This article reports the effect of boron addition on the grain refinement efficiency and mechanical properties of AZ91 magnesium alloy. The results show that the addition of boron in the form of Al-4B master alloy, significantly refines the grain size of AZ91 alloy. This refinement is due to the presence of AlB2 particles, which act as potential nucleants for Mg grains. Improved mechanical properties are obtained with the addition of boron due to the finer grains. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.