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. Roasting accompanied by reduction with carbon or immediate reduction of stibnite with iron is the main process for extracting antimony from the stibnite.

Principal applications


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

Flame retardants


Except for halogen-containing polymers, antimony is primarily employed as the trioxide for flame-proofing chemicals, always in conjunction with flame retardants containing halogens. The creation of halogenated antimony chemicals, which interact with hydrogen atoms and likely also with OH radicals and oxygen atoms, causes antimony trioxide to have a flame-retardant action. These flame-retardants can be found in children’s toys, clothing, and seat covers for cars and airplanes, among other products.

Additionally, they are included with polyester resins when making fiberglass materials for products like small plane engine covers. 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. You combine antimony with lead from 2% and 5% by volume to increase the lead keel’s tensile strength and hardness.

Antimony is often used in solder (a few “lead-free” solders consist of 5% Sb), pewter, in the lead shot and bullets, type metal (for instance, for linotype printing equipment), electrical cable sheathing, antifriction alloys (like white metal), Babbitt metal, and in the toughening of low-tin alloys employed in the production.

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.

Meglumine antimoniate is one antimony-based medication widely used to treat leishmaniasis in domesticated animals. In addition to having limited therapeutic values, the medications barely reach the bone marrow, where some Leishmania amastigotes live, making it very challenging to treat the illness, especially its visceral form. A medication that contained elemental antimony was once prescribed.

After being consumed and disposed of, others might use it again. Some safety matches utilize antimony(III) sulfide in their heads.

Antimony sulfides aid in stabilizing the frictional force in automobile brake pad components. Antimony is employed in paint, bullet, bullet tracers, glass art, and an opacifier in enamel. The usage of antimony as a dopant in n-type silicon wafers for infrared detectors, diodes, and Hall-effect electronics increased in the 1990s.

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.

Antimony is not widely used in medicine or biology. Antimonials, also referred to as antimony-containing medications, are employed as emetics. Antiprotozoal medications are made from antimony chemicals. From 1919, tartar emetic, also known as potassium antimonyl tartrate, was utilized as an anti-schistosomal medication. Praziquantel, after that, took its place.

Several veterinary treatments, including lithium antimony thiomalate and anthiomaline, contain antimony and its components as a skin conditioner for ruminants. Animals’ keratinized tissues are nourished or conditioned by antimony.

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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