Elements, Compounds and Bears, Oh My!

Ok, the title is just to get you interested but it does have some truth to it. I was just at a tradeshow last week and saw a lot (and I mean more than I can shake a stick at) of companies selling solar related products. I believe the number was over 1,100. Some were even competitors to us. Want to know the funny part?

Every company, except one, had me saying “so what” to what they were selling. They were selling solar panels, testing equipment, etc. Looks nice….so what. I asked about what their product does for the end user, how will it save them money, etc. Nobody had answers, except one.

One company, the lone success story, was a solar panel manufacture. They said the actual benefits to their products and why they were better and what it means for me, the end user. Seems like this company does not have the most efficient solar panel, but since it doesn’t need direct sunlight as much as everyone else the total energy it creates is much more than its competitors. In other words, it’s peak time is longer than the others and it’s an elongated bell curve vs. a narrow bell curve. While others have 5.4 hours of sunlight per day this company has closer to 7 or 8. I don’t know the numbers but its something like that.

I mention that because everyone else seems to forget why they are different. At SkySpring we sell metals, elements, and nanomaterials. So what, right? We only sell high purity materials because they are the best for industrial clients. Our clients can create better, longer lasting products with better materials. This makes their products better, greater value, and improves on their brand image. We also want to align ourselves with partners who care about quality and their images. So many people forget that quality does not cost more, it actually costs less. If we give a superior product to our clients, they will, in turn, give a quality product to you. Everyone will prosper.

So, what do we do? We provide high purity materials and a great partnership that you require for you to make your products and be successful.

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Rare Earth Association to begin in China

As per some of our earlier posts, Rare Earth Materials are very important to many countries, let alone many companies. The association in China will be attached to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and service Chinese rare earth companies on rare earth production, market research, industry regulation, trade friction warning and other topics.

The association will also play as a bridge between rare earth companies and government as well as between Chinese and overseas rare earth markets. It will also have an influence on important factors in the industry, such as export prices and quotas.

Sources reported that market regulation in the rare earth industry would be the key problem to be settled after the association is launched.

Rare Earth Materials and the Defense Department?

Yes, some interesting applications that rare earth materials are used for are with our very own government and special ops teams. Hard to believe but it’s true. Below is a quick list of some of the most popular uses and the rare earth materials associated:

Defense Uses of Rare Earth Elements
Lanthanum night-vision goggles
Neodymium laser range-finders, guidance systems, communications
Europium fluorescents and phosphors in lamps and monitors
Erbium amplifiers in fiber-optic data transmission
Samarium pernament magnets that are stable at high temperatures
Samarium precision-guided weapons
Samarium “white noise” production in stealth technology

Silver Nanoparticles and how they may help clean water

Silver Nanoparticles have unique optical, electrical and thermal properties and have been incorporated into products that range from photovolaics to the tube sock. So what are silver nanoparticles,  what do they do, and what does the future hold for them?

What are Silver Nanomaterials?
Silver Nanoparticles are by definition a small particle between 1 nm and 100nm in size. They are frequently described as being silver although some are composed of a large percentage of silver oxide due to their large ratio of surface-to-bulk silver atoms.

What do they do?
The unique properties of silver nanoparticles make them ideal for numerous technologies including biomedical, materials, optical and anticrobial applications. Below are many of the applications of Silver Nanomaterials.

Some Silver Nanoparticle Applications
Diagnostic: Surgical instruments and biosensors where those materials can be used as biological tags for quantitative detection.
Antibacterial: s Incorporated in apparel, footwear, paints, wound dressings, appliances, cosmetics, and plastics for their antibacterial properties.
Conductive: Used in conductive inks and integrated into composites to enhance thermal and electrical conductivity.
Optical: Used to efficiently harvest light and for enhanced optical spectroscopies including metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS).
Bone Cement: Used to successfully anchor artificial joints.
Clean Water: Portable filter paper laced with silver nanoparticles. Used to filter foul water of such as cholera and giardiasis, for example, that are associated with foul drinking water.

Water Purification: Using silver to kill water based bacteria is not a new idea. People have been using silver to preserve potable water for centuries. I believe that advances in portable filters are one way to go to help bring potable water sources to over 1 billion people according to the World Health Organization not currently having access to clean water. Once the drawbacks have been eliminated this kind of water purification could help areas like Haiti in 2010 when the earthquake devastated basic drinking water. Many died because of water related disease and Silver Nanomaterials may be the solution.

The idea is to have filters that are lined with Silver Nanomaterials and when E-Coli or other bacterial try to go through the filter the Silver Nanomaterials essentially kill them off. Some early experiments show that when polluted water was filtrated, the filtrated water was 100 times better for bacteria ppm than the government recommendations/regulations call for.