The Most Common Use of Antimony

Superacids generated from antimony pentafluoride contain antimony, the chemical formula with a symbol Sb and an atomic number 51, which is essential for their production. Antimony is one of several modern compounds with a rich and long history employed for significant industrial reasons.


What Is Antimony?

As previously mentioned, the chemical formula antimony has the atomic number 51 and the symbol Sb (derived from the Latin word stibium). It’s primarily found naturally as the sulfide mineral stibnite, a glossy gray metalloid (Sb2S3). From olden history, people have used antimony compounds as powdered medicines and cosmetics, frequently referred to by the Arabic word kohl. In the West, Vannoccio Biringuccio’s description of the material dates back to 1540.

China is the world’s major supplier of antimony and related compounds, with the Xikuangshan Mine in Hunan Province accounting for most of the output. There are other worldwide sources of minimal traces of Antimony like South Africa, Canada, Turkey, etc.


Principal Applications

Today, it’s mostly employed for various end purposes, including ball bearings and fire retardants.


Flame Retardants

These are compounds used during the manufacturing process of various products to improve their flame resistance. There is a rising demand for different types of fire retardants. Antimony oxides are one of the chemicals used to make inorganic fire retardants; they enhance the disintegration of chlorine and bromine. Nevertheless, they are not efficient for the application if used alone. They are also unsuitable for fire retardants used on buildings. Antimony fire retardants are used in products like plastics , textiles and airplane parts. Whenever an externally created flame is present, the resin burns, but when the outside flame is extinguished, the resin goes out.



Lead’s mechanical strength and hardness increase when lead and antimony combine to create a valuable alloy. Antimony amounts are used as an alloying metal in most lead-related applications. The modification enhances the charging capabilities and plate strength of lead-acid batteries. With sailboats, you use lead keels to give righting action, varying from 600 lbs to more than 200 tons for the biggest sailing superyachts. 


Additional Applications

The remaining supply is almost entirely used for three other uses. For manufacturing polyethylene terephthalate, you can use it as a catalyst and stabilizer. One more is a fining tool to remove minute bubbles in the glass, primarily for Television screens. Antimony ions react with oxygen in a way that prevents it from forming bubbles. Pigments are used for the third application. 

A medication that contained elemental antimony was once prescribed. Some safety matches utilize antimony(III) sulfide in their heads. 

It is likely you often come across or use safety matches, but did you know that antimony trisulphide is used alongside other chemicals on their heads? This is because it does not have burning properties. 

In the 1950s, small beads made of an alloy of antimony and lead were used to dope the collectors and emitters of n-p-n alloy junction transistors. Mid-infrared detectors are made from indium antimonide. Some of the least common applications of Antimony are in the medical industry. Antimony is used in the manufacture of makeup items like vibrant and durable eyeshadows. The medicinal use of antimony is mostly historical; further research in modern medicine has shown that it is not safe for this use. Praziquantel, after that, took its place. 

Antimony is also used in building and construction to enhance the sturdiness of ceramics like tiles.


Take Away

While making alloys and flame retardants has consumed enormous amounts of antimony, it’s likely to continue in the future. The demand for antimony will rise as research creates new or enhanced usage in developed or emerging markets. Contact us and get wholesale prices!


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