The low melting point alloys are also known as fusible alloys because they get melted at temperatures of less than three hundred degrees. These alloys are often combined with several other metals for increasing specific properties. For instance, the process of combining bismuth with silver or tin helps in creating lead-free solders, which are non-toxic. The alloys can be deposited with both high and low-pressure cold spray system because of their high ductility. Metals like tin, aluminium, zinc, and copper are the ones that are most in need of such alloys.
Low melting alloys can be combined with other metals for manufacturing certain kinds of fusible plugs, solder, coating for metals, and tube bending. Following are the different important applications of the low melting point alloys.
The most common and widely known application of low melting point alloy is for soldering. In recent years, Indium and Bismuth are being increasingly used in place of lead for metal soldering because these metals are non-toxic in nature. Indium is usually used for cold welding applications, and bismuth is usually used in hot welding applications.
Their melting point is as low as 300 degrees, alloys like Indium and Gallium are usually used in the manufacturing of safety devices for products, like boilers, fire suppression systems, and water heaters. These systems are made to stop explosions or put out fires due to excessive pressure and heat. When temperatures go beyond a certain point, the safety device melts.
For instance, in the sprinkler systems, the melting down of fusible plugs made the sprinkler heads get activated. For water heaters and boilers, the venting out of excess pressure is initiated by the release of the plug. Things like a Babbitt alloy are really useful for coating bushing bearings, but not so useful for the applications mentioned above.
Applications in Bonding
The Indium based alloys can be utilized for specific kinds of thermal bonding applications. It is important to mention that the common materials that are often bonded with Indium alloys include glass, ceramic, and certain kinds of metals, such as gold.
Coating for Other Metals
Certain metals, such as steel and iron, are highly desirable because of their extreme durability and long lifespans. But, both these can get corroded really easily, which in turn, leads to structural deterioration due to rusting. For protecting the underlying metal from corrosion, low melting alloys, such as gallium and tin, can be joined with other metals for creating a surface coating that resists corrosion.
These are some of the major uses of low melting alloys, but this is not where their utility ends. Such fusible alloys are also irreplaceable in a wide range of applications where their melting point is of utmost importance, like:
- Profile and tube bending
- The holding of irregular or delicate pieces
- Fusible cores for composite or plastic moulding techniques
- Fusible plugs for pressure and boiler vessels
- Lens blocking
- Rapid prototyping of the press tools
To make the best possible use of any low melting alloy, you will have to make sure that you only source the finest material from a trusted manufacturer. After all, you would not want the quality of your products to be affected by the use of low quality alloys in the structure.