What is Boron Used For?

  • Adhesives
  • Agriculture
  • Ceramics
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Detergents
  • Fiberglass & Specialty Glass
  • Flame Retardants
  • Gypsum
  • Metallurgy
  • Oil Field
  • Other Boron Uses
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Boron Used

Click an application to learn about the uses of boron.

 
Adhesives

Adhesives & Coatings

Boron compounds are used as a peptizing agent in the manufacture of casein-based and dextrin based adhesives to control the viscosity. Such starch-based adhesives are used to make corrugated cardboard. [more]

 
Agriculture

Agriculture

Boron is an essential micronutrient for growth and development of healthy plants. In small concentrations boron compounds are used as micronutrients in fertilizers, in large concentrations they are used as herbicides, algaecides and other pesticides. [more]

 
Ceramics

Ceramics

The purposes of borates in frit and glaze formulations include initial glass formation, viscosity reduction, lustre, improved chemical resistance, and thermal expansion management. Borates make tile bodies stronger. [more]

 
Chemical Manufacturing

Chemical Manufacturing

Boron compounds are used to manufacture sodium borohydrate (a hydrogen source in a new generation of fuel-cells), ferroborates, nickel borates, dyestuffs and numerous other chemical products. [more]

 
Detergents

Detergents

Boron is used as a cleaning and bleaching agent, as well as a germicide. It controls alkalinity of soaps and synthetic detergents, balances active oxygen, softens water, lowers the time and heat of the washing and prevents the corrosion of the metal/machine. [more]

 
Fiberglass & Specialty Glass

Fiberglass & Specialty Glass

Boron is a powerful flux (reducing melting point, viscosity, thermal expanding coefficient; and increasing breakage index, transparency and brightness, and heat resistance), but also confers high chemical resistance for glasses in general. [more]

 
Fire Retardants

Flame Retardants

Boron is used in the preparation of fire retardant emulsion paints, to add fire resistance in paper. It is also used in all dry powder fire extinguishers. [more]

 
Gypsum

Gypsum

Boron is used in gypsum board to form a network that provides the matrix with structural integrity and rigidity. Its crosslinking action influences setting times important to operations and clean up. [more]

 
Metallurgy

Metallurgy

Metallurgical uses (e.g. in abrasives, cutting tools, magnets and soldering) of Boron are driven by the need to reduce melting temperature, increase fluidity, increase strength and/or reduce the refractory furnace corrosion. [more]

 
Oil Field

Oil & Gas Chemicals

Borates are added to drilling fluids to manage viscosity changes in shale gas wells. Other oil and gas drilling also use boron chemistry to optimize field drilling operations. [more]

 
Other Uses

Other Uses

There are over 300 widely diverse applications for boron products, from pharmaceuticals to nuclear reactions to photography. [more]

Turkey is the largest producer of boron ore in the world. Turkey's important boron minerals include tincal, colemanite and ulexite. Borates differ in the amount of B2O3 contained within their structures and the presence of other elements. The most important factor for industrial applications of borate minerals and refined borates is B2O3 content. The presence or absence of sodium and/or bound water is also a common consideration. In certain applications, one boron mineral can replace another once the B2O3 proportion has been considered.

Most industrial applications require refined end-products of the crude mineral ores. In other sectors, boron minerals can be used as crude minerals that are minimally processed. Borates find use in over 300 applications, with the principal markets being: Glass; ceramics and frit; detergents and soaps; and agriculture.