MineCore International in a recent press release has discussed the non gemstone sapphire market and mining.
Sapphire (corundum) is aluminum oxide (Al2O3) . Lower grade sapphires which cannot be used as gemstones can be melted to produce wafers with purity greater than 99.9999%. These wafers can be supplied to the semiconductor and solar industries thereby increasing profits for the mining company.
A recently research paper published by Hammond Group/ New Tech Research on the non-gemstone applications of sapphires such as solar, semiconductors and LED’s. Renowned engineers with IBM and Intel were also involved in the research.
According to the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MineCore Jerry G. Mikolajczyk, the results of the research noted above indicated that the demand for non-gemstone sapphire continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.
Some important non-gemstone applications of sapphire include:
i) Solar Panels – Very useful for solar panels in space for use in space shuttles, telescopes and space stations. Solar cells that incorporate sapphires are highly efficient . These highly efficient solar panels are now being produced for terrestrial use on earth due to the efficiency and high demand for green energy.
ii) Sapphire Substrate (SOS- Chips- Silicon on Sapphire) used in RF switch devices, mobile phones, high speed circuits, military uses, Blue Ray DVD and LED’s.
iii)Nitride LED- LED displays, LED TV, general lighting etc.
Sapphire is a very good alternative to silicon because of its higher melting points ( silicon 1414 degrees Celsius and sapphire at 2045 deg Celsius ) . This is very important in super fast computer chips because of the heat generated in these chips.
The non-gemstone sapphire market is expected to US$ 500 million in 2012 and US#1 billion in 2017.