Vanadium – A Metal Preparing For Launch

Vanadium, a transitional metal found on the periodic table, is becoming much more than just a metal talked about in high school chemistry class. The silvery gray metal has historically been a by-product of mining and oil-drilling production businesses, but due to technological breakthroughs over the last decade, demand for the metal is growing, and the search for Vanadium is on.

The three hottest areas for vanadium use today are production of steel alloys, vanadium redox-batteries, and a new technology called smart glass.

According to Wikipedia.com, 85% of all vanadium produced is used as a steel additive. When mixed into steel, the steel becomes dramatically stronger and more resistant to heat. These attributes are vital in construction. Lets use an example of a steel bridge-by adding a small percentage of vanadium to the steel, the bridge can sustain weights over 1000 tons, rather than falling apart at 250 tons. Secondly, by having a higher resistant to heat, the bridge can remain standing during an explosion. The next time you drive over a strong new bridge, thank vanadium.

Smart glass, also known as smart windows, is an exciting new technology requiring significant amounts of vanadium. Smart glass is a sheet glass which contains electrically-reactive layers in it’s center. By running a charge through the glass, tinting flips on or off. The darkness of the tint resembles tinted vehicle windows. By installing large sheets of smart glass, new commercial buildings eliminate the need for blinds & shades. Additionally, this vanadium coating has been shown to reflect U.V. rays away from the building, while insulating and preserving heat more efficiently than traditional glass. Temperature control savings for commercial buildings are said to be in the 40% annual range.

The third and most promising use of vanadium, is what’s called the vanadium-redox battery. This battery is different from traditional rechargeable batteries: A charged vanadium liquid stores the energy(vanadium metal can be converted to a liquid). The liquid is then stored in two separate tanks(one for positive liquid, one for negative). When the two liquids meet, a chemical reaction occurs, producing electricity. These tanks can be made in any size, to meet any application-a vehicle, a hospital, or even a small town! A widespread adaptation and use of vanadium redox batteries paints a demand picture for vanadium resembling Mt. Everest.

While the demand picture for vanadium is growing, the supply-side is ridden with bottlenecks. According to CPM group, “China, South Africa, and Russia account for roughly 90% of global supplies.” During an interview with this author, James Corrigan of Stina Resources indicates South Africa represents roughly 60% of world production. South Africa, hmm…remember what happened in 2008 during the South African mine blackouts? The electrical grid failed and platinum mining temporarily came to a halt. Platinum prices exploded as industry and investors scrambled to secure their own supplies. It would be naive to think this cant happen again, to any mineral supply coming from South Africa. It is a country many years away from offering(if ever) a developed mining infrastructure.

Now the final question remains: “If vanadium is a hot metal for the future, with such great supply & demand prospects, how can I get my hands on some?”

Well, it’s easier said than done. There are only a handful of quality vanadium deposits in the world, and even fewer investment choices to access these deposits safely. The largest risk today in mining is political. Appropriation and taxes remain the largest threat to wealth buried underground. For this reason, we recommend staying in mining-friendly jurisdictions of the Americas, more specifically, Canada and the U.S.

Vanadium is far more than just a dusty-old metal talked about by chemistry teachers. Today’s growing technological applications are demanding metals of higher endurance, and vanadium is meeting that demand. Steel alloys, smart glass windows, and redox-batteries represent a slice of a rapidly growing pie. Vanadium is preparing for launch.

Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

Why We Should Pick Four Wheel Suitcases? For Every Kind of Holiday And Trip

There are lots of advantages like lightweight features, hardshell properties, spinning abilities etc. in a 4-wheeler suitcase that you must consider for your purchase.

Irrespective of the fact that you are a frequent flyer for someone who loves to go for a long vacation you need a standard four-wheeler suitcase. Fortunately, there are several varieties in the market that can match your propensity. These suitcases are functional products that are available at an affordable cost. But the point is you need to assess all the relevant features in order to purchase the right carrier for you. Experts have gauged several metrics in order to enumerate the factors that determine the quality of a good for the suitcase. For example, it’s nice to have retractable handles along with heavy cases with reliable wheels. The material used to manufacture it should also be hardy. Continue reading to know about the major parameters that determine the high standard of four-wheeler suitcases.

Hardshell manufacture material

If you want to protect your precious belongings when you are travelling then Four-wheel suitcases made of the hard shell are the best. They are costlier than their counterparts but you can fully depend on their services. The exterior is made of aluminium most of the times. Instead of straps, the product has lockable systems that are easy to operate. A plethora of pockets in a 4 wheel hard shell suitcase provides space even on a 2-week trip.

Lightweight features

Don’t you want to travel with a lightweight suitcase that doesn’t give you any trouble on a journey? Lightweight suitcases have the smoothest glide and also provide you with luggage allowance. The lightweight features make it easy to carry. There are functional straps inside it. It also has an approved lock system in its exterior.

Flexibility with carry-on features

The carry-on properties of the suitcase are important for its flexibility. The products have practical attributes that help you to quickly move from one place to another. These products are attractive and have faux leather inserts. Presence of a large compartment inside the luggage helps you to separate garments and other important materials. Also, there are nicely crafted panels. The product also offers you the added laptop counter that helps you in business trips. Suitcases with these facilities are apt to go for or short-haul trips.

Easy spinning features

You’d also like to have a suitcase that has smooth gliding features. The four wheels should be reliable components for the product that helps you in easy transportation on uneven ground. The moving suitcase should be comfortable uphill on an inclined plane. There should be plenty of pockets in it to accommodate various types of things. The presence of a retractable handle also makes it a desirable product.