Silver Used in BMW 760 And 3-D Printing

The Silver Institute reports in its latest update to subscribers two interesting new industrial applications of silver: BMW accessories and 3-D printing.

BMW Adds Silver Accessories and Trim to 760Li

Silver manufacturers Robbe & Berking have teamed with BMW, to produce an even more luxurious version of the carmaker’s 760Li (base price: US$160,000). This 2013 model, officially named Individual 760Li Sterling Inspired by Robbe & Berking, offers sterling silver touches on the exterior and interior, including BMW’s signature grille and side trim elements. Also made from sterling silver are the tailpipe embellisher, model badging, door handles and the trim strip on the trunk lid.

The trim surfaces also include a punch mark of a crescent moon, a traditional symbol for silver. BMW has not yet revealed the price, because it will be determined by the chosen interior and the level of equipment and options desired. The car is not yet available for sale in the United States.

3-D Printers With Nanosilver Can Build Batteries Into Tiny Electronic Products

3-D printing is on the cutting edge of industrial technology, and silver is helping to build products that until recently could only be imagined.

Printers that produce 3-Dimensional models – from computer to printer to solid object – have been used to make statues, rocket engines, jewelry and even guns. Now, a Harvard researcher has developed new ‘inks’ that can be spewed from 3D printers to print batteries and electronic components.

Jennifer Lewis, a materials scientist, has developed inks that solidify and become batteries or printed circuit boards. The ultimate end product might be a tiny device, such as a hearing aid or under-the-skin biomedical sensor, that is produced along with its own battery instead of having it inserted later. This battery would not only be smaller than a conventional cell but rechargeable as well.

To make the dream a reality, Lewis has not only produced special inks – many with silver nanoparticles that allow electrical conductivity — but also unique nozzles and other extruders that are attached to 3-D printers. Once ejected by the printer, according to a piece of software’s design, the inks harden and become wires, batteries and other electronic components. Many nozzles can work simultaneously and produce items in mass batches.

One of the benefits of the new inks over existing 2-D printers that shoot metal inks is that the printing is done at room temperature. This allows printing on low-melting materials such as paper, plastic and Styrofoam. Lewis’s group has patents for its inks and hopes to license the technology so it can be commercialized for industrial and hobbyist uses.

Source: The Silver Institute

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