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Liquid Metal Embrittlement - Gallium vs. Aluminium

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Channel: The Royal Institution
Categories: Chemistry   |   Science  
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Bringing gallium and aluminium together has some interesting and occasionally rather explosive results, as Dan found out in this little tale from the prep room.
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Liquid metal embrittlement is a phenomenon where ductile metals, like aluminium, become brittle, when exposed to certain liquid metals, like gallium. The mechanism by which this happens is not a chemical but a physical one, where the liquid nature of gallium allows it to get into spaces within the aluminium structure.

This embrittlement of metals is real a hazard in manufacturing industries as well as other fields where ductile metals may come into contact with liquid metals.

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