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Preventing Oxidation of Gallium in Metal Alloy

  1. Oct 1, 2009 #1

    I just registered on these forums and this is my first post here, so hopefully I did everything right.

    I recently got into metalworking in my spare time, and I am trying to create a metal alloy that will remain liquid at room temperature (a fusible, eutectic alloy). From what I've read, gallium is a required component, unless I get into more dangerous materials like NaK. The problem with gallium is that it wets most materials, and I found through research that it is actually gallium oxide that causes the problem. So, I need to find a way to stop the gallium from oxidizing. I obviously can't "galvanize" the alloy since it is a liquid, and I also don't want to coat surfaces with anti-wetting materials like they do in mercury-free thermometers (since the whole point is that I can hold it in my hands and play with it). Thus, my question is this: Is there something that I can add into the alloy itself to prevent gallium from oxidizing? I.e. another metal, etc. that would sort of "lock" the gallium into the alloy and stop oxygen molecules from attacking it. Ideally, I want something that looks and behaves exactly like mercury, but is non-toxic. If anyone has any ideas about this, post away. Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2009 #2


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    You might try a paraffinic oil. Might be a bit messy 'tho.
  4. Oct 5, 2009 #3
    Yeah that's what I'm trying to avoid, unfortunately. I'd like to find another metal that I could add as a component in the alloy itself that would stop any oxidation from occurring, sort of like how zinc galvanizing stops iron from rusting.
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