Gallium is a soft silver metal with a low melting point. Its remarkable properties are reminiscent of features you would find in space and beyond.
Gallium is named after the Latin word for France ‘Gallia’, hailing back to the person who first discovered this incredible element. Nowadays, most Gallium is sourced from by-products of zinc ore production.
This alloy can be made into Gallium Arsenide, which is a favoured in electronics and telecommunications like mobile phones, fibre-optics, LEDs, semiconductors, solar panels and even satellites. Medically, it is a non-toxic alternative to mercury thermometers and can even be injected into the skin (as gallium citrate) to detect infections, cancers and inflammatory conditions.
When cool or at room temperature, Gallium is solid, and can have a slight blue tinge. In this state, it’s as soft as chalk. Under low temperatures this element is brittle and can shatter, but this also means it can be easily cut. Yet the element has a high density, meaning that when held, its weight feels heavy.
When heated, Gallium becomes a mirror-like liquid (above 29C), transforming into a silvery white metal, resembling liquid mercury. It puddles like water, and you can see your reflection! If you coat glass or ceramic with Gallium and you will create smooth surface that resembles a mirror too!
To achieve this, heat the container you receive the Gallium in. Use warm water and wait several minutes.
On glass or (covered) skin, Gallium will appear wet. It has an appearance of metallic paint when spread very thinly with a finger (gloved!) or sponge. In this way, this element can be used to paint a mirror-like effect.
If manipulated as it cools, it will flake like silver leaf. However once completely cooled, it will harden and cannot be removed (from surfaces such as ceramic) until it is heated again.
When placed on paper, if the paper is cut or peeled away from the material, a solid piece of gallium can be picked up.
Drip it onto a surface or mould it to create any design you wish. The 3D printing industry has taken advantage of its incredible potential in the professional and commercial environment.
Please note, do not use this product on bare skin as it will stain. Use hot water and soap to easily remove it.
Also bear in mind that gallium will corrode aluminium and steel, become brittle and will flake. Due to this, commercial Gallium must be transported via ship or road and not as air freight.
Do not store in glass or metal because Gallium expands when it changes from a liquid to solid.
Please view the MSDS before using this product and for further instructions.
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The information supplied in this product description is for guidance only.
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Packaging may vary.