Wood's Metal

Wood's metal was first developed in 1860 for dentistry

What is Wood's metal made of?

50% bismuth, 26.7% lead, 13.3% Tin, and 10% Cadmium

How is Wood's Metal manufactured? What is it used for?

As a fire-melted valve element in fire Sprinkler systems in buildings. Medical gas cylinders the United Kingdom have a Wood's metal seal which melts in fire, allowing the gas to escape and reducing the risk of gas explosions. Wood's metal is commonly used as a filler when bending thin-walled metal tubes. For this use the tubing is filled with molten Wood's metal. After this filler solidifies the tubing is bent. The filler prevents the tube collapsing. Other uses include making custom-shaped apertures and blocks. For medical radiation treatment, and making metal inlays in wood. Wood's metal is also useful for repairing antiques. The low melting temperature of Wood's metal makes it unlikely this will harm the original. The damaged piece can then be clamped in the die and slowly tightened to form it back into shape. Wood's metal has long been used by model railroad enthusiasts to add weight to locomotives, increasing traction, and the number of cars that can be pulled.

The cost of this alloy?

500g = $187.00

Physical properties?

Luster is shiny

Texture is scaly

Streak is black

Three chemical properties?

Toxic to skin

cancer risk



With a melting point of only 158°F (70°C), Wood's metal is used as a solder and casting metal. It's largest use, however, is as the triggering element in fire sprinkler systems. This is because bismuth - like ice - expands as it hardens.
Wood's Metal