Saving Your Information with Platinum
If you were to ask the average person on the street to give you a common use for platinum, the answer you would be most likely to get would be either jewelry or in the catalytic converter that is a part of your automobile's exhaust system. While these are definitely large scale uses for platinum, they are by no means the only uses. In the greater scheme of things, the amount of this precious metal used in these industries is a small percentage of the total world usage. What many people do not realize is that the modern computerized world relies heavily on platinum in every aspect of the equipment we use. The biggest need in the computing world is for storage; no matter how much we have, it seems as if it is never enough.
In the early days of computing the first hard disk drive produced by IBM used 50 disks that measured 24 inches in diameter and was capable of storing a massive five megabytes of information. The hard drive of today uses 3.5 inch disks with a platinum/cobalt layer and can store as much as two Terabytes of information in one hard drive assembly that will fit in the palm of your hand. If you were to look inside the standard hard drive of today, what you see will remind you of the old fashioned record player. There is a hard disk or stack of disks that spin at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm and an arm that has the read/write sensor attached.
The disks themselves are aluminum; it is the magnetic coating of cobalt that is infused with platinum that actually contains the recorded information. The platinum has been added to the mix because it actually enhances the natural magnetic qualities of the cobalt and makes it possible for each disk to store more information. The number of hard drives that make use of this platinum/cobalt alloy was around 50 percent in the late 1990s. Today, due to the demand for hard drives that can not only store more information, but retrieve it at much higher speeds, all hard drives contain this alloy. Not only has the number of hard drives containing platinum increased exponentially, so has the amount of platinum in the alloy, up from 10 percent five years ago to 35 percent and it is still continuing to increase.