Mechanical properties and corrosion behaviour of AZ91 magnesium alloy containing 0.2-1.0 wt.% Pb were investigated. An enhancement of ultimate tensile strength by 42%, yield strength by 58% and elongation by 20% can be achieved by Pb addition. Corrosion resistance of the AZ91 alloy also increased progressively with increasing Pb content. The mechanism of property enhancement is ascribed to the suppression of intermetallic phases (beta-Mg17Al12 and alpha-Mg+beta eutectic) by Pb addition. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.