The Kid Should See This

Melting a metal alloy spoon in some tea

Imagine stirring your tea and having your spoon disappear into your tea… melting quickly away. When one of Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff’s Periodic Videos viewers sent a metal alloy, Field’s Metal, to their office, Poliakoff asked senior technician Neil Barnes to create a metal alloy spoon that would melt in tea. Watch as they experiment with it in the video above.

Field’s metal, also known as Field’s alloy, is a fusible alloy that becomes liquid at approximately 62 °C (144 °F). It is named after its inventor, Simon Quellen Field. It is a eutectic alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin, with the following percentages by weight: 32.5% Bi, 51% In, 16.5% Sn…

Field’s metal is expensive due to the price of indium, which makes up over half its mass. However, as it contains neither lead nor cadmium, it is a less toxic alternative to Wood’s metal. It is used for die casting and rapid prototyping.



In the video comments, they add:

Why not use Gallium? Well – besides the fact it’s not what we were sent by our fan – Gallium has a very low melting point. It’ll melt in your hand… Not as fun as a spoon that is normal in the hand but then melts in hot water!

With a melting point is 29.7646 °C or 85.5763 °F, you can melt Gallium, a non-toxic metal, in your hand: Get 20g of Gallium on Amazon. You can also buy a Gallium Spoon Mold + 100g of Gallium to make your own spoons.

Related videos: Dad teaches his daughter how to cast a ring from scrap pewter, melting metal in your hand, and melting gallium spoon.

Also: How knives, forks, and spoons are made and The Universal Tea Machine, a huge mechanical ‘adding computer’.

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