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by: William Slater Kirk
The trouble with rings is, they’re shiny. They catch your eye with shimmering brilliance and command attention. This is typically considered a desirable for most, but some key occupations do not mix well with shiny.
Metal has a bad hobbit of conducting electricity. Part of the reason metal is shiny is the fact it has so many free electrons ready transport electric current from a battery to your finger. An important equation to keep in mind is one called Ohm’s law which describes how an applied voltage (V) across a resistance (R) produces an electric current (I).
Beware Of Electrical Current
So with a very low resistance, gold, silver and tungsten produce a very high, or dangerous current. The inverse relationship of the voltage to the resistance shows if a material has a higher resistance, it will produce a lower or negligible current. This why copper is used in wiring houses and rubber is used to insulate those wires.
I’ve worked with lasers for more than three years, and optics in general for longer. While high voltage and electric current are typically the most dangerous components of the work, stray light from laser systems has a tendency to find your eye when a polished metal ring drags in front.
Metal Ring Alternatives
Thankfully for eyes, laser technicians, and electricians that enjoy jewelry, there are alternatives. If reflection is your concern, a diffuse or frosted finish will remove the reflective effects. Several companies create safe alternatives to metal rings made of materials like silicon, acrylic, and wood, which all provide much higher resistance staving those high dangerous currents.
These safe alternatives allow individuals in careers that prevent the safe wearing of metal rings to partake in a timeless tradition and sentiment. With growing options for color and material, someone can really express them self while still protecting their eyes, their fingers, and most importantly their heart.