This Lockpicker Destroys an Aluminum Padlock Using Gallium

LockPickingLawyer adds a few drops of gallium onto an aluminum lock to see what happens.
Jessica Miley

If you thought you needed a skeleton key or unreal bolt cutters to be able to break a lock, think again. This chemistry-minded lockpicker uses the metal gallium to literally destroy an aluminum padlock. Gallium (Ga) has many unusual properties. It has a really low melting temperature of 29,76 degrees Celsius. This low melting temperature means it can be solid at room temperature but turn into a liquid when you pick it up. If you put Gallium into contact with most aluminum alloys it will infuse into the aluminum microcrystal and grain and prevent the metal crystals forming strong bonds with each other. So the idea is that if you cover an aluminum lock with gallium it will be possible to literally break the lock with bare hands.

The maker of this fascinating video, LockPicking Lawyer, pours a small amount of the liquid metal onto the padlock and sits back and waits. Within an hour the gallium starts eating away at the aluminum, it then appears to start traveling across the lock underneath the top layer of the aluminum. After letting it rest for about four hours, the lock begins to crumble. Using a small screwdriver LockPicking Lawyer is able to chip off chunks of the aluminum before the whole lock breaks in half without much effort. While using gallium to break a lock is fairly impractical, it is nonetheless impressive.