Indium is a silver-white and slightly bluish metal, with the element symbol In, atomic number 49, and a relative atomic mass of 114.8. Thanks to its good ductility, strong plasticity, low melting point, high boiling point, low resistance, corrosion resistance, etc., indium is widely used in industry and our everyday life. In this article, let’s take a look at the 10 important uses of indium!
Because indium ingot has good light permeability and conductivity, the glassy compound (ITO) of high-purity indium oxide and tin oxide is used to make transparent and conductive electrodes in the plasma TV and LCD TV screen industries, and is also used as the sensitive element for some gas measurements. 70% of global indium consumption is used to produce ITO targets.
Indium has the characteristics of high boiling point, low resistance, and corrosion resistance, and is also widely used in the electronic semiconductor industry. A considerable portion of metal indium is used to produce semiconductor materials.
In the radio and electronics industries, indium is used to make special contact devices. This device is made by mixing and compressing indium and silver oxides.
It is known that alloys used as dentures are basically alloys containing gold, silver, and palladium as main components and added with 0.5% to 10% indium. After adding a small amount of metal indium to the material of dental implants, the corrosion resistance and hardness of these implants can be significantly improved, and the alloy material will not be black.
After a small amount of indium is added into many alloys, the strength of the alloy, its ductility, its wear resistance, and corrosion resistance can be improved, so that indium has gained the reputation of “alloy vitamin”.
Due to its low melting point, indium can be used to produce a variety of fusible alloys. Such indium-containing alloys with a melting point in the range of 47 to 122 ° C are mostly used to manufacture various fuses, temperature controllers, and signaling devices.
Indium alloys can be used for the production of solar cells. Copper indium gallium selenium thin-film solar cells have the characteristics of low production cost, low pollution, and good performance under low light. The photoelectric conversion efficiency ranks first among various thin-film solar cells and is internationally known as a very promising new thin-film solar cell.
Because of its excellent ductility (plasticity), low vapor pressure, and ability to adhere to a variety of materials, it is widely used as a gasket or lining material in high-altitude instruments and aerospace equipment.
In the atomic energy industry, indium is used to make neutron indicators. Many indium alloys are commonly used to manufacture control rods in nuclear reactors. Indium is also an excellent material for making neutron detectors and is comparable to gallium metal.
The initial application field of indium metal in the industry is the manufacture of industrial bearings, and its use in this area continues to this day. The surface of the bearing is plated with indium, and the service life of the bearing is 5 times longer than that of the ordinary coated bearing.
Many fusible alloys of indium are used as brazing materials. With indium, parts made of piezoelectric materials can be firmly welded to each other. In the manufacture of multilayer integrated circuits, the selection of brazing materials containing indium is a crucial step.
Thank you for reading our articles, hoping it can let you have a better understanding of the important uses of indium. If you want to know more about indium, you can visit Advanced Refractory Metals (ARM) for more information.
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