Borates are used in Metallurgy Industry for the following purposes;
• to reduce melting temperature
• to increase fluidity
• to increase strength of the steel
• to reduce the corrosion of the refractory material in the furnace
Boron, as a non-metallic solid element, can penetrate and form an alloy with steel under high temperatures. Boron can significantly increase the hardenability of steel without loss of ductility. The addition of boron is usually in very small amounts ranging from 5-30 ppm.
Boron products can be added to the ladle furnace during steel production in order to transform the slag from a low density to powdery material to a compact form that is twice the density. This makes the slag easier and more environmentally friendly to handle. It helps reduce costs because the compressed slag can be reused in the steel production as a substitute for some of the lime used to remove impurities, or else sold to the construction industry for use as a filler. These opportunities further help to avoid disposal costs and fees.
Due to its ability to dissolve metal oxide films boron is used in soldering and welding as a flux. Boron trichloride is used in the refining of aluminum, magnesium, zinc, and copper alloys to remove nitrides, carbides, and oxides from molten metal.
In powder metallurgy, the presence of Metal Borides, whether formed in-situ or added as a premix, provides multiple benefits to formed parts including high conductivity and mechanical strength.
In Ferrous powder metallurgy, the addition of boron has the following effects:
• Forms a liquid phase during sintering.
• Increases density and hardness with increasing sintering temperature.
• Significantly decreases wear rate and weight loss.
• Enhances corrosion resistance of steel
• Enables low temperature sintering.
Amorphous Metals (Metallic Glasses) and Alloys
In the production of amorphous metal alloys by rapid cooling, boron-containing alloys used in soft magnetic cores help reduce energy losses by up to 85%. In alloys, borates readily associate with metallic oxide contaminants at a low temperature minimizing the loss of precious metals and reducing wear and tear on melting equipment.
Ferroboron is used in the production of rare earth magnets which show superior magnetic properties for bonded magnets and permanent magnet materials.