are there any cheap metals that will melt at body tempature other than gallium. if not does anyone know a cheap source?

im looking for a liquid metal to put in to a vial which will be on necklace that im giving to my girlfriend for her birthday.  i was wondering if anyone knew of a metal other than gallium that melted at close to body temp.  thanks

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You don't actually say "non-toxic", but none of Kelseys suggestions are going to be "cheap" either apart from mercury, which whilst not that toxic isn't a particularly nice gift.... Even pure Gallium is not cheap.
I beg to differ, Mercury is so toxic it can be absorbed through the skin leading to brain disorders. It's sale is banned in the UK unless your a licensed user.
I have held liquid mercury in my unprotected hand numerous times.

I am [allegedly] fine.
I beg to differ.Chronic mercury exposure is a serious hazard, and organic compounds like methylmercury are VERY toxic. Metallic mercury has a halflife in the body of about 2 weeks. Metallic mercury is excreted very very quickly.
Sorry to disagree all the health and government references I have found say it's highly toxic

For example from the UK health and Safety organisation Mercury safety group :

http://www.mercurysafety.co.uk/mercinfo.htm

Do you have a reference to support your view. (Not that I am planing on exposing myself or ingesting any - yes I do have amalgam fillings!)

We may need to agree to disagree here. But nothing wrong with a good discussion! :-)


you can play with and swallow it without much effect, but I won't dispute 'toxic'.

L
Agreed, its the "evacuate the building" when someone breaks a thermometer things that gets me.

Steve

(expulsion of air through the mouth - you know what sound that is...yes)

L
Hi Rick,

I don't deny its toxic in high concentrations, nor in organic compounds (very nasty) merely that you are not doomed to a horrible death after seeing the bare metal, nor will you die from cumulative exposure after seeing a few fluorescent tubes broken.

On half lifes and burden.

http://www.ead.anl.gov/pub/doc/mercury.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning refers
Michelson and Morley did their experiment in a pool of mercury and stayed alive, at least they managed to publish their results afterwards.
NaK is a eutectic mixture of sodium and potassium with a melting point of -11C.  It's a liquid at room temperature.  Pure sodium has a melting point of around 98 C. This suggests that there is a mixture of sodium and potassium with the melting point you want.

These metals are relatively cheap. The only problem is that they're both very reactive. On exposure to air they turn into their oxides.  On contact with liquid water these metals kind of, erm... explode.  So you'd have to keep the vial sealed from the air, or else it's going to turn from pretty flowing metal into caustic white powder.

More here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NaK
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium
jeff-o7 years ago
Hmmm, maybe you could do something with ferrofluid. It's not toxic like mercury, but make sure you seal it up tightly because it'll stain fingers and clothes. Most girls don't like that.
lemonie7 years ago
Try wood's metal. It melts in hot water (65-70C) and you can get it from electronics shops quite cheaply (not much more expensive than solder), but it is considered toxic, as it contains 27percent lead (AAAH, deadly metal, I've got heaps under my bed and I'm still alive). If you don't like it, try field's metal, which melts at 62C and doesn't contain lead or cadmium.
kelseymh7 years ago