Why Gold is Also an Industrial Metal
Although gold is well known for its investment value, little is said about its industrial use. In fact, billionaire Warren Buffet has heavily criticized the metal in the past, saying that it is basically dug up out of the ground only to be put back into a vault underground where it is then guarded. However, the truth is that the metal in fact does have a number of industrial uses, which are likely to increase in the future due to advances in technology.
The Physical Characteristics Of Gold
Gold, like silver and platinum, is exceptionally versatile. It can be shaped easily and this is one of the reasons it has been used in coinage and jewelry for thousands of years. It is chosen over other, harder metals which would require greater energy to process. Furthermore, the industrial metal is an outstanding conductor of electricity, which means it is routinely used in electronics. Due to its resistance to corrosion, it can be used in places where other metals would be vulnerable to rust. In fact, many metallurgists will tell you that gold is the world’s top precious metals when it comes to numerous applications.
Aside from its great conductivity, another reason why gold is used so heavily in electronics is because the metal can be stretched into exceptionally thin wires without snapping. This is referred to as malleability, which allows it to form strong contact nodes. Additionally, the presence of gold within electronics means they can operate much cooler than would otherwise be the case. And due to Moore’s Law and the constantly increasing power of processors and chips, anything that can lower their operating temperature is desirable.
Current And Future Applications
A growing number of researchers are recognizing the benefits of using gold in outer space. The yellow metal is preferred in such a harsh environment due to the fact that most other metals would succumb to corrosion. Many orbiting satellites are already utilizing gold as one of their components, and there is no doubt that future space mining, exploration and even colonization missions will require more of this metal. Outer space is one of the harshest and most dangerous environments in the world, so it is absolutely essential that any metal used be 100 percent reliable.
Back on Earth, gold is favored in the medical establishment. While silver usually gets all the attention due to its antimicrobial properties, gold has its own benefits. For instance, dentists use it for a variety of tasks, such as fillings, and prefer it due to the ease with which it can be shaped and the fact that it is hypoallergenic. Additionally, gold can be used for diagnosing conditions as well as treating disease such as arthritis.
The reality is that gold is an incredibly valuable metal whose many properties and potential uses have yet to be fully explored. Researchers are still coming up with new ways to use it. And with robotics, AI, nanotechnology and quantum computers right around the corner, the potential applications for this ancient metal are endless.