The Industrial Uses of Gold and Silver
Metals such as gold and silver have been considered precious throughout history for their rarity and aesthetic appeal. These elements are important in modern industry as technological advances expand the applications and uses of their unique physical properties. The uses of these two metals are found in almost every field of interest. From medical to aerospace technology, the applications of these substances provide another reason for their desirability. The evolution of technology has increased its demand for gold’s physical properties. One of the key differences between gold and silver is its resistance to tarnishing. Even though silver and copper are better conductors, gold’s defiance against environmental effects makes it a perfect for electronics where consistent performance over time is desired. Melting other metals with gold forms a gold-based alloy which is extremely heat resistant but can still act as a conductor. These alloys are then used in electronics that operate under intensely high temperatures, such as toasters (World Gold Council, 2012). One significant area where gold is consumed for its reliability is the military. The military uses gold in the form of connectors where the reliability of its electronics is an important factor because using gold connectors can mean the difference between life and death. This is why every tank, helicopter, fight jet, and other military hardware has gold in some form or another. The medical field has also recognized the gold’s reliable characteristics. Most, if not all of the life support electronics are plated with gold as its conductor. One medical application of gold that is not related to electronics is the treatment of a condition called Lagophthalmos. A person with this condition has the inability to fully close their eyes. By implanting tiny amounts of gold in the upper eyelid, the extra weight allows them to completely close their eyes. Gold is used because it has...
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