The top uses of platinum
Platinum is an extremely rare precious metal that occurs deep in the earth’s crust. The reason why it’s a valuable resource is due to its versatility and because several industries require it for various manufacturing applications. Here follows an introduction to the leading uses of platinum.
Platinum is highly valued for its purity, sheen and beauty. Jewellery designers often use it to manufacture high quality jewellery due to its resistance to tarnishing. Working with platinum allows designers to be more creative, as this metal can be heated and cooled repeatedly without oxidising. The advantage of using platinum in any manufacturing process presents itself in its flexibility and ability to retain shape.
Automobile catalytic converters
Platinum helps to conserve the environment. In some cars, the catalytic converter, which is part of the exhaust, is manufactured from platinum. The platinum in the catalytic converter converts harmful exhaust emissions into harmless carbon dioxide and water vapour. Concerns over pollution have led to stricter enforcement of emission regulations– thus increasing the demand for platinum in the car manufacturing industry.
Platinum is a useful component in building computers. It can be found in your computer’s motherboard as well as in the screen. Platinum also is used in the manufacturing of hard disks to keep up with the demand for increased data storage capacity. Hard disks contain magnetic fields upon which data is stored. Platinum increases the strength of the disk’s magnetic fields, thereby increasing its data storage capacity.
Platinum is an important ingredient in fertilisers, as it assists in the conversion of ammonia to nitric acid. In the petroleum industry, it is used as an additive to enhance combustion and reduce carbon emissions (see automobile catalytic converters). The aerospace and construction industries also rely on platinum.
In 1962, medical professionals discovered that platinum has the ability to inhibit the division of cells. This led to the development of platinum-based cancer preventative drugs. The first of this kind of drug was Cisplatin, which still is used today for the treatment of testicular and ovarian cancers. Platinum is also used in the manufacturing of surgical equipment and alloys for dental reconstructions.
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