If you haven’t heard of antimony trioxide, then you`re not alone. Nevertheless, it plays a key role in the production of flame retardants. It makes them more efficient in most products we use dat to day like furniture, glass, textile, and plastics. Interestingly, despite its popularity in glass making, the highest percentage of this compound’s production is not used for this application; the spectrum of antimony trioxide uses extends beyond creating a beautiful glass product!
This white powder compound is the end result of the heating process of antimony with air. In addition to its use in improving the properties of flame retardants, it is used in the production of various chemicals, including antimony halides. It is also a popular organic compound in the pesticides and pharmaceuticals manufacturing industries.
Antimony Trioxide: Properties
As mentioned, Antimony trioxide powder is white, and exhibits a unique odor and taste. Other characteristics are that it dissolves in water and is denoted by the chemical formula Sb2O3. Also, it has the behavior of acidic salts and alkali metal salts. Other properties of Antimony trioxide include:
- A 553 °C melting point
- A 400 °C vicat temperature
- Highly acidic
- Soluble in acids
- Highly soluble in water
- A 1.57 relative density
These properties of antimony trioxide make it suitable for use as an additive in manufacturing other chemicals.
Most common uses of Antimony Trioxide
The four most common uses of antimony trioxide include:
Enhancing Flame Retardants
This is the most common use of antimony trioxide; most of the compound produced is used in this industry. It does not have the properties of a flame retardant on its own. Rather, it is used alongside halogenated substances. The reaction between these substances produces compounds with flame retardant properties.
Additive in Plastics
Antimony trioxide catalyzing properties are useful in the manufacturing of polymers in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene. The compound is lightweight hence is used as a plasticizer which enhances the flexibility or softness of products like bottles, and other synthetic materials.
Antimony trioxide is used to make a cleaning solution for metal parts. This solution is effective for removal of dirt, grime and other foreign bodies. It is applied through spraying on the metal surface contaminated with chemicals or rust. It is mostly suitable for cleaning a bulk of dirty metal parts.
If you have rusted metal parts and you can’t figure out a way to restore them, Antimony trioxide is a solution. It is a fast and efficient way of removing rust from the metal surface. All you have to do is apply the compound evenly directly on the affected area using a rag or brush. Then, leave the compound on the metal surfaces for at least 24 hours, after which you can wipe off the solution from the metal surface with rubbing alcohol or any other degreasing agent. You will notice a significant result within 24 hours!
Antimony Trioxide has properties of a high-temperature reducing agent which allows for use in reduction of metal temperature when other methods are not practical. It mainly acts as a reducing agent that can reduce the melting point of alloys and oxides. This compound is a sulfide but it can be referred to as a STP. The metal industry continues to reap the beneficial properties of antimony trioxide for processing of steel, copper, and aluminum processing industries.
It is important to note that antimony trioxide has been used for over 50 years by various companies in the metal industry because of its ability to “reduce” or “refine” the metals that are too hot for other reducing agents, such as sodium or magnesium. This product also works well with non-ferrous metals such as copper, lead, and zinc.There are five major advantages of using antimony trioxide in the metal industry:
- It reduces temperatures faster than other reducing agents
- It reduces temperatures without methanol or ethanol fumes
- It does not produce any toxic fumes during use
- It does not produce acid fumes during use
- It produces no slag residue
While, clearly, this compound is handy in different industries, it does come with a handful of downsides. The disadvantages of using antimony trioxide as a catalyst in the metal industry include the following:
- It is carcinogenic with regard to inhalation and ingestion
- It may be corrosive to some metals
- It is not easily recyclable
The most common uses of antimony trioxide include its use as an additive in many different products, ranging from cosmetics to glass. In many of these products, it is used primarily as a binding agent. It is also one of the primary components in lead antimonide, which is used in creating infrared detectors and has been used to create temperature sensors for spacecraft.
Hopefully, you`ve learned a lot more about Antimony Trioxide through this write-up. Contact us to get a free quote!