Mintek is working with some of the precious metals in order to enhance their properties. The precious metals, for example platinum and gold are renowned for their noble properties and good formabilities. Platinum is used extensively in the glass industry for containing the molten glass, because of its high melting point and excellent chemical resistance. Platinum is also used for autocatalysts for cleaning the emissions of automobiles, as well as jewellery.
Various gold alloys are used in the jewellery industry, as alloying additions improve the hardness and contribute to colour variations in gold-based materials. AMD has been involved in research and development of a number of gold alloys over the years:
Hercules™ is a low nickel austenitic stainless steel (LNASS) that has been developed at Mintek by the base metals group, in the Advanced Materials Division, to address the fact that austenitic stainless steels, although possessing useful engineering properties, are not readily selected for structural applications due to their high cost per unit strength Hercules™ thus provides a cheaper alternative to conventional austenitic stainless steels, such as type 304 and 201, in structural applications.