Haines & Maassen Metallhandelsgesellschaft mbH



In

Indium

Melting Point

156.6° Celsius indium

Specific weight

7.31g/cm3

Abundance of element

10-5

Colour

silvery-white shiny

Atomic number

49

Boiling Point

2080° Celsius

Purities available

Indium 99.9 %
Indium 99.99 %
Indium 99.999%
Indium 99.9999 %
Higher purities on request
Indium-alloys on request

low-melting indium alloys (from below 10 °C) partially on stock or on request, also RoHS-compliant. We deliver indium of highest quality according to specification. Each batch of indium is supplied with a certificate of analysis.

Forms available

Ingots 100 – 1000 g, granules and shots, sheets, plates, powder, bars
Indium wire purity 99.99% usually on stock in diameters of 0.5 – 3.0 mm,
all about indium wire here.

Indium foils usually available as 0.05 mm foil (NEW!), 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, 0.5 mm and 1mm foil.
We also gladly produce indium foils, indium sheets and indium sheet metal parts according to your specification resp. drawing – more about indium foils.

Indium sealing compounds for vacuum- and cryotechnology in form of indium wire, indium foil or customer-specific foil cuttings.
Low-melting indium alloys in form of small ingots or partially in form of wire.

Packing

Small packages according to customer’s specification, special packing for semi-finished products – we also supply single foils (100 x 100 mm or 250 x 250 mm) and wire on 10-m spools, partially also on 5 m-spools.

Buying Indium or Indium products

If you would like to buy indium or find out our current indium price please click here for our contact information. We would also appreciate your call at +49 228 946510.

 

Currently:

Indium: rare but indispensable - published in Recycling Magazin 09/2014

 

 

Indium recycling – purchase of indium

We will gladly take over your indium scrap/ -used materials at market-related prices. Please call us at +49 228 946510.

 

Indium alloys

About 33% of the indium is used for the production of indium-containing alloys. These alloys often feature low melting points. An indium alloy with bismuth, lead , tin and cadmium reaches a melting point of less than 50 °C. The cadmium-free eutectic alloy from indium, bismuth and tin has a melting point of only 60 °C. Further low-melting indium alloys are for instance indium tin alloys as soldering metals or gallium indium tin alloys for high-temperature thermometers with melting points below 10 °C. In alloys Indium more often replaces lead which is less popular due to its bad reputation.

 

Indium: special properties

Indium is a very soft and easily formable silvery-white metal. Therefore indium can excellently be processed into wires and foils: the purer the indium, the softer the wires and foils. Liquid indium features a high wetting capacity. Indium compounds partially have semi-conductor properties. The distance between the melting point and the boiling point (156 °C – 2000 °C) is one of the biggest for metals. The first large-scale application for indium was as a coating for bearings in high-performance aircraft engines (also as lead indium alloys for less demanding applications). For the coating of bearings indium is still in use today. Indium finds a steadily growing range of applications in the high-tech sector of sealing compounds (for example vacuum- resp. cryotechnology), as fixing material, in the semiconductor industry and as component of flat screens and touch screens. A new high-demand use for indium is found in the thin flexible solar cells of the copper indium gallium technology and last but not least indium is an essential component of the booming LEDs. Indium oxide as a coating for glass holds back infrared radiation. When bending solidified indium one can hear a crystalline crunching sound.

 

Indium Wire: oxidation and self-fusing

Indium tends to an oxidation of the surface but is self-passivating, which means that within only a few days after production a solid oxide layer of abt. 100 angstrom will form on the surface of the indium. In order to remove this oxide layer a short bath (abt. 1 minute at room temperature) in 10% hydrochloric acid will suffice. A previous cleaning for instance with acetone is recommended so that the hydrochloric acid can work uniformly. The hydrochloric acid is then removed by washing with distillated water. Afterwards the indium should preferably be dryed oxygen-deficiently with nitrogen or a similar agent. Thus one achieves for a short period an indium surface with low oxide which will provide a self-fusing. If this is not desired the indium should be stored separately.

 

Indium: history occurrence production recycling

Indium was discovered in 1863 by the chemists F. Reich and H. Richter in a Freiberg sphalerite by means of spectral analysis when they were looking for thallium which had been discovered two years previously. They named the new metal indium after the indigo coloured line in the spectrum. For more than half a century indium remained only of scientific interest as is typical for a minor metal. This changed in 1930 when it became possible to produce indium with a high purity. Independent indium minerals are negligible. Typically indium is found in complex sulphide ores like sphalerite or copper sulphides. The global indium production amounted to abt. 770 t in 2013 (782 t in 2012) with China as biggest producer. Recycling: due to the variety of applications indium and in particular indium-containing alloys are only recycled to a limited but increasing extent.

 

Indium: future availability of known resources/ risk of bottlenecks

Due to the above mentioned variety of factors which raise expectations for a strong increase in demand, the only restrictedly expandable recycling of indium and limited production possibilities for primary indium one expects supply deficits for indium in the near future. In a new study the “Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe” BGR (Federal Institure for Geosciences and Natural Resources) in co-operation with the “Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung“ (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research) predicts a future availability of the global indium resources of less than 15 years and describes that as extremely short for metals. Even if the estimation of the future demand for indium as well as the assessment of global mineral resources (the higher the price of a mineral, the more inferior are the usable resources) have to be evaluated with utmost care, there is a big risk of strongly increasing prices in the medium term. Indium metal is not being traded on a generally recognised stock exchange. The current indium price depends on the economic cycle resp. the demand, on possible production quantities and market expectations. If the demand for indium-containing products should increase considerably as presumed by many parties, the indium price will most likely rise.

 

 

indium foilsindium wire

indium wire different sizes

molten indium

Indium based alloys