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Silver News: Industrial Demand Remains Strong and Technological Innovations

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Industrial demand for silver remains strong, particularly in electronic and electrical applications.

The Silver Institute highlighted the growing use of silver in electronics along with a number of technological innovations utilizing the white metal in the latest edition of Silver News.

Demand for silver in electronic and electrical applications will continue to drive robust growth, according to the Silver Institute. Demand in these sectors expanded by 2.8% to 249.6 million ounces in 2018 based on preliminary data.

A general rise in electrical equipment has spurred the need for silver-coated circuity, wires and switches from a variety of end uses. Following the increased electrification of powertrains, the automotive sector is taking a lead in this development.”

Industrial use accounts for about 60% of silver’s demand, according to the Silver Institute.

Total physical demand for the white metal is projected to drop by about 3% in 2018, primarily due to a steep dropoff silver coin and bar demand.

The latest issue of Silver News also features some other fascinating technological developments using silver and other interesting news related to the white metal.

  • A capsule designed to be swallowed and remain in the stomach for several months before breaking apart and passing through the digestive system is being powered by a tiny silver-oxide battery because of the cell’s long life and consistent power. The device could be deployed to deliver drugs, especially those that must be taken over a long period. The capsules could also be used to sense infections, allergic reactions, gastric juices, fever or other conditions, and then release a drug in response, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists.
  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IITRoorkee, India), have developed an eco-friendly nanocomposite — using silver and red seaweed — that is capable of penetrating bacterial biofilms on ventilators by killing microbes.
  • A new material using silver dubbed “Black Silver” by its inventors has the ability to improve solar cells because it strongly absorbs light. It can also be altered to sense minute traces of biomolecules, which would make it ideal for biosensors that detect dangerous or toxic chemicals.
  • German and Italian scientists have produced a memristive element — a component whose electrical resistance changes with the amount of current flowing through — using silver that functions similarly to a biological nerve cell. This discovery will help advance the science of artificial intelligence.

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