The Industrial Uses and Applications of Precious Metals
Numerous industries use Precious Metals for purposes that range from construction to medicine. Depending on the state of the industry and the size of the demand, this can impact the price.
Gold is in demand by many industries. Its practical application extends from space travel to exquisite jewelry. Here are a few practical uses of the Precious Metal:
- NASA needs to build space vehicles with the most dependable parts possible. For this reason, Gold is used in many applications involving space travel. The circuitry of the space vehicle is Gold because the Precious Metal is a highly dependable conductor of electricity.
- Gold is the most malleable of all Precious Metals. This allows Gold to be hammered into sheets as thin as a few millionths of an inch. The hammered sheets are known as Gold Leaf and are used to add Gold to furniture, picture frames and other household items. Gold does not easily corrode, making Gold Leaf applicable to decorating external and internal surfaces of buildings.
- If you use a cell phone, laptop, desktop or tablet — you own Gold. Gold is able to transmit digital information better than any other Precious Metal. The mounting of microprocessors and memory chips uses Gold plating as well as the connectors used to attach cables. Gold is even used in GPS systems and calculators.
- More than 75% of the newly mined Gold is used in jewelry. Gold has been used in jewelry for centuries because of its gorgeous luster, color, malleability and resistance to tarnishing.
Silver is an industrial powerhouse of a resource. Of all the earth’s elements, Silver is the best heat and electricity conductor and reflector of light. It also has antimicrobial properties. The many Silver uses include:
- Making mirrors, batteries and electronics, among other things.
- Being woven into fabrics to prevent bacteria from building up.
- Increasing the efficacy of pharmaceuticals.
- Purifying water in third-world countries and hospitals.
The rarity of Platinum cannot be overstated because it has a vast array of uses, particularly in industrial use, including catalytic converters, laboratory equipment and even dentistry equipment.
Palladium is a Silver-white Precious Metal of ultimate value, due to its high demand for use in numerous industries, such as dentistry, groundwater treatment and jewelry.
Typically alloyed with Platinum for industrial uses, Iridium is found in numerous products. It acts as a conductor for electrical products, forms the tip in fountain pens, adds substance to diamond jewelry and keeps its shape in laboratory equipment that reaches unusually high temperatures.
This metal does not usually appear on its own in industrial applications. Instead, Osmium usually appears in alloy form with Platinum and other Precious Metals. Osmium is the densest naturally occurring element, making it an ideal alloy when extreme durability is required.
Rhodium shares some of its corrosive-resistant properties with Iridium, making this Precious Metal a good choice for equipment and containers that hold dangerous chemicals or substances that have been heated to extremely high temperatures. Also unusually durable and virtually impossible to tarnish, Rhodium often plates base metals like steel or brass.
Like Osmium, Ruthenium typically appears in alloy form, acting to harden Platinum and Palladium alloys. When combined with Platinum, its primary uses include jewelry and electrical components.
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