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Uses for Silver in Technology That May Surprise You

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Silver, dubbed the common man’s gold, is a popular contender for investors in precious metals. Silver is far less expensive than gold, but contains hundreds of practical and technological uses. Silver’s medicinal qualities have been well known for centuries, but what you may not know is that silver is emerging in technology that impacts our everyday lives.

Silver in Electricity

Without you even realizing it, simply switching on the lights or programming your microwave requires silver. According to sbcgold.com, this precious metal is pivotal for electrical conductivity, which makes it an ideal choice for many electronic devices:

  • Electrical Switches and Buttons – Soft touch and even some conventional switches use a silver membrane to execute their convenient technology. If you enjoy the ease of using modern televisions, microwave ovens, computer keyboards, and more, you can thank silver.
  • Conductors – Silver is a superconductor, which outperforms copper in terms of its electric load. Its lightweight conducting powers make it ideal for use in cable television control panels, telephones, and digital electronics.
  • Circuit Boards – All circuit boards used in electronic devices – such as computers and phones – contain precious metals. Silver-based inks provide the electronic pathways that make these circuit boards run.
  • CD/DVD – Entertainment items such as CDs and DVDs are manufactured using silver. In fact, your plasma display panels are also made with silver.
  • Batteries – It is a little known fact that batteries made with silver composites outperform lithium by 35%.
  • RFID – Radio frequency identification is the future of anti-theft technology. What you may not know about these machines is that they use silver-based ink and film.
  • Automobiles – Everything from starting an engine and power steering to forty different functions in an automobile all require silver.

silver-precious-metal-sbcgold1 Silver in Energy Technology

As we strive to create more green energy sources and more conscious forms of power, silver plays important roles in developing more energy-efficient solutions.

  • Solar Energy – As an alternative to fossil fuel, more people are turning to solar energy technology. Silver is a primary element in the photovoltaic cells that comprise solar panels. These cells catch the sun’s rays and convert them into energy. It is predicted that over 100 million ounces of silver will be used in solar technology by 2015.
  • Energy Efficient Windows – Thermal windows reduce up to 95% of sunlight to help to keep our houses cool from the hot summer weather. The silver coating allows this technology to work.

Silver in Purification

Silver holds the key for a safe and natural way to sanitize and protect against germs.

  • Water Purifiers – Water is the earth’s most precious element for our survival. As pollution increases, the need for pure and life-sustaining water is critical to our future survival. Silver plays a significant role in purifying our drinking water. A silver colloid known as Microdyn is an important component in the water purifiers sold to millions each year. This colloid is powerful in preventing bacteria from building up in these filters that remove the harmful elements in the water.
  • Sanitation – The combination of silver and oxygen eliminates the need for toxic chemicals such as chlorine. This powerful catalyst provides a cleaner future outlook as we look for more natural ways to disinfect our homes.
  • Filtration – Again, the use of silver in technology provides the key to a safer way to filter our water systems. We are increasingly replacing chlorine with silver ions in major water purification systems used in large facilities and pools.
  • Disease Prevention – Silver inhibits bacteria from building up in pipes and water tanks. This prevents water-spread diseases such as Legionnaires’ disease.

Silver in Nanotechnology

Silver has been known for centuries to hold antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities. This has led to much experimentation with the use of silver. Some people even drink supplements containing silver. You should always be cautious and consult your doctor before drinking silver. In one case it turned a man’s skin blue. However, scientists in recent years have found some ways to fabricate tiny particles of silver called nanoparticles. These atoms are extremely effective at fighting bacteria in our environment that has given rise to silver nanotechnology.

  • Personal Items – Silver nanoparticles are being manufactured into various items in the hopes of marketing its antibacterial benefits. Some of these items may surprise you-ranging from hair dryers, children’s toys, topical creams, and sports socks.
  • Household Appliances – Nanoparticles in washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, and vacuum cleaners sterilize 650 types of bacteria in your home.
  • Bandages – Silver laced bandages are gaining popularity as a way to halt the growth of bacteria and speed up the healing process. These bandages may be extremely useful for burn and wound victims.

Technology uses for silver span across a variety of areas ranging from electronics, environmental engineering, and even medicinal purposes. Developments in silver technology provide clean and natural ways to fight bacteria and make our gadgets run.

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About JihanLee

Jihan, a freelance writer, is passionate about technology, health care, and sports. On his free time he loves to travel and spend time with family. He tries to be active on twitter so follow him, @ji_han_lee.