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Yes, boron is shiny

Boron can be found in the form of an amorphous brown powder or as crystalline silvery to black metal. It is extremely hard (about 9.5 on the Mohs scale), and its electrical conductivity at room temperature is poor. Crystalline boron is stable and does not react with acids. Amorphous boron can respond to acids very violently and slowly oxidize.

Its atomic structure is similar to carbon. It is a tetravalent metalloid. This means that it can form compounds with other elements in group 13 on the periodic table, including oxygen and nitrogen.

Unlike its siblings, silicon and germanium, boron does not readily oxidize with air at room temperature. However, it can react with concentrated hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid or sulfuric acid to produce boron trioxide.

This makes it an excellent rust inhibitor and an efficient corrosion preventive. It is also used to create boron carbide, which has an extreme hardness that makes it useful as an industrial abrasive.

It is an essential element for plants and plays a role in plant meristems, which give rise to stem cells. Without boron, these parts of plants wilt and fail to function properly.

Boron is a strong, durable metal that can be added to steel. It can also be used to make heat-resistant glass called borosilicate glass, which is commonly used in cookware and laboratory equipment.

It has a chemistry similar to that of carbon, with long covalent bonds. It has both hexagonal (soft graphite-like h-BN) and cubic (diamond-like c-BN) forms. It is an important abrasive and lubricant.