Sunday, April 1, 2012


  • amorphous boron is used in pyrotechnic flares (distinctive green colour), and rockets (as an igniter)
  • boric, or boracic, acid, is used as a mild antiseptic
  • borax, Na2B4O7.10H2O, is a cleansing flux in welding
  • borax, Na2B4O7.10H2O is a water softener in washing powders
  • boron compounds are used in production of enamels for covering steel of refrigerators, washing machines, etc.
  • boron compounds are extensively used in the manufacture of enamels and borosilicate glasses
  • boron compounds show promise in treating arthritis
  • 10B is used as a control for nuclear reactors, as a shield for nuclear radiation, and in instruments used for detecting neutrons
  • boron nitride is as hard as diamond. It behaves like an electrical insulator, but conducts heat like a metal. It also has lubricating properties similar to graphite
  • the hydrides are sometimes used as rocket fuels
  • boron filaments, a high-strength, lightweight material, are used for advanced aerospace structures, .
  • lightweight compounds used for aerospace structures
  • boron filaments used in fibre optics research
  • Boric Acid is also used in North America for the control of cockroaches, silverfish, ants, fleas, and other insects.
  • cans and foils
  • kitchen utensils
  • outside building decoration
  • industrial applications where a strong, light, easily constructed material is needed
  • although its electrical conductivity is only about 60% that of copper per area of cross section, it is used in electrical transmission lines because of its lightness and price
  • alloys are of vital importance in the construction of modern aircraft and rockets
  • aluminium, evaporated in a vacuum, forms a highly reflective coating for both visible light and radiant heat. These coatings soon form a thin layer of the protective oxide and do not deteriorate as do silver coatings. These coatings are used for telescope mirrors, decorative paper, packages, toys, and in many other uses
  • the oxide, alumina, occurs naturally as ruby, sapphire, corundum, and emery, and is used in glass making and refractories. Synthetic ruby and sapphire are used in the construction of lasers
  • gallium wets glass or porcelain, and forms a brilliant mirror when it is painted on glass
  • used for doping semiconductors and producing solid-state devices such as transistors
  • gallium arsenide converts electricity into coherent light
  • alloying
  • 90 tons of gallium (2 or 3 years of world production) is used to detect solar neutrinos by the use of the reaction: nu + 71Ga > 71Ge + e-. The rate, although very low (less than 1 interaction per day in 30 tonnes of Ga) makes gallium unique for this purpose. Two experiments are running : - GALLEX using 30 tons in the Gran Sasso underground laboratory (Italy) and SAGE with 60 tons in the Baksan laboratory in Caucasus (Russia). [thanks Michel]
  • used in making bearing alloys, germanium transistors, rectifiers, thermistors, and photoconductors
  • it can be plated onto metal and evaporated onto glass, forming a mirror as good as those made with silver, but with more resistance to atmospheric corrosion
  • photocells
  • used to make low-melting alloys, alloyed with gallium
  • indium is used in solders
  • the sulphate was widely used as a rodenticide and ant killer. It is odourless and tasteless, giving no warning of its presence
  • the electrical conductivity of thallium sulphide changes with exposure to infrared light, and so it is used in photocells
  • thallium bromide-iodide crystals are used as infrared detectors
  • used, with sulphur or selenium and arsenic, to produce low melting glasses which become fluid between 125 and 150°C
  • originally used in treating ringworm and other skin infections. Its use was limited because of the narrow margin between toxicity and therapeutic benefits
  • A mercury-thallium alloy, which forms a eutectic at 8.5% thallium, freezes at -60°C, some 20° below the freezing point of mercury
  • Element 113 has no uses as only a very few atoms of this element have been identified.

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