6 Com­mon El­e­ments in a Mo­bile Phone

Do you know many parts of a smart­phones are made up of el­e­ments found in the earth? Find out what they are and how they end up in a smart­phone!

Asian Geographic - - CONTENTS - Text Ra­jeswari Viki­ra­man and Rachel Kwek

Do you know many parts of a smart­phones are made up of el­e­ments found in the earth?

1. Gold

Small amounts of gold are used to make the most im­por­tant part of the mo­bile phone: the mo­bile phone cir­cuit board. The worlds top ex­porter of gold is China, fol­lowed by South Africa. Gold is also found in

• medals given out in pop­u­lar world games like the Olympics

• re­li­gious stat­ues and idols used by var­i­ous re­li­gions

• jew­ellery

4. Alu­minium

Used in mo­bile phone cases and com­po­nents, alu­minium is the most abun­dant metal in the Earths crust and is mined in Aus­tralia, Brazil, China, In­dia, Guinea, In­done­sia, Ja­maica, Russia and Suri­name. The worlds top alu­minium pro­ducer is China. Alu­minium is also found in

• soft drink cans

• win­dow frames

• some aero­plane parts

2. Sil­ver

A soft white pre­cious metal, sil­ver is also used in mo­bile-phone cir­cuit boards. The metal is pri­mar­ily pro­duced as a by-prod­uct when pro­duc­ing cop­per, gold, nickel and zinc. The worlds top sil­ver pro­ducer is Mex­ico. Sil­ver is also found in

• coins that we use ev­ery­day

• sil­ver­ware like spoons, forks, knives and plates

5. Lead

Lead is a soft, heavy, toxic and malleable metal­lic el­e­ment used to join elec­tronic parts in phones. Lead is pro­duced from mined lead ore and from re­cy­cling. The worlds top lead pro­ducer is China. Lead is also found in

• gym equip­ment like dumb­bells

• car batteries

3. Cooper

Cop­per is used as an elec­tri­cal con­duc­tor in the mo­bile phone cir­cuit board. Most of this malleable, red­dish-brown metal is mined or ex­tracted as cop­per sul­phides from large, open-pit mines. Chile has at least one-third of the worlds cop­per and is the worlds top pro­ducer. Cooper is also found in

• cook­ing uten­sils

• wiring in elec­tri­cal equip­ment like stand­ing fans

6. Iron

In its pure form, iron is soft and has a grey­ish colour. It is found in screens as well as in mag­nets present in speak­ers and mi­cro­phones. Iron is present in all the con­ti­nents but Aus­tralia has the most. Iron is also found in

• steel

• ex­te­rior of a car

• mag­nets

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