Platinum: Properties and Applications

Platinum: Properties and Applications

Substances that exist in nature are a practically inexhaustible topic for stories. Especially since not all of them are equally well known. Be sure to find out at least for the overall development of the main platinum, its properties and features of application.

What it is?

Three decades who graduated from school, they would surely say that platinum is the metal of the side subgroup of the 8th group of the periodic system of Mendeleev elements. However, such a classification is outdated, and Now platinum refer to the 10th group of elements.

Her atomic number – 78. This is a mineral mineral extracted in large mines. And sometimes there are nuggets platinum various values.

Say how this metal looks in nature is impossible. Because in its pure form it can only get artificially. Platinum ores have only small inclusions of the main substance. They are from a physical point of view are isomorphic mixtures Pt with:

  • MEDU+
  • Iron+
  • Nickel+
  • Silver+
  • various platinum group metals.

History of origin

Platinum ores are everywhere in scattered state. Their main part is concentrated in the new light. That’s why Honor of opening platinum belongs to the ancient Indians. When they started to extract this metal, even specialists know. But after the opening of platinum, Europeans, its role in the economy turned out to be negative.

The very name of the metal comes from Spanish “Silverish”. It was in fact used to forged the full-fledged silver coin.

No wonder in 1735 in Spain decided to ban the import of previously mined platinum in the metropolitan. The fact that was re-produced in Colombia was ordered to a thoroughly separating from silver and loosen in rivers. And all that managed to bring to Spain to Spain itself, in a solemn atmosphere drowned in the sea.

But it is curious that she has not passed and half a century, like Madrid, on the contrary, took a course on the enhanced import of platinum raw materials. Then it began on a state scale to use coins from other precious metals to falsify. By 1820, in various data, in Europe it turned out from 3 to 7 tons of platinum. It was from it in France made standards of meter and kilogram. But it still did not have any serious use.

Composition and properties

The proportion of pure platinum is 21.45 g per 1 cubic. cm. It melts at a temperature of about 1768 degrees Celsius. Boiling (evaporation) occurs at 3825 degrees. It is such a temperature characteristics for a long time did not allow not to allocate a clean metal, neither more to establish its use. In addition, platinum is harder than gold and silver, mechanically handling it is quite difficult.

This metal forging and plastic. His tensile strength is very impressive.

It is almost impossible to oxidize platinum or affect it with any alkalis.

It dissolves only in:

  • royal vodka+
  • liquid bromine+
  • Preheated sulfuric acid (but extremely slow).

Important: After heating, the reaction capacity of the metal grows significantly. But he is not a magnetic.

Therefore, it does not make sense to bring it to the magnet for separation from silver or gold. It is only necessary to understand that pure platinum decorations does not happen. They may contain various concentrations of iron and nickel, and just these impurities fully react to a magnet.

Curiously, that In the microworld, platinum may well be magnetic properties. Physicists in the experiment managed to detect them at the atomic layer of metal + about opening announced in 2018. To give the substance of ferromagnetic properties, it was necessary to use ionic liquid – a new variety of substances specially created during the studies. As for the color of platinum, in nature it is painted in silver-white tone. Sometimes there are dark gray samples.

Where and how to get?

Platinum ore It is important to extract from the bowels of the earth, for this there are several ways.

Place of Birth

Despite the initial finding of platinum deposits in South America, the largest field in the world in the XXI century is located in Africa. If exactly exactly, then in South Africa. Bushwelde complex – a giant accumulation of platinum group metals + it is believed that it appeared 2 billion years ago as a result of volcanic processes. In the form of the South African field resembles a “plate” with a diameter of 370 km. The complex is complicated from several horizons that are directed deep into.

At the same time, the thickness of the deposits in 2 horizons of three is only about 1 m. The horizon “Point” currently developed now has a thickness of 5-90 m in different places. Prey on it lead in the open way. The complex was opened in 1924. It is from here that goes to the world market ¾ of all platinum.

It is curious that in Russia (more specifically, in the Urals) in the first half of the XIX century, this metal was produced more than anywhere else in the world.

But today our Fatherland is included in the list of leading countries on platinum ore. True, it is already in second place, yarring South Africa 5.8 times. From Russia, the precious metal is sent also to export. The third line of the world rank is occupied by Zimbabwe, where they produce about 3 times less platinum (9 tons).

As well as platinum mining:

  • USA (6000 kg)+
  • Canada (approximately 5000 kg)+
  • Other states (6100 kg together).

Methods of production

This metal can be removed both open and mining. Careers are mainly located where the secondary placers are found. In these places, platinum was postponed after the mechanical destruction of primary deposits. But Geologists have long found that the main part of it is concentrated in the underground formations of nickel ores. Mine mining is not much different from work on other metal minerals + worth noting only a significant proportion of manual labor.

Anyway, the minimum ruda has to enrich. In the initially extracted form, 1000 tons accounts for only 1-6 kg of target raw materials.

After enrichment, its concentration rises by 3 orders. On the Bushwelde Complex 1 kg of platinum ultimately (taking into account technological losses) requires raising 500-1500 kg of ore. Then the semi-finished product is treated in wastewatering metallurgical furnaces and special converters + but the final result is achieved only after the affinalage when the metal concentration is 99.5%.

Comparison with other metals

Platinum is better than gold, that she is stronger than his. Because the service life of platinum products is noticeably higher. Scratch them significantly harder. As a result, such types of jewelry (and not only) products are less likely to enter. Platinum “Aged” differs from gold even more.

She, thanks to a patina, acquires gray coloring with a matte. Many owners try to get rid of such an effect and polish their decorations. According to other people, Patina makes a precious metal if not even more valuable, then in any case more interesting. Not seeing live, take the right decision is unlikely to succeed. Rhodium layer on white gold gradually erased, and it will become much yellow.

Silver softer platinum, and the latter, of course, is much heavier. The durability of silver products is also not too large.

They will gradually fade, and they will systematically have to be cleaned. After all Silver is chemically actively, and it will inevitably come into reaction with the most ordinary substances, even with atmospheric oxygen. However, the whole difference in favor of platinum is overshadowed by the fact that it is noticeably less accessible than gold and the more silver.

Platinum looks like tungsten. But it is significantly cheaper, while the strength of tungsten products is also great. The problem is that tungsten is much more difficult to process, giving it a normal form. Redo the tungsten ring, adjust its size – a difficult task even with the technologies of the XXI century. The same difficulties arise and when using titanium imitation.


There are quite a lot of platinum alloys. Jewelry for the most part made from a metal of 950 samples, which contains 95% of pure platinum. Sometimes you can meet the 900th alloy. Its explicit consists are not too saturated color and inexpressive shine. Therefore, in aesthetical plan, he strongly loses the 950th Metal.

Wide platinum alloys with iridium. The more this second component, the more refluxing the connection. Crystallization interval platinum-iridium alloys relative to narrow. The hardness and strength of the substance also significantly increase.

For different purposes, platinum can still be fused with:

  • MEDU+
  • Ruthenia+
  • Palladium+
  • Nickel+
  • Rhodium.


Very large proportion of platinum applied in industry. Technologists highly appreciate the property of this metal accelerate various chemical reactions without spending. Now it is sometimes used in medicine, primarily for dental prosthetics. Already in the middle of the last century, this application accounted for several percent of all the platinum. Quantity is gradually growing.

But the undisputed leader in volume was the jewelry industry. Every year it uses at least 50 tons of platinum.

Its use is also common in the production of nitric acid (as an oxidizing agent of ammonia). True, in this case, a platinum-rhodium alloy is used more often, and not pure metal. The reasons for such preference are interesting only to technologists and go beyond the framework of this article. Another precious metal is used in the production of sulfuric acid, hydrogenation of hydrocarbons, acetylene, ketones.

But Platinum is widely used in the oil refining industry. It is an excellent catalyst accelerating gasoline. In the distillation columns, not the grid, as sometimes think, and finely dispersed platinum powder. He is longer than Molybdenum, and Vanadium. As well as in favor of platinum indicates increased efficiency.

Platinum-iridium alloy is in demand when creating high-quality contacts in radio electronic products.

Platinum can be used in the contacts of the resistance of electric furnaces. You can meet it in many other electrical contacts.

Platinum-cobalt alloy is needed to create magnets that combine compactness and tremendous performance.

Every day, implicitly use platinum many motorists. In cars it is mainly contained in catalysts. This metal helps reduce the toxicity of exhaust gases, thereby improving the state of the city atmosphere. Platinum coating in the catalyst is applied to the monolithic ceramic element.

Space and aircraft industry need platinum electrodes for fuel systems.

Returning to medicine, it is worth noting that on the basis of platinum make unique surgical instruments. They can be disinfected with alcohol burners, without spending special reagents. Dentists like working tools to which a thin layer of platinum is sprayed. Platinum-iridium electrodes are used to control the rhythm of cardiac activity, and for prosthetics in case of hearing problems.

But it is impossible not to mention the role of “white metal” in other areas.

So, It is very in demand in glass production. Rather, not window glass, but high-quality optical glasses. Rhodium-platinum mixture helps to make fiberglass filters with a thickness of less than 1 mm. For many thousands of hours, it operates better at a temperature of 1400-1500 degrees, developing inside glass furnaces.

But platinum is needed to create mechanisms that the glass industry uses. They are durable, do not oxidize any reactivities and do not react with the global mass itself.

Elite Czech glass, standing by practically fabulous money, is made precisely inside platinum crucibles.

Of course, the substance could not pass by the so-resistant to the heat and the most caustic reagents. Tigli, other dishes for research and expert laboratories, for especially clean industries are made from platinum.

So, it is On the basis of PT create some devices used in creating semiconductor crystalin. Only inside them can create such conditions when the concentration of impurities will be less than 1 atom per million. Still in platinum triggers produce crystals necessary to create lasers and for contacts of low-current electrical engineering.

This metal is still on:

  • Mirrors used inside lasers+
  • Retorts for producing packing and chlorine acids+
  • Insoluble anodes for electroplating equipment+
  • Resistance thermometers+
  • Separate parts of microwave equipment+
  • Preparations overwhelming some forms of cancer disorders+
  • Production of coins and signs of distinction, medals and orders+
  • Equipment where vitamins and some other pharmacological preparations are synthesized.

How to choose a decoration?

From the very beginning it is necessary to navigate the price. Platinum with an identical sample will be at least three times more precious than gold. Especially since jewelers working with her, not so much. The vast majority of such masters work in Western Europe. It is advisable to focus on the decorations from there. But do not trust the price tag and the words of sellers, and require official certificates.

Cobalt and ruthenium additives allow you to increase product duration. Jewelry with an additive of iridium is more often scratched, but allow you to save. Sample must be chosen primarily taking into account your financial opportunities.

Important: All mechanized platinum decorations are fragile and short-lived. Save on the choice of products of masters working strictly manually, should not.

And a few more tips:

  • Platinum comes visually with any precious stones+
  • The best option (in the presence of funds) will be a combination of it with diamonds+
  • Inserted stones must match the overall concept+
  • engraved inscriptions and drawings can quickly get out of fashion+
  • And of course, it is necessary to contact the official jewelry salon, and not the first trading point in the middle of the underground transition in the first way.

Features of care

No specific requirements here. Cleaning is usually carried out with special preparations for platinum. You can buy them in most jewelry stores. Some people use an unsaturated soap solution or strongly diluted ammonia alcohol. Sometimes liquid detergents for washing dishes + however soap and gels are considered, as it is believed may result in loss of characteristic shine.

Most gentle option – washing clean water and careful wiping with soft cloth. Polishing at home is impossible.

It is held only experienced jewelers on special equipment. Platinum product must be stored separately from other metals ornaments. This will allow them to protect them from deformation when touched by a solid subject.

Interesting Facts

The high value of platinum is due not only to its own unique properties, but also a comparative rare. It is estimated that even at the deposits (as in the whole earthly crust), the concentration of Pt is 30 times less than the concentration of gold. From 1828 to 1845, platinum coins did in our country. Their nominal was 3, 6 and 12 rubles, and the total amount of metals spent exceeded 14 tons. In the category of precious metals, platinum got only in 1751 – approximately 200 years have passed since it became known in Europe.

But this metal is found not only on Earth. It was repeatedly discovered during a chemical analysis of meteorites.

And in our country, in the first of the first 10 years, the production was extracted so much platinum as the preceding opening of the Urals of the century was mined in all of America. AND It is in Russia that are found both the largest, in general (interlated) and the largest from the nuggets that have come to our time. The status of the chemical element of Platinum received in 1735, when Italian D. Scaliger has proven its indecompoxy + previously believed that this is a simple substance.

Chemically pure platinum from ore was highlighted only after 68 years later in England. In a metal form, it is completely neutral biologically. However, individual compounds (primarily with fluorine) may be exclusively lifeful for life. And in 1867, all Russian platinum reserves (immediately after removing the moratorium on sale) were bought by England. But Back in the first years of the twentieth century, at least 90% of world production (Because fantastic reserves in southern Africa found only in the mid-1920s).

It is not surprising, therefore, in May 1918, a special institution for the study of platinum was created. Now he is part of the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry. Separate pay-containing minerals also contain antimony, arsenic or sulfur, but they are less common than compounds with metals. Thus, the Norilskite mineral and 26% of nickel enabled in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. It is curious that at one of the stages of industrial production of platinum, a sugar solution can be used.

And the names of this metal are quite diverse: it is called “rotten gold”, and “frog and gold”. Small crystals of it have a cubic form. Initially in the first half of the XIX century in our country from platinum, rings were made, hoops for barrels. On electrical conductivity This metal is also inferior and copper, and aluminum, and silver. Oxidized by atmospheric oxygen platinum begins only at temperatures from 200 degrees.

Read more about Platinum and its properties, see video.

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