Precious metals, including platinum and gold, seems to be a subject of interest to very many folks. I analyzed the popularity of our blog articles over the past couples years and the articles that have the most readership are those that talk about precious metals – whether in the jewelry store or pawn shop, at the scrap metal yard embedded in catalytic converters, or as essential parts of today’s most sophisticated electronics. Steel and copper were also popular subjects – especially in their use in manufacturing and in the oil and gas industry.
In case you were not one of our regular readers in the past couple years, here are some of our most popular articles:
- Platinum Group Metal Recovery from Spent Catalytic Converters .
The catalyst component of a catalytic converter is usually platinum (Pt), along with palladium (Pd), and rhodium (Rh). All three of these platinum group metals, or PGMs, are extremely rare but have a broad range of applications in addition to catalytic converters. Determining the recovery value of the PGMs in a catalytic converter begins with knowing the composition and ratios of the metals used. Read more here.
- Buyer (and Seller) Beware…. Fake Gold Hitting Pawn Shops and Jewelry Stores
The fakes are getting better. Jewelers and pawn brokers that fail to verify the gold that comes into their shops using at least a couple of methods will fall prey to increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters who know how to get around these tests. Recent news stories describe scams involving jewelry made with non-magnetic metals that mimic gold, fakes plated with enough gold so as to appear to be all gold, or gold-plated or copper counterfeits stamped 14K or 18K. Read here to find out how to be absolutely certain of the composition of gold and other precious metals..
- Copper Compendium: The Whole Story
Here’s a list within this list. Last year we published an 8-part Copper Compendium series that looked at number 29 on the Periodic Table. Topics discussed were the metal’s history, extraction methods, smelting process, physical properties, recyclability, and analysis methods. We also offered a fun infographic. Scan the compendium and read the ones that interest you the most here.
- VIDEO: Why Wasn’t the Steel Magnetic? And Why Was It Worth $30,000?
Adam tells about the day they were using their scrap metal magnet and it wouldn’t pick up a 10,000 pound piece of steel. They brought out the handheld XRF instrument to analyze the non-magnetic metal and within seconds discovered that what they thought was steel was really pure Molybdenum (Mo) solids. Access the video.
- Platinum Group Metals Connect: Electronics Applications
The versatile platinum group metals (PGMs)—platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium—can be found in many electronic devices and components, including computer screen glass, data storage drives, hard disks, multi-layer ceramic (chip) capacitors (MLCCs), circuits, connectors and lead frames. They also are used to coat electrodes, the tiny components in all electronic products which help to control the flow of electricity. Read here to find out how metal recovery starts with a process to separate out the precious metals from the electronics components.
- What is the Leading Source of Failures in the Hydrocarbon Processing Industry?
Mechanical integrity of piping systems is the leading source of failures in the hydrocarbon processing industry. But how is the integrity of the pipe compromised? A leading cause is sulfidic corrosion. Read why today’s best practices include 100% positive material testing of all critical materials, including piping systems.
- Cold-Formed Steel Shakes Up Building Construction
Steel is one of the most widely used and recycled materials. There are thousands of grades of steel with equally as many applications. There are also different technologies for manufacturing steel, one of which offers a major advantage in the construction industry: cold-formed steel (CFS). Read how steel producers can achieve high quality steel strip, detect and correct deviations, and ensure their product meets building material specifications.
- Old Ships Find New Life as Scrap Metal
SThere are an estimated 130 decommissioned ships in the U.S. Naval ships have an active life of about 25 to 30 years and are decommissioned when their upkeep and maintenance becomes financially unfeasible. If no one wants the vessel as a museum or similar purpose, the ship is sold for scrap. Ship recycling yields primarily ferrous metals such as steel, but also non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, copper, and brass, as well as a variety of usable parts. Most of the metal that is recovered is sent to Mexico, just a few miles away from Brownsville, where it is manufactured into automobile frames, engines, and parts which are shipped back to the U.S. Read about best practices for scrap metal recyclers.
- Quality of Galvanized Steel Might Depend on Zinc Coating Weight
Zinc coating is the most effective and widely used material to prevent corrosion, maintain the strength, and increase the longevity and performance of the steel. Zinc coating is applied to steel by hot dip galvanizing. Read the article and access the white paper to learn about the ideal architecture for a coating weight measurement and control system which continuously improves its internal control algorithms by comparing the predicted coating weight with measured values.
- White Gold vs. Platinum: Can You See the Difference?
Gold and platinum are both dense, malleable, ductile precious metals used in jewelry and industrial applications. Many businesses are now turning to X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology for fast, accurate, and most importantly, nondestructive analysis of the precious metals that come into their shops. XRF quickly provides the exact karat weight and percentages of all elements within an item – easily identifying non-standard, under-karated, and even advanced counterfeit material. Read more.
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