Exotech Buys and Sells Indium - Exotech Metallurgical Specialties

Exotech Buys and Sells Indium

Exotech Buys and Sells Indium

Uses of Indium and Ways to Recycle It

There are many lesser known metals being used in common products of daily life, with one of them being Indium. It is usually found in fire-sprinkler systems of stores and at the same time, warehouses. However, it is also a component of transistors and semiconductors. If you also have an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TV or other electronic items at home, then you benefit from the use of this metal.

What Is Indium?

It is a very soft metal that it silvery and shiny. It is also quite malleable and at the same time, does not dull in air. Indium arsenide or indium antimonide can be found in some semi-conductors and transistors. It can also be used in thermistors and photoconductors.

It was first used in the manufacturing of bearings that are required in very demanding working conditions like aircraft engines. High-purity versions of it are used in electronics, including solar cells.

What Are Its Uses?

Beyond its use in semiconductors and electronics, it is popularly used in the creation of low-temperature alloys. A common example is the combination of indium (24 percent) and gallium (76 percent) to create an alloy that, at room temperature, is liquid in form. These alloys are also found in glass-to-glass or glass-to-metal joints, and even solders used in the electronics industry.

When evaporated onto glass, it will improve a mirror’s resistance to corrosion, even better than silver. It is being used in the production of batteries, with indium improving the shelf life of the battery. Indium can also be found in the absorber rods used in nuclear reactors.

Nowadays, demand for indium has been increasing due to the popularity of LCD TVs and other electroluminescent panels.

Sources of Indium

Indium is a rare metal and is not commonly found in the environment. What is being produced comes from zinc ores. Because of this, as demand and use of this metal increased in the past 20 years, there has been a growing need to recycle it.

Most of this recycled indium comes from new scrap, or what is unused during the fabrication. Old scrap, or from used items like old LCD TVs, is usually more difficult and therefore, less popular. However, with newly discovered ways of recovering the metal from old TV panels or displays, the demand for indium can hopefully be more easily met. In fact, its limited supply, whether new or recycled, has led to big jumps in the price in the past.

The Importance of Recovery and Recycling Centers

Such a metal that is not naturally occurring in the environment and yet high in demand highlights the need for experts in extracting and recycling this material from old scrap. Whether it is in pure form or as an alloy, indium continues to be one of the most sought-after materials out there. The need to develop ways to extract it from scrap or refining contaminated indium is clear, this is the only way to ensure the continuous supply of this important metal. Recycling centers and their highly-specialized but vital work is key to making this happen.

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