The liquid metal alloy can be useful for numerous applications, such as porosimetry, electronic components, semiconductors, fusion reactors, wellbore fractures, among others.
Metal alloys that are liquid around room temperature; such as mercury or gallium-based alloys, are commonly used in a wide spectrum of medical, biological, defense and industrial applications. However, nearly all share a number of limitations, including toxicity, temperature control exclusivity, oxidation, restricted viscosity, extensive cost, and availability. For example, controlling the temperature to keep the metal in the liquid phase is cumbersome, expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes impractical. Furthermore, the available gallium-indium alloy in the market tends to oxidize in the presence of air. This phenomenon changes the penetrability and/or rheological behavior of the liquid metal and limits its application for specific purposes. An alternative is required for scientific researchers as well as for industrial use. As such, a better suited new metal alloy with relatively improved rheological characteristics (lower viscosity and higher penetrability) is necessary for numerous novel applications.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico have developed a novel metal alloy, exhibiting liquid properties at room temperature and solid properties at temperatures below 16.2 °C (61.2 °F). The temperatures at which the metal alloy is liquid and turns to solid can also be altered based on the purpose and application. This new alloy has a negligible vapor pressure at room temperature compared to other available commercial liquid metals; as a result, it eliminates the danger of inhalation and environmental concerns, making this new alloy non-toxic. Optimization of the elemental composition has enabled the alloy to be less susceptible to oxidation in comparison to other available gallium-based, in turn minimizing compromises associated with its flowability. By utilizing a relatively lower percentage of gallium, the novel alloy exhibits better rheological characteristics (lower viscosity and higher penetrability). Enhanced electrical conductivity increases applicability in electronic components. With these beneficial properties, the developed liquid metal alloy can be useful for numerous applications, such as porosimetry, electronic components, semiconductors, fusion reactors, wellbore fractures, among others in the medical and defense industries.
Non-toxic, no danger of inhalation and reduced environmental concerns
Better rheological characteristics (lower viscosity, higher penetrability)Higher electrical conductivity
Exhibits a low coefficient of expansion
Eliminates possibility of oxidative reactions
Self-Repair Conductors (Microchips)
Tunnel Linings, Wellbore Repairs
Medical – Tooth Fillings, Ultrasonic Gels
Nuclear Reactor Coolants
Tactical Military Instrumentation
Metal Welds – Repair Materials