Magnesium Ribbon

What is Magnesium Ribbon used for?
Magnesium Ribbon has many different uses and applications which are almost all related to light. Magnesium powder (flash powder) was used as a source of illumination in the early days of photography and soon after magnesium ribbon was used in electrically ignited flash bulbs. Once lit, it produces an intense bright white light. Magnesium's high burning temperature makes it a useful tool for starting emergency fires during outdoor recreation. Other uses include flares, other emergency signals, pyrotechnics and fireworks sparklers.
Typical Grignad reactions involve the use of magnesium ribbon. All magnesium is coated with a passivating layer of magnesium oxide, which inhibits reactions with the organic halide. Specially activated magnesium, such as Rieke magnesium, circumvents this problem.

How flammable is Magnesium? 
Magnesium is very flammable, burning at a temperature of approximately 3,100°C (3,370 K; 5,610 °F), and the auto-ignition temperature of magnesium ribbon is approximately 473 °C (746 K; 883 °F). 

Although it is highly flammable, there are a few factors that determine how quickly the ribbon will ignite. A regular match or lighter will take some time to light a flame after contact and the ribbon itself has to be fairly thin. 

Do I need a license or permit to purchase Magnesium Ribbon? 
A license or permit is not required to buy magnesium ribbon but you should be familiar with safety precautions and the hazards that it presents if you're ever considering buying it for experimentation. 

Is it harmful to ignite Magnesium Ribbon? 
The light that is emitted from Magnesium Ribbon after it is lit has an extremely high UV so don't look directly into the light and sunglasses are recommended to avoid damage to your eyesight. The smoke from magnesium ribbon is magnesium oxide and is an alkaline substance. If a large amount goes into the lungs, it can have negative effects. It is also important to hold it with a plier or metal tong to prevent burning yourself. 

Magnesium Ribbon Being Ignited

Where can I buy Magnesium Ribbon?
Visit and search for "magnesium ribbon" to place an order and start experimenting today! No license necessary.

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Magnesium Ribbon Specs:


Magnesium Ribbon:


500 inches (about 40 feet) Magnesium metal strip,
Weight: 27 - 31 grams, formed in a roll.
3 mm wide and 0.03mm thick.

Flammable solid.




Magnesium Ribbon Cut Strips

Magnesium metal cut strips. Bagged (10g). 


For Special Orders