What Are the Industrial Uses of Metals?
Numerous industries make use of 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 affect the price of various metals. Learn about some of the most common industrial uses of metals, and discover how this can affect the value of your Precious Metals.
Perhaps the most diverse Precious Metal, Gold has myriad industrial uses. For thousands of years, Gold has been a primary component of fine jewelry. Today, its beautiful tone, high luster and resistance to tarnishing continue to make it a highly desirable metal for everything from rings and necklaces to Gold industrial bars. Creating alloys with other Precious Metals like Silver and Platinum makes Gold jewelry more durable and increases its value.
Other Gold uses include electronics, where it serves as a conductor, and in dentistry, where it makes an effective filling. The aerospace industry makes good use of Gold in everything from satellites to spacecraft. Coins, bars and .99999 Gold bullion are also common uses for this Precious Metal.
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.
Aside from jewelry, one of the most common Platinum uses is for automobile parts. As the demand for vehicles grows in China and other rapidly developing areas of the world, the value of this Precious Metal will likely increase. For this reason, purchasing Platinum bars can be a smart way to diversify your portfolio.
One of the most common Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), Palladium often appears as an alloy in jewelry. Other Palladium uses include automotive and electrical applications. Just as with other PGMs, South Africa and Russia are the largest global producers. Palladium has also become an increasingly popular investment metal, with many coins, bars and rounds produced around the world.
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.
Though Silver coins and Silver jewelry have long been popular, the most important contemporary Silver uses include several industrial applications. Silver industrial bars commonly appear in electrical conduits, as catalysts for chemical production and in solar panels. Reflecting its varied uses, this Precious Metal has significant investment potential.
No matter which types of metals you have purchased as investments, maintaining an awareness of their primary uses and level of demand is important. With this information in mind, you can better assess the value of your Precious Metals and make informed investment decisions.