Indium is ideal for many sealing applications, especially cryogenic sealing. There are two main advantages to using indium in your cryogenic sealing applications:
- It remains malleable at cryogenic temperatures
- It is soft and pliable so it fills imperfections in mating metal surfaces and creates a hermetic seal
Most sealing materials that work at standard operating temperatures will crack and break at cryogenic temperatures of -150°C.
Often sealing applications require that a seal be made inside a channel or other feature that isn't flat and smooth. Indium will compensate for these imperfections without the need for reflow.
The cleanliness of the indium is critical for sealing applications. Indium is self-passivating and forms 80-100 Aangrstroms of oxide on its surface. If the oxide is not fully removed, it can be a source of leakage when it becomes compressed within the seal. (Please see our Application Note on Indium for Sealing or Etching Indium to Remove Oxides for more details on this topic).
Indium for cryogenic seals is available in a variety of forms, depending on your application:
- Indium Wire
- Can be used for any manual sealing application
- Works especially well in channel sealing
- Diameters starting at 0.010" (0.254mm)
- Indium Preforms
- Provide a precise, repeatable amount of indium
- Can be packaged in tape & reel for use in automated processes
- Indium Foil or Ribbon
- Ideal for sealing large areas
Cryogenic Seals Blog Posts
Indium wire is ideal for many sealing applications, especially cryogenic sealing. There are two main advantages to using indium wire in your cryogenic sealing applications: It remains malleable at cryogenic temperatures...
Due to its softness and compressibility, indium is ideal for use in creating a seal. Let's get right into it: Indium preforms are commonly used to create seals. The preforms are made into an endless variety of shapes...
Solder wire is generally used for manual soldering operations, including rework. But, it can also be used in automated applications such as die-attach soldering. Solder wire can be flux-cored, or solid with a separate flux used. Each application can have different requirements for the...
With time, cryogenic and vacuum seals wear out and lose their ability to perform. Sometimes the need for replacement is due to heat or constant thermal cycling, while other times it is due to the constant pressure on the seal as the joint is periodically tightened to maintain the integrity required. If the device is still usable, the seal can be, in most cases, renewed by following the steps below....
From One Engineer to Another®
All of Indium Corporation’s products and solutions are designed to be commercially available
unless specifically stated otherwise.