With more than $300 million in gross sales, WWSG encompasses a collective group of companies providing both products and services to the public and private sectors. In this short article, we hope to present to you one of the most poisonous and yet widely used metals that is still being at the core of everyday items; we are talking, of course, of mercury.
The Dangerous Products
- A mercury-arc valve is a type of electrical rectifier used for converting high-voltage or high-current alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). It is a type of cold cathode gas-filled tube, but is unusual in that the cathode, instead of being solid, is made from a pool of liquid mercury and is therefore self-restoring.
- A mercury battery (also called mercuric oxide battery) is a non-rechargeable electrochemical battery, a primary cell. Mercury batteries use a reaction between mercuric oxide and zinc electrodes in an alkaline electrolyte. The voltage during discharge remains practically constant at 1.35 volts, and the capacity is much greater than a similarly sized zinc carbon battery.
- Mercury coulometer is an electroanalytical chemistry device using mercury to determine the amount of matter transformed. These oxidation/reduction processes have 100% efficiency with the wide range of the current densities. Measuring of the quantity of electricity (coulombs) is based on the changes of the mass of the mercury electrode.
- The mercury probe is an electrical probing device to make rapid, non-destructive contact to a sample for electrical characterization. Its primary application is semiconductor measurements where otherwise time-consuming metallizations or photolithographic processing are required to make contact to a sample. These processing steps usually take hours and have to be avoided where possible.
- A mercury swivel commutator is an electrical commutator typically used in electrophysiological experiments on head free or moving animals. Electrical recordings from stationary, head-fixed animals can be done with electrodes attached to a stereotaxic rig. The wires leading from the electrode can be connected to the amplifier and recording setup using regular wires.
- A mercury relay is a relay that uses mercury as the switching element. They are used as high-current switches or contactors, where contact erosion from constant cycling would be a problem for conventional relay contacts. Owing to environmental considerations about the toxicity of mercury, mercury relays are mostly obsolete.
- A mercury-wetted reed relay is a form of reed relay in which the contacts are wetted with mercury. Such relays are used to switch low-voltage signals (one volt or less) where the mercury reduces the contact resistance and associated voltage drop, for low-current signals where surface contamination may make for a poor contact.
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