Silver is a metallic chemical element with the atomic number of 47 and the chemical symbol of Ag. It has the highest electrical conductivity of any element. It most commonly found naturally as an alloy with other metals such as gold and copper. Most of us are familiar with the use of silver for jewelry and fine home wares such as cutlery and dishware. However, silver has many other applications as well. The following are some of the most common uses of silver in the world today!
Use of Silver
- The most common uses of silver include jewelry and high quality cutlery (also known as silverware).
- It was also used to make currency coins in many countries, but since the introduction of fiat money it is not longer used.
- Silver is used in mirrors as the reflective metal behind the glass especially in specialized equipment such as solar reflectors. Aluminum is now used in most cases because it is cheaper.
- It is beaten into plates, vases, cups and other decorative items.
- Silver is used with other metals such as mercury and tin in dentistry fillings.
- In the past it was used in the art of photography, but since the introduction of digital photography it is not in such high demand anymore.
- Some electrical products are made from silver due to its high electrical conductivity. One good example of this is high quality RF connectors.
- Computer keyboards use silver electrical contacts.
- Silver is also used in high voltage electronics as it can withstand arching
- Some high quality sound equipment uses silver conductors as it is thought to produce better sound quality due to silvers high conductivity.
- Silver oxide batteries are used in small devices such as hearing aids and watches to prolong battery life.
- Silver and silver alloys are used to make high quality musical wind instruments such as saxophones and flutes.
- Silver oxides are also used as a catalyst in chemical reactions such as the production of formaldehyde from methanol and air.
- Silver is also used to make rods to regulate the fission chain reaction in pressurized water nuclear reactors.
- It is also used for medicinal purposes such as in solutions to kill some bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi.
- Silver is used as a topical treatment in gels and bandages because of its antimicrobial effects.
- Silver is commonly used in catheters for reducing bacteraemia in adults having short term catheterization in hospitals.
- It is also used in clothing to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.