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What are the main components in electronic engineering?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Dawud Beale, Nov 9, 2011.

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  1. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    Hi everyone

    I was wondering, what are the main components in the industrial electronic engineering industry?

    I know silicon is a main material, is there any other materials that are crucial to the industry? Please provide references.

    Thanks and all the best
     
  2. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    Also Id like to know which countries have teh most abundance of silicon and any other material needed for the electronics industry.

    im doing a project on the electronic engineering industry
     
  3. BobK

    BobK

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  4. duke37

    duke37

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    Many elements are used in the electronics industry
    Copper for conductors.
    Aluminium for conductors, cases and capacitors.
    Tantalum for capacitors, wars are being waged over this (cotan).
    Iron/silicon for transformers, magnetic components and construction.
    Rare earth elements for magnets.
    Silicon, germanium, selenium for semiconductors.
    Tin for solder and plating.
    Lead for solder and batteries.
    Silver for best conductor and solder.
    Nickel for batteries and plating.
    Gold for connectors.
    Cadmium for plating and batteries (not approved now).
    Gallium for semiconductors.
    Phosphorus for semiconductors and phosphors.
    Carbon for batteries, resistors, valve anodes.
    Carbon as diamond for insulators.
    Tungsten (wolfram) for valve heaters and filament bulbs.
    Indium for semiconductors.
    Antimony for semiconductors.
    Lithium for batteries.
    Mercury for lights.
    Neon for lights.
    Beryllium for insulators (very nasty).
    These are others.

    There is plenty of silicon around, sand is silicon dioxide, the problem is to purify it and to make sigle crystals.

    Resins are used for circuit boards and insulation, the list of resin types is endless.

    To get more information, try Wikipedia.
     
  5. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    very useful information, thankyou.

    Regarding silicon, I understand its common, but in terms of easy accessibility, where is it mainly taken from? If it is normal sand, does that mean it is most likely taken from desert areas such as saharah, middle east etc?

    Where are the main extraction areas currently for the industry?

    I have some more to post later regarding some of the other information you gave, but need to focus on silicon first, and understand exactly how its extracted and where its usually extracted from (I dont need to know how its processed but as long as its useful silicon which is used for circuits
     
  6. duke37

    duke37

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    You will need to contact the manufacturers, they may get the sand from the local builder's merchant.
     
  7. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    i mean more on a large scale, tehre must be certain parts of teh world where huge amounts of silicon is extracted and distrubuted? With all teh chips being mass produced i doubt they are eating away at their own coastlines in places like the UK, im sure tehre are certai places where large ammounts are extracted?
     
  8. BobK

    BobK

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    I expect that the amount of silicon used in construction (i.e. concrete) dwarfs that used by the electronics industry.

    Bob
     
  9. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    where do you think its mainly extracted from though?
     
  10. BobK

    BobK

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    Sandpits everywhere.

    Bob
     
  11. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    I understand that but im sure they do not extract it haphazardly, im sure there are certain locations that they are willing to mine to a large extent. I wanted to know if they do it locally or export it. while sand is readily available, the extent to which it is being used would mean massive holes would be appearing in the places where they extract it and thats not viable everywhere
     
  12. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    not really, the physical amount of silicon is relatively small. The amount of copper would far outdo silicon on virtually any circuit board

    Dave
     
  13. Dawud Beale

    Dawud Beale

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    Nov 9, 2011
    true but the amount of silicon chips being mass produced for all the gadgets such as phones, tv's etc etc plus as someone mentioned, building materials etc, mass produced around the world, is going to add up to a massive quantity.

    Anyway, is anyone able to provide a straight answer, its not really a qualitative question that is open to discussion, its a very binary, straight forward question, i.e. "where do most manufacturers extract their silicon from", its not really a question that people can have different oppinions on, its not really something you can argue about, its literally a case of eitehr you know it or you dont, and if you know it, post the info up along with a source, if you dont know, dont worry about it, im sure there are many other threads you can contribute in.

    thanks and all the best.

    hopefully someone can directly answer the question, especialy someone who is from teh industry
     
  14. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Google will help you.

    Silicon used for semiconductor production is a minor player. Most silica mined is used for other purposes.

    This may help. It discusses the source if silicon used in the US, but understandably it does not concentrate on the minor uses.

    Please mind your manners.
     
  15. BobK

    BobK

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    You really don't get it do, you. Here is a calculation for you. First, lets see how many microchips we can make from 1 cubic meter of sand.

    High end microprocessors such as those made by Intel are the largest chips made, and are about 1 square cm of silicon, 775 um in thickness. Let's compute the volume of this in cubic meters.

    1/100 * 1/100 * 775 / 1000000 = 0.0000000775 cubic meters.

    So 1 cubic meter of silicon can produce 1 / 0.00000000775 = 12.9 million chips.

    Since silicon is 28% of the earths crust, 1 cubic meter of average earth crust can produce 3.6 million chips.

    Now lets compare that to how much rock / sand is used in building a small concrete building. Let's just look at a building with 15cm thick walls, 30m long by 10m wide by 10m high with 3 floors and a roof each of 15cm thick.

    So the walls would be (30 + 30 + 10 + 10) * 30 * 0.15 = 360 cubic meters.
    The floors + roof would take 4 * 30 * 25 * 0.15 = 450 cubic meters.
    So a total of 810 cubic meters.

    Or enough to make 3.6M * 810 = 2.9 billion of the largest chips made.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
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