6 major industrial, medicinal applications Gallium metal , melting point Gallium 29.78°C

Applications of gallium

9:49 AM, 27th December 2013
Industrial applications of  Gallium metal ,

SINGAPORE: Gallium is a chemical element that does not occur in free form in nature. Gallium has one of the longest liquid temperature ranges of any metal, with a low vapour pressure even at high temperatures. Gallium has a melting point of 29.78°C, so melts slowly at room temperature.

Applications of gallium –

1.    Gallium along with Arsenic, called the Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), is a semiconductor compound. The uses of Gallium arsenide are varied and include being used in some diodes, field-effect transistors (FETs), and integrated circuits (ICs). GaAs components are useful at ultra-high radio frequencies and in fast electronic switching applications. The benefit of using GaAs in devices is that it generates less noise than most other types of semiconductor components and, as a result, is useful in weak-signal amplification applications. Furthermore, Gallium arsenide is used in the manufacture of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are found in optical communications and control systems.

2.    Over the past two to three decades, gallium compounds have gained importance in the fields of medicine and electronics. In clinical medicine, radioactive gallium and stable gallium nitrate are used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents in cancer and disorders of calcium and bone metabolism. In addition, gallium compounds have displayed anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity in animal models of human disease while more recent studies have shown that gallium compounds may function as antimicrobial agents against certain pathogens.

3.    Gallium, on the other hand, attacks most other metals by diffusing into their metal lattice. Gallium for example diffuses into the grain boundaries of aluminum-zinc alloys or steel, making them very brittle. Gallium metal easily alloys with many metals.

4.    Gallium is used to create brilliant mirrors as gallium wets glass or porcelain.

5.    It readily alloys with most metals, and has been used as a component in low-melting temperature alloys and added in quantities up to 2 per cent in common solders can aid their wetting and flow characteristics.

6.    Since it is a liquid near room temperature, gallium is used for high-temperature thermometers.

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