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I was reading the History section about Indium on Wikipedia when I came across the following sentence:

In 1924, indium was found to have a valued ability to stabilize non-ferrous metals, which was the first significant use for the element.

I'm wondering if the ability is to improve crystallinity, structural stability of alloys, resistance to corrosion, or something else.

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All I did was click on the reference from the History wikipedia link above for the sentence you were talking about. The sentence comes from a paragraph of a manuscript which is found here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed011p270

Note the bolded part, that was what is meant.

" Its[Indium's] identification as well as its name came from the beautiful indigo-blue line which it so prominently displays in its spectrum. Its commercial development came as the result of the knowledge that it should be a valuable stabilizer of non-ferrous metals much as chromium is a stabilizer of the ferrous metals. "


Above is quote from:

French, Sidney J. (1934). "A story of indium". Journal of Chemical Education 11 (5): 270. Bibcode:1934JChEd..11..270F. doi:10.1021/ed011p270.

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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't really explain how or why indium works. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Jul 17 '16 at 13:34

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