Use as non-toxic lead replacement driving growth
Bismuth demand is poised to grow significantly on account of its non-toxic nature,
combined with physical properties that allow it to be substituted in place of more
harmful metals. Regulations and legislation are in place to support lead substitution, including laws governing plumbing for drinking water that require the elimination of lead, and the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive for the elimination of lead in electronics, including solders used in circuit boards.
Bismuth is used to replace lead in cosmetics, paint pigments, free-machining steel,
galvanizing alloys, ceramic glazes, radiation shielding, ammunition, greases, golf
balls, fishing sinkers, plumbing solders and brasses, and electronics solders.
Bismuth - A Window to the Future
Medical, Health and Safety applications
In addition to bismuth’s non-toxic nature its antibacterial properties support its use
in items like Pepto-Bismol®, bandage dressings and some medical devices. It
replaces lead in cosmetics to produce the pearlescent effect in lip glosses and eye
shadows and is used extensively in fire detection and extinguishing systems.
Dimensionally stable alloys
Bismuth, like water, is one of the few elements that expands when cooled making it
important in the manufacture of dimensionally stable alloys and compounds,
including metal castings and coatings that could crack from shrinkage during
cooling such as automotive anti-corrosion alloy electro-plated on premium
automobiles and galvanizing. Bismuth is also used for frit coatings on automotive
glass to protect windshield seals from degradation from exposure to ultraviolet
radiation and changing temperatures. In fact, most of the 90 million cars produced annually contain about 2 ounces of bismuth in the windshield frit.
is showing promise in many developing applications in the superconductor,
energy conservation, synthetic fuels and nanoparticles sectors. Examples include its
use in in a more effective contrast agent for CT Scanners to provide enhanced
radiotherapy treatment for cancer, and in a bismuth telluride alloy in
thermo-electric devices that convert waste heat from motors, furnaces and engines