Uses of Aluminium and Boron
In the periodic table, p-block elements include boron and aluminium. Boron is a metalloid, while aluminium is metallic. Boron (B) is a solid having a high melting point, low density, and limited electrical conductivity. Aluminium (Al) is a silvery metal with excellent tensile strength, electrical and thermal conductivity. When electrical conductivity is measured on a weight-to-weight basis, aluminium has twice the electrical conductivity of copper.
Many aluminium compounds are available in nature: aluminium oxide, aluminium hydroxide, aluminium sulphate, aluminium chloride, alum, aluminium fluoride and hydride, aluminium bromide, etc. Boron compounds such as boric acid, diborane, borate, borane, boride, boron carbide, orthoboric acid, and borax can all be found.
Aluminium is a boron group metal that is soft, silver-white, nonmagnetic, and ductile. In the Earth’s crust, it is the third most abundant element. Aluminium comes in various colours, ranging from silvery to dull grey, based on the surface reference. The substance has high reactivity. Aluminium has high corrosion resistance and can be superconducting.
Some aluminium compounds are listed below:
When aluminium and chlorine react together, aluminium chloride (AlCl3) is formed. When it comes to appearance, aluminium chloride is often white. It takes on a yellowish colour due to impurities like iron (III) chloride.
Aluminium oxide is found in emeralds, corundum, sapphires, and rubies in nature. It’s an amphoteric chemical that reacts with acids and bases equally. It appears white and is solid. It has no odour and is water-insoluble. Due to its hardness, it is widely utilised and suitable for use as an abrasive and in cutting tool.
Applications of Aluminium
Aluminium is a valuable metal that is utilised in a variety of industries. Few are given below:
- Rods, pipes, plates, tubes are made of aluminium and aluminium alloys.
- Aluminium foils are thin aluminium plates used in the food storage industry. Because of its great heat-conducting capacity, aluminium is often used to make utensils.
- Aluminium is used to make engine blocks, cylinder heads, gearbox housings, and body panels in the automotive industry.
Boron (B) is a chemical element found in the solar system and the Earth’s crust. Boron is classified as a metalloid. Boron is found in several forms, and the most common of which is in the amorphous state. Amorphous boron is a dark powder that is unreactive to oxygen, water, alkalis and acids. When it interacts with metals, it generates borides.
Some boron compounds are listed below:
Borax is a boron compound that is widely used. With a formula of Na2B4O7.10H2O, it has a white crystalline solid structure.
B2H6 is the chemical formula for diborane. We get diborane when boron trifluoride is treated with LiAlH4 in diethyl ether. Diborane is colourless and highly poisonous, with a boiling point of 180 degrees celsius. Diborane is a very spontaneous substance in nature. Therefore it quickly catches fire and produces a considerable quantity of energy.
The chemical formula for orthoboric acid is H3BO3. It’s a white crystalline substance that has a soapy touch to it. Orthoboric acid is slightly soluble in water, but it dissolves completely in hot water. Boric acid takes electrons from the hydroxyl ion and acts as a Lewis acid.
Applications of Boron
The applications of boron are listed below:
- Bullet-proof vests are made from boron fibres.
- Boron isotopes can absorb neutrons, and their metal borides are utilised as safety barriers in the nuclear industry.
- Borax and boric acid are boron compounds used to produce heat-resistant glassware, glass wool, and fibreglass.
- When it comes to borax, it’s employed as a soldering flux and as a stain-resistant coating for earthenwares.
- Borax is also a common ingredient in medicinal soaps.
- Orthoboric acid in an aqueous solution is used as a moderate antiseptic.