Indium Blog


When it comes to shots at Indium Corporation, it is not about bullets, vaccines, or vodka; it's about small spherical or tear-drop shaped forms of metals and alloys. While ingots and cakes are more popular forms when we think about metals and alloys, shots have their exclusive benefits.

Shots provide a larger area-to-volume ratio for the metals and alloys that favor the interaction with external factors. Afterall, dissolving a certain volume of metal in a solution is much easier and faster with small pieces than with a single bulk quantity. For instance, considering a 500g Indium Ingot with dimensions of 7”×1.25”×0.5” versus several Indium shots of 0.125” diameter with the same total weight, the ratio of surface area exposed to the solution is nearly 8 times higher for shots. Therefore, if surface area is the limiting factor in dissolving indium in a chemical solution, shots would ideally dissolve 8 times faster.

Engineers using smaller melt pots will find using shots helpful when ingots would be too large to fit. Shots provide a better resolution in feed quantity. One can easily weigh shots to more exact smaller quantities, which is difficult to achieve with metals and alloys in larger forms. It also helps reduce scraps obtained after ingot filings. Apart from that, storage, handling, and feeding are much more convenient with spherical or teardrop-shaped metals and alloys.

Shots are typically produced by forcing the molten form of metal through small circular openings. The melt then passes into a cooling solution and solidifies into shots. The shots are dried, annealed, or further processed for stability and hardening. The size of the circular openings and the length through which it passes along the solution determine the size and shape of the shots.

Shots in general have a lower shelf-life compared to larger-sized forms because of the larger exposed area, which increases the interaction with external elements like oxygen, humidity, etc.

Indium Corporation produces spherical and tear-drop shaped shots for different metals and alloys. This list includes, but is not limited to, indium, gallium, germanium, tin, Indalloy®117, Indalloy®136, and Indalloy®158. The purity that we provide ranges from 3N to 6N5. Readily available shots are approximately 0.125” in diameter and can be adjusted based on customer requirements and quantity. We can also manage the uniformity in size as required.