Whenever we write about Platinum we get a high number of views. And why not? Platinum is a valuable, rare, and precious metal. Yes, it’s used in jewelry, — especially in wedding bands — but it’s also used in many other products as well, some that may help save the environment, or even save a life.
Here are some of our top articles about platinum in manufacturing and elsewhere:
- Platinum-gold Alloy Gives High-strength Steel a Run for its Money
- A materials science team at a respected laboratory has engineered a platinum-gold alloy believed to be the most wear-resistant metal in the world. According to an article on the their web site, it’s 100 times more durable than high-strength steel, making it the first alloy in the same class as diamond and sapphire, nature’s most wear-resistant materials.
- Could Platinum Be the Next Superconductor?
- Superconductors are materials that conduct electricity without resistance or loss of energy in extremely low temperatures. Superconducting materials already have many applications, but materials that will work at higher temperatures and lower costs are still needed. Scientists have developed a new superconducting material based on platinum, which was thought to be unsuitable as a superconducting material.
- Platinum Group Metals on the Move: Transportation and Energy Applications
- Platinum catalysts play a critical role in extracting gasoline from crude oil. Platinum catalysts are used in a process is called catalytic reforming, which creates high-octane gasoline for cars. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the energy of a chemical reaction directly into electricity, with heat and water as by-products. Platinum and ruthenium are necessary ingredients in this technology as is palladium, which is used to generate the ultra pure hydrogen fuel cells need to operate effectively. The platinum group metals (PGMs) are best known as an essential component in catalytic converters, air pollution control devices that have revolutionized the automotive industry. Catalytic converters are formed of ceramic or metal and coated with chemicals and a combination of platinum, rhodium and/or palladium.
- Platinum Helps Solve an Ancient Mystery
- According to a study, platinum may reveal why a prehistoric Native American culture that existed 12-13,000 years ago, suddenly disappeared. Some archaeologists suggest the civilization was wiped out by an asteroid. The evidence is widespread platinum, an element associated with asteroids or comets, at archaeological sites across the United States. The findings back up similar discoveries of platinum in an ice-core from Greenland.
- Could Platinum Group Metals Save Your Life?
- Platinum and palladium have been active chemotherapy agents since the 1970s and an estimated half or more of all cancer patients who receive chemotherapy are treated with drugs containing platinum. Platinum and palladium also play active roles in cancer radiation therapy. Platinum is inert, rarely causes allergic reactions, has good electrical conductivity, and can be fabricated into tiny components, all qualities that make it an ideal material for pacemakers, stents, implantable defibrillators, and catheters.
Want to make sure the metal is indeed platinum. Inspection and verification of metal alloys can be quickly and easily accomplished using handheld x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers. XRF is used for inspection of incoming raw material to ensure it matches the alloy grade and composition documented on the material test report prior to product manufacture. It is also used for final quality inspection before finished parts are sent to the customer. This “double-check” process helps ensure that the incoming raw materials and the outgoing finished parts meet the expected engineering requirements — and verifying that your products contain the precious metals you think they do.
By the way, what does getting a Platinum record mean? The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) requires there be 1,000,000 albums or 1,000,000 digital downloads of a single sold (though they also have incorporated different requirements for on-demand audio and video streams).