Silver is one of the most versatile elements in use today and below are just a small sample of its uses.
Jewelry & Silverware
Silver is one of the most reflective substances in the world and it produces a more brilliant polish than even gold, and is similarly easy to work with. Silver in jewelry is typically alloyed with copper to increase its durability, with “Sterling Silver”, a standard that has been in place for more than 600 years, comprising of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper.
Although silver’s use in photography has seen a rapid decline in recent years due to the advancement of digital photography which has all but replaced film for mainstream consumers. However, silver based film remains the highest quality choice. Since the year 2000, the demand for silver from photographic industries has slumped by 70 percent, though the elements place in the history of photography is enshrined in the term “silver screen”.
Silver’s use in clean technologies is more than making up for its downfall in popularity in photography. 90 percent of modern silicon photo-voltaic solar cells, a sector that has experienced huge global growth that is forecast to continue for many years, contain as much as 20 grams of silver per cell. The addition of silver to window panes can help reduce the amount of sunlight transmitted indoors by as much as 95 percent, greatly reducing energy costs in warmer climates. Silver is also uses extensively in water purification systems.
Silver is used extensively across the medical field and its medical uses have been known since ancient times. Silver is a strong anti-bacterial agent, which is why silver thread has been used for more than a hundred years to stitch wounds, as well as being used in dressings and bandages. Silver is used in a host of medical equipment in order to maximize the sterile atmosphere.
Silver is one of the best conductors of electricity available. Its use is ubiquitous in motor and electrical control switches because it does not corrode. It is used extensively throughout all modern automobiles, with more than 35 million ounces of silver consumed by the auto industry every year. Silver’s exceptional conductivity characteristics means it is used extensively across all modern electronic applications, from printed circuit boards, TV screens, cell phones, or even just in a light switch.
Silvers properties strength, malleability and exceptional conductivity, means that it is an ideal material for use in heavy industry. It is used in brazing and soldering of metals to ensure that the join is air tight, smooth and resistant to corrosion. Silver bearings are used extensively in high performance engines, such as those used in jet airliners. Silver is also heavily relied upon as a chemical catalyst in the production of industrial chemicals formaldehyde and ethylene oxide.
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