Indium Blog

Specifying Cryogenic Seals

  • Indium

  • In a recent post we interviewed Shamaine Engler on the topic of cryogenic seal applications. As a follow-up, today we are speaking with Kim Flanagan (Technical Support Engineer) about specifying cryogenic seals.

    Jim: What properties of indium make it a good material for sealing cryogenic equipment?

    Kim: Indium is soft and pliable, ideal for filling creases. What makes indium unique from other sealing materials is its ability to remain malleable at very low temperatures. Most other sealing materials do not perform as well under cold temperatures as they become brittle and inflexible.

    Jim: When you are working with a customer on a new application, what information should they have ready so you can help them get the right product?

    Kim: The first thing we need to know is the application:

    • hermetic seal
    • cryogenic seal
    • vacuum seal
    • other

    Next, we need to know dimensions and tolerances of the seal surfaces; for example:

    • clearance between the lid edges and the housing walls
    • the width/length/diameter of both the housing and the lid
    • any overlap

    Other information that would help our understanding would be:

    • the atmosphere the application would be experiencing
      • temperature
      • pressure
      • gases involved
      • electrical exposure
    • the flatness of the sealing surfaces
    • the life span of the application (some seals need to maintain their integrity for many years while others only need to hold for a short period of time)

    We offer indium seals in the form of wire, preform, and foil - and we use this information to decide which would be the best for your application. The more information the customer can give us, the better.

    Jim: The process seems much simpler if the customer is replacing an existing seal. Could you tell us what would be involved?

    Kim: Not a whole lot actually! We would only need to know the dimensions of the wire or preform and the order volume. If the customer has any packaging or tolerance requirements, we would need to know that also. From there, we would be able to send over a quote and if the customer decides to make a purchase, just send over a purchase order and that’s it.

    Jim: Thank you for your time today Kim.

    Kim: Anytime Jim! Glad I could help.

    You can reach Kim (and the rest of our Tech Engineers) at