4 Common Uses of Silver

General

For the longest time, silver has always been considered a precious material. Because it’s highly resistant to corrosion and tarnishing, people use it for coins andvaluable utensils. It can also complement plenty of gems, so many wear it as jewelry and traditional fashion statements.

That said, silver isn’t just great to look at. It has plenty of other qualities that make it great for different applications. Read on to learn about them.

Medical Applications

Silver is a highly antimicrobial material. It can do this because it’s efficient at absorbing oxygen, which restricts bacteria’s ability to breathe, one thing they need to survive. This quality, along with its non-toxic nature, gave this noble metal a special place in the medical industry.

Silver’s antimicrobial qualities have been used for treating wounds way before antibiotics were invented. Thin sheets of this metal were usually wrapped around a damaged part of the body to help it heal faster. Today, modern technology has allowed manufacturers to harvest it at a molecular level. Small drops of this material are used to coat different hospital equipment to prevent pathogens from spreading.

Photography

Before DSLRs and smartphones, silver played a crucial role in photography. Early versions of cameras relied on the light sensitivity of silver crystals inside the film strips to get the right picture. Once the flash hits the film, the crystals will start a chemical reaction that’ll record the image. It was widely used for this application because it produced accurate products.

Chemical Production

This metal is the main ingredient used to produce ethylene oxide, which is needed to make molded plastics and polyestersand antifreeze. Silver is also a key component in manufacturing formaldehyde, a chemical that creates resins and other forms of protective coatings.

Electronics

Silver is one of the most conductive metals, even better than gold. This and its relatively low price make it a valuable material in the electronics industry. It’s present in circuit boards that power almost anything electrical, like microwave ovens, TVs, and telephones.

An electrical contact manufacturer usually turns them into small silver electrical contacts that are made for switchesin lamps, remote controls, and other similar devices. Also, you might not notice it, but your car is filled with them, as well, from the components on your dashboard to those under your hood.

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