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What is your mobile made of? These are the most common materials


This is all that is inside your mobile: we examine the materials and elements most used to build our devices.

Metal, glass, ceramic, plastic ... we can find smartphones made of very different materials. In fact, its construction can even be a reason for purchase, and that is that the design of mobile phones has acquired a capital importance over the last few years.

However, Do we know what these devices that we use every day are really made of? To discover it, there are several studies carried out in order to understand what they really are the elements that shape our phones.

Silicon, the most used material when building smartphones

According to the latest data from Statista, collected after examining the materials most used in smartphones between 2007 and 2017, there are ten elements used mostly when building mobile devices. And far from what many might believe, glass is not one of them.

Of higher to lower quantity, the most used materials when building smartphones are the aluminum, copper, plastic, cobalt, tungsten, silver, neodymium, gold, indium and palladium. The first three, almost add 50 grams of the total weight of the materials ** used in the construction of our mobiles.

Materials most used in smartphones

The most used materials when building smartphones according to Statista.

It is striking, above all, the absence of a material used for years in the construction of all kinds of electronic devices such as silicon. Especially since a recent study by the University of Plymouth concluded that this was the most used material when building smartphones. In the video below these lines, you can take a look at the development of the study, and the methods used by the researchers to determine the proportion of elements used.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that these proportions correspond to data collected up to the year 2017, and it is possible that in recent years they have varied slightly with the arrival of the folding mobiles like Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 2. In addition, everything indicates that in the not too distant future we could begin to see such unconventional materials as wood.

What is each material used for?

Now you know what is your mobile made of. But what is each of the materials used for? In most cases, each material has multiple uses inside the devices. However, it is possible associate each element to one or more specific uses.

  • Silicon: it is used, above all, to make the chips and plates that are inside your mobile, although it can also be found on the screen mixed with aluminum.
  • Plastic- Usually plastic is used in chassis construction. It is very common in the low and low-medium range, although it is used less and less in favor of other more noble and robust materials.
  • Iron: Found in an alloy of neodymium, iron and boron, it is used to make the magnets found in mobile microphones and speakers.
  • Aluminum- Mainly used to manufacture the chassis, the battery case, and the transistors found on the motherboard.
  • Copper- Usually used to make the cables that connect all the terminal components.
  • Lead: for component soldering, although a lead-tin alloy is currently used.
  • Cobalt: found inside the batteries.
  • Silver:: due to its high conductivity, it is used to weld some of the components inside the devices.
  • Tungsten: It is used to build the vibration motor of the devices.
  • Neodymium: used to build the magnet that includes the speaker terminals.
  • Gold: It is found in small proportions in the printed circuits inside the devices.
  • Zinc- Used, along with aluminum and copper, to make gallium, a material also found in speakers and microphones.
  • Tin: Actually, the compound used is indium tin oxide. This substance, arranged in a very thin layer, is what makes it possible for the touch screen of your mobile to work thanks to its good electrical conductivity.
  • Palladium: it is present in the printed circuits of the devices.
Components of a mobile

Your mobile is made of many more materials than you imagine.

These are just some of the materials and components that can be found inside your terminal. Evidently There are many more that are used for extremely concrete things in minute proportions. As you can see, that your mobile is "made of glass" or "made of plastic" it is little more than a half truth.