Hello VEX community, I’m a builder for one of the top teams in Taiwan and I would like to share a discovery my team made. We found that using gallium on aluminum has numerous benefits and can provide a significant competitive advantage. This advantage helped my team a lot at the recent Mexico signature event so we would like to share it to everyone. We’ll start by describing what gallium and c channels are.
Gallium is a chemical element with the symbol Ga and atomic number 31. Discovered by French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1875. Gallium is in group 13 of the periodic table and is similar to the other metals of the group (aluminium, indium, and thallium). Gallium exhibits relatively less similarity with boron due to latter being small in atomic size and lacking its reach to d-orbital.
C Channels are made of aluminum and are what you build your robots with.
Gallium creates a coating on c channels, reducing their approximate coefficient friction to around the same value as Teflon. Gallium also helps strengthen the c channels due to some various chemical reactions. This is very useful for situations where the c channel is under a lot of stress such as applications where you want to use as little material as possible but want to have it structurally secure.
Thank you all for reading this, I hope this helps your team in future competitions!