The Top Eight Minerals that Support National Defense

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Minerals Make Life

This Memorial Day, we are taking a moment to express our gratitude for the brave men and women who have served our country.The minerals mining industry takes pride in serving those who serve by providing the raw materials that protect and support our troops when they are deployed and after they have returned home.

From the vehicles that transport our troops to the body armor that keeps them safe, minerals are essential to our nation’s defense. The U.S. Department of Defense uses 750,000 tons of minerals annually to build the technologies that ensure our national security. And minerals continue to play a role in our soldiers’ lives after they return home by improving quality of life for wounded vets.

Did you know?

Minerals Keep our Troops Safe

The U.S. military relies on a diverse supply of minerals to defend our nation. For example, copper is used to make military vehicles like aircrafts, naval vessels and Coast Guard ships because of its ability to resist corrosion. Because copper is also a highly flexible metal, it is often combined with lead and nickel to produce military gear and body armor that can withstand impact and degeneration. And 80 percent of aircrafts are made from aluminum as this metal is lightweight, improving fuel efficiency, but also strong enough to carry heavy loads.

Molybdenum is the key ingredient in stainless steel that gives the material its strength and longevity. This metal’s durability, high melting point and resistance to corrosion also make it an ideal mineral to support armored vehicles, missiles and aircrafts.

The remarkable strength of silver makes it another ideal mineral for defense tech. That’s why it’s trusted by the U.S. military to construct Apache helicopters and Airforce C17 transport, ensuring troops get from point A to B unharmed.

Beryllium is six times stronger than steel yet lighter than aluminum. Naturally found within bertrandite ore, this metal is abundant in the U.S. In fact, 90 percent of the world’s bertrandite ore is found in Utah. This metal’s lightweight properties make it the perfect material to enhance the speed of fighter jets. Beryllium is also an excellent heat conductor, making it a critical component of U.S. surveillance technology.

Minerals Support Medical Technology for Wounded Veterans

Minerals are vital to making modern medical technologies that our troops and veterans rely on. Copper and silver are essential to modern medicine because of their ability to resist bacterial growthand expedite the body’s natural healing process. Uranium supports our troops through its use in military technologies and medical treatments. Without this mineral, X-rays and MRIs would be unable to assist and aid the recovery process.

Nickel and titanium are used to construct innovative medical technologies like stentrodes and prosthetic limbs. Strentrodes are devices that are inserted non-surgically into a blood vessel that connects to the brain. This procedure restores mobility to wounded veterans, allowing them to move a prosthetic limb or exoskeleton using neurological signals. Titanium is a key resource thanks to its antibacterial properties. Nickel is not only hygienic but also maintains its strength in extreme temperatures.

The sacrifices our troops make to protect our freedom are immeasurable. It is critical that we ensure they are supplied with the adequate resources and gear they need to perform their critical role as safely as possible.

Thank you to the brave men and women who serve our country! Minerals Make Life wishes you and your families a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

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