The application potential of magnesium alloys as lightweight structural materials in aerospace and especially inside the aircraft cabin are hindered by their high surface reactivity at increased temperatures with particular concerns of ignition and flammability during a potential contact with a flame or other heat source. This article describes global efforts to develop ignition-resistant and nonflammable magnesium alloys. A widely explored avenue involves microalloying magnesium with rare earth metals and other elements having a high affinity to oxygen. As demonstrated by experimental alloys, this approach allows shifting the ignition temperature well above the liquidus, not only easing requirements on protective atmospheres during liquid-state processing, but also increasing the safety margin for possible aerospace applications.

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