Q:

What is platinum made of?

A:

Platinum is a pure elemental metal, which, like other elements, doesn't break down into further components. It is element number 78 on the periodic table and has an atomic mass of 195.08. Platinum is relatively unreactive and is found naturally mixed with small amounts of other metals in its family group.

While the discovery of platinum is traceable to the 1730s or 1740s, no one is sure who made the discovery, according to About.com. Pre-Cambrian Indian artifacts show its use in a relatively pure form. Reference.com says the Spanish make reference to the metal in mining for silver in Central America in the 1550s, but they considered it an impurity, so it was discarded.

While halogens, sulfur and caustic alkalis attack platinum, it doesn't react with oxygen even when heated to a high temperature. It does absorb large quantities of hydrogen, which it releases as red heat.

Platinum is a silver-white metal that resists wear and tarnish, making it a good choice for use in making fine jewelry. In the medical field, it is used in laboratory utensils and surgical tools as well as surgical implants, such as replacement valves and pacemakers. Dentists use platinum extensively. The electronics industry uses it to make contact points and electrical resistance wires.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Does stainless steel contain nickel?

    A:

    Modern stainless steel contains nickel along with other elements, such as molybdenum, niobium and chromium, that help the metal resist corrosion. Nickel is merely one of the key elements that adds to the rust-resistance of steel.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What compound is gallium found in?

    A:

    According to Jefferson Lab, gallium alloys easily with other elements and is, thus, a component of many compounds. Gallium was first extracted, via electrolysis, from gallium hydroxide suspended in potassium hydroxide in 1875.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are alloys used?

    A:

    Alloys mix metals with other elements to help harden and otherwise make them more useful. For example, gold is too soft to make good jewelry on its own, but it can be mixed with other elements, including harder metals like zinc and nickel, to help make it strong enough to be formed into rings and other jewelry pieces.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between platinum and white gold?

    A:

    White gold is an alloy of gold and other metals, such as silver or palladium, while platinum is an almost entirely pure white metal. In a natural state, platinum has a much whiter color than white gold. However, most white gold is plated with rhodium, which makes the colors much more similar.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore