Remember the periodic table of elements? This table reached its 150th birthday in 2019, yet it remains, well, essential to understanding manufacturing innovation.
Among these atomic building blocks of the universe, consider the numerous metals. In fact, metals make up the majority of the elements in the periodic table. The unique properties of each element make it more or less valuable across various applications.
The platinum group metals (PGMs), for example, have enabled innovation in not only medications and medical devices, but also automobile parts manufacturing. Catalytic converters require palladium and rhodium. Ruthenium and also feeds many industrially important chemical reactions.
It takes incredible skill and expertise to successfully use elements to innovate industrial applications.
One of the challenges in the development of electric vehicles had to do with the scarcity of cobalt. Then, innovators developed the eLNO battery cathode material technology to minimize the amount of cobalt.
Innovations like the catalytic converter and next-generation lithium-ion batteries protect our air and provide for a cleaner, clearer world.
So, next time you’re passing by some machinery component, pause a moment to think about the elements that went into building it!
Photo by Vedrana Filipović on Unsplash