From non-corroding electrical switches to chemical-producing catalysts, silver is an essential component in nearly every industry. Its unique elemental properties make it impossible to substitute and its uses span almost every sector of industrial application.
Electric power, the most important source of power in global industry, depends on the distribution of electric power depends upon silver contacts in switches and circuit breakers. Silver contacts in membrane switch panels are now standard in control panels for machinery, chemical industry processes, railway traffic controls and elevator buttons.
Silver oxide and zinc batteries have twice the capacity of lead-acid batteries, making them the power source of choice for television and film crews, aircraft and submersibles. Unlike other substances, silver performs well at high temperatures. For example, silver batteries are the only kind that can function at the high temperatures found deep in oil wells.
Another important use is in radiography, the use of photo film to evaluate the internal condition of materials. This technique is key for the discovery of structural flaws.
For more information on silver’s use in industrial applications, go to this link for a report on the future of silver industrial demand.