Silver demand for industrial applications as well as jewelry production is expected to increase in 2018, pushing overall demand higher.
The Silver Institute outlined silver market trends for 2018, along with the latest technological innovations involving the white metal in its latest issue of Silver News.
Silver demand from industrial applications made up about 60% of total demand in 2017. The Silver Institute projects continued growth in 2018. Because of silver’s excellent electrical conductivity, demand is forecast from the automotive segment as vehicles become more electrified and computerized. Strong demand is also expected from photovoltaic applications. Large-scale solar capacity additions and uptake from individual households, particularly in China, should also boost silver demand.
Jewelry demand is predicted to continue its steady increase in 2018, expanding consumption by another 4% following a rise of 1% in 2017. Silver demand from the jewelry sector accounts for approximately one-fifth of total silver demand.
The latest issue of Silver News also features some fascinating technological developments related to silver.
- Researchers at Palacký University in the Czech Republic have identified a mechanism to decrease bacterial resistance to silver nanoparticles. This could significantly boost silver’s ability to fight infection.
- The development of ‘electronic’ skin’s ability to sense and feel has taken great strides recently and silver is playing a continuing role. Most recently, University of Colorado Boulder (UCB) researchers have been working on ‘e-skin’ that they claim is self-healing, recyclable and flexible.
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has issued an evidence-based guideline that recommends the use of 38% Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) to treat active cavities in primary teeth in pediatric and special-needs patients.
- Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new type of adhesive electrode – like the kind used for Electrocardiograms, Electroencephalograms, and other monitors – composed of silicone rubber and conductive silver particles that eliminates the drawbacks of conventional electrodes without sacrificing quality.
- Researchers in China have developed a novel wound dressing that mixes silver nanoparticles with an extract from konjac, a plant that grows in subtropical to tropical eastern Asia. The plant’s underground tuber is cooked and eaten mainly in Japan. Known by its Japanese name konnyaku, it is sometimes called “yam cake.”
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