iFixit is a big do-it-yourself repair manual site based in US. They frequently purchase gadgets from the market and tear it down to the smallest part and analyze the repairability of the gadget. This repairability basically determines how easy is to disassemble a particular gadget, how easy are the parts to replace, how expensive are the parts to replace etc., They have recently performed this tear-down study on Samsung Galaxy S 4G device from T-Mobile. They have dpne a awesome job of compiling together their finding. It's best if you head over there to read more about the tear-down study.
But what struck us is a particular test they performed on Samsung Galaxy S 4G. Samsung claimed that they have used light-weight magnesium alloy instead of the typical aluminium alloy for the mobile's structural framework. Magnesium is preferred world over by all consumer electronics manufacturers for it's light weightedness, toughness, good mechanical and electrical properties - set of factors that are very important in manufacturing. Magnesium is also used in aircrafts. But there is one property of magnesium that is also dangerous. It is highly inflammable in their pure form either as molten or powder or ribbon form. It reacts vigorously with water and air. That makes it very difficult to distinguish a fire when magnesium is involved. Even carbon-dioxide based extinguishers are not suitable because magnesium reacts with carbon-dioxide too! So, I wonder if we should be happy that our mobile gadgets are getting lighter yet becoming tougher or should we be worried that the alloy is highly inflammable? Remember the stories where batteries inside the mobile phones have burst? Shit happens and when it happens the material shouldn't add fuel to the fire..right? Anyway...manufacturers are smart enough to have researched on this aspect. Atmost, they would have placed a warning in the user manual stating that "It is highly inflammable" :)
Fine..now to the fun part. iFixit folks were suspicious if samsung is indeed using magnesium for the structural framework of Samsung Galaxy S 4G. So they decided to perform a test to assert this claim. They gathered some dust from the phone's body and light it up using a cigarette lighter. There was a bright light and intense heat generated when the dust came in contact with the fire. Magnesium is used in pyro-technics and fireworks bigtime. The spark generated in the test is akin to the spark generated in fireworks..So, samsung is indeed using magnesium for the phone chasis! I must admit, this was a really adventerous test.