Science, Tech, Math › Science Profile of the Metal Galinstan This is a safer alternative to mercury Share Flipboard Email Print GIPhotoStock / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Terence Bell University of British Columbia Carleton University Terence Bell wrote about commodities investing for The Balance, and has over 10 years experience in the rare earth and minor metal industries. our editorial process Twitter Twitter LinkedIn LinkedIn Terence Bell Updated February 03, 2020 Galinstan is a eutectic alloy composed of gallium, indium, and tin (hence its name, which is derived from the gallium, indium, and stannum, the Latin name for tin). Although Galinstan is a registered trademark of the German medical company Geratherm Medical AG, many other companies offer similar alloys, which are non-toxic and have a very low melt temperature. These properties make Galinstan an ideal substitute for mercury, particularly in clinical thermometers, but also in coolants and thermal grease and other applications where exposure is a risk. Composition There is no specific formula for Galinstan, but a standard form is composed as follows: Gallium (Ga): 68.5%Indium (In): 21.5%Tin (Sn): 10% Indium Corporation produces a mercury substitute alloy that is composed of 61% gallium, 25% indium, 13% tin and 1% zinc and has a melt temperature of roughly 45°F (7°C). Properties Appearance: Silvery metallic liquidOdor: OdorlessSolubility: Insoluble in water and organic solventsSpecific Gravity: 6.4g/cc (room temperature)Melting Point: 2.2°F (-19°C) Boiling Point: >2372°F (>1300°C)Vapor Pressure: <10-8 Torr (500°C)Viscosity: 0.0024 Pa-s (room temperature)Thermal conductivity: 16.5 (W-m-1-K-1)Electrical Conductivity: 3.46×106 S/m (room temperature)Surface Tension: s= 0.718 N/m (room temperature) Benefits Galinstan medical thermometers are considered more accurate than traditional mercury thermometers and much safer, as Galinstan alloy is non-toxic and can be safely cleaned in cases of breakage. Also, as opposed to mercury, disposal of Galinstan and Galinstan thermometers does not pose any serious environmental threat. Awards According to Geratherm Medical, Galinstan was awarded the gold medal for the best new invention at the 1993 "Eureka" Inventors' Fair in Brussels.