient in flares. The metal is now obtained mainly by electrolysis of magnesium salts obtained from brine. In commerce, the chief use for the metal is as an alloying agent to make aluminum-magnesium alloys. Since magnesium is less dense than aluminum, these alloys are prized for their relative lightness and strength.

In human biology, magnesium is the eleventh-most-abundant element by mass in the human body. Its ions are essential to all living cells, where they play a major role in manipulating important biological polyphosphate compounds like ATP, DNA, and RNA. Hundreds of enzymes require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as common laxatives, antacids and in a number of situations where stabilization of abnormal nerve excitation and blood vessel spasm is required (e.g., to treat eclampsia). Magnesium ions are sour to the taste, and in low concentrations they help to impart a natural tartness to fresh mineral waters.

In vegetation, magnesium is the metallic ion at the center of chlorophyll and thus is a common additive to fertilizers.

Chemical properties

Magnesium is a highly flammable metal, but, while it is easy to ignite when powdered or shaved into thin strips, it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk. Once ignited, it is difficult to extinguish, being able to burn in nitrogen (forming magnesium nitride), carbon dioxide (forming magnesium oxide, and carbon) and water (forming magnesium oxide and hydrogen). This property was used in incendiary weapons used in the firebombing of cities in World War II, the only practical civil defense being to smother a burning flare under dry sand to exclude the atmosphere. On burning in air, magnesium produces a brilliant-white light that includes strong ultraviolet. Thus, magnesium powder (flash powder) was used as a source of illumination in the early days of photography. Later, magnesium ribbon and magnesium foil were used in electrically ignited flashbulbs. Magnesium powder is used in the manufacture of fireworks and marine flares where a brilliant white light is required. Flame temperatures of magnesium and magnesium alloys can reach 3,100 °C.

Magnesium compounds are typically white crystals. Most are soluble in water, providing the sour-tasting magnesium ion Mg2+. Small amounts of dissolved magnesium ion contribute to the tartness and taste of natural waters. Magnesium ion in large amounts is an ionic laxative, and magnesium sulfate (common name: Epsom salt) is sometimes used for this purpose. So-called "milk of magnesia" is a water suspension of one of the few insoluble magnesium compounds, magnesium hydroxide. The undissolved particles give rise to its appearance and name. Milk of magnesia is a mild base commonly used as an antacid, which has some laxative side-effect.

See below for a list of magnesium sheet and magesium foil products. In addition to magnesium foil and magnesium sheet, ESPI offers this unique element in numerous other form factors (wire, rod, powder, pellets, ingot and sputtering targets), in several purities. All of these can be manufactured to custom specifications. For a quotation, call, e-mail or click "Chat Now" to the right, for immediate assistance.




Atomic Number:


Atomic Weight:



1.738 gm/cc

Melting Point:

648.8 oC

Boiling Point:

1090 oC

Thermal Conductivity:

1.56 W/cm/K @ 298.2 K

Electrical Resistivity:

4.45 microhm-cm @ 20 oC


1.2 Paulings

Specific Heat:

0.243 Cal/g/K @ 25 oC

Heat of Vaporization:

32.517 K-Cal/gm atom at 1090 oC

Heat of Fusion:

2.16 Cal/gm mole





Magnesium Foil .004"  camera1  camera1  camera1 3N
Magnesium Foil .005”  camera1  camera1 
Magnesium Foil .006” 3N
Magnesium Foil .007” 3N
Magnesium Foil .008” 3N
Magnesium Foil .009” 3N

Foil is cut to order and sold by the square inch or square foot. Call or email for additional thicknesses or custom sizes.




Magnesium Sheet .010”  camera1  camera1  camera1
Magnesium Sheet .015" 3N
Magnesium Sheet .020" 3N
Magnesium Sheet .025" 3N
Magnesium Sheet .030" 3N
Magnesium Sheet .040"  camera1  camera1 3N
Magnesium Sheet .125 3N
Magnesium Sheet .250  camera1 3N

Sheet is cut to order and sold by the square inch or square foot. Call or email for additional thicknesses or custom sizes.


Material Safety Data Sheet - MSDS
Magnesium MSDS
Technical Data Sheets
Magnesium Oxide - Handling
Magnesium Oxide Instructions
Understanding Mesh Sizes

Home Page Content Under Periodic Table


Click on the Alloy to go to the Online Catalog page.


Welcome to

ESPI was incorporated in 1950 with a mission to provide a competitive source for high purity metals, metal compounds and alloys. We are a valuable resource for virtually all major universities worldwide, global corporate R&D laboratories, thousands of domestic and international manufacturing companies and all U.S. government research laboratories. ESPI offers unique advantages often unavailable from larger organizations with no minimum order size & all business hour calls are handled by a competent sales representative. Automated answering systems and voice mail are not an option at ESPI.

Located within our fabrication facility is the melting department, forging & shaping areas, and the rod & wire, and sheet & foil departments providing the following manufacturing capabilities:

  • Casting of pure metals and alloys
  • Vacuum arc melting
  • Induction melting
  • Rod and wire drawing/extrusion
  • Sheet, foil and ribbon rolling
  • CNC milling and machining

Tel: 541-488-8311 - Email: - or click the "Live Help/Chat Now" icon, upper right.



ESPI produces and sells 68 elements and dozens of alloys in various forms for your custom needs. Click on the forms below to be directed to detailed information on manufacturing.



At We Keep Good Company

Aerospace and Defense
Northrop Grumman, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Lockheed-Martin, Hughes, Boeing, General Dynamics, Aerojet, Litton, General Electric

Medical Instruments & Technology
Cintron, Hologic/Lorad, Varian, Siemens Medical, St Jude Medical, ArthroCare, GE Medical, Harvard Medical School, City of Hope Medical Center, American Medical Systems, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Atomic Energy of Canada, CNRS, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, INRS, Alberta Research Council, National Research Council of Canada, UNAM, CISRO, CERN

Stanford, UCLA, Harvard, Georgia Institute of Technology, MIT, Caltech, Johns Hopkins University, University of Arizonia, Penn State, University of Michigan, Princeton, Yale, University of Wollongong, University of Tokoyo, University of Toronto, Tulane, University of New South Wales, Max-Planck Institute, University of Freiburg

Government Research Labs
JPL, Los Alamos National Lab, Battelle Pacific NW National Lab, US Department of Energy, Argonne National Lab, Brookhaven National Lab, Naval Oceans Systems Center, US Air Force, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, NASA

Green Energy
Origin Energy Solar, First Solar, Schott Solar, SunPower Corporation, Nanosolar, Inc.