Metals have countless uses and have significantly propelled the development and evolution of human beings. Forging metal was one of the most important curves in early man’s development. Today, countless metals are used for nearly every operation and function conceivable.
Some metals have risen in popularity for different reasons. For example, silver and gold are renowned for their precious elements. On the flip side, steel and iron are vital for the construction of numerous structures and items.
Antimony is a relatively little-known metal. However, the mineral plays a vital role in many modern operations. The metal’s usefulness can be seen in its versatility.
What exactly is this element known as antimony and what are its properties? More importantly, what are the metal’s uses and why is it a popular metal among metal fabricators and manufacturers? Read on for an exhaustive guide on antimony.
What is antimony?
Antimony is a silvery blueish metal with faint hues of grey. The element is one of the poorest conductors of both heat and electricity. Moh’s scale gives the metal a weak score of only 3.25 Moh. It is sometimes common to hear the mineral referred to as stibium. This is its classical Latin name. The element uses Sb as its chemical symbol.
In its purest form, antimony does not have a lot of practical uses. However, combined with other minerals, antimony can prove extremely useful. In most cases, stibium is not found in a pure form.
As a group member of the arsenic elements, antimony is commonly found in gold, silver, zinc, and lead deposits. Averaging a ppm score of between .2 and .5 units, stibium is about 10 times as abundant as silver.
Without taking proper handling practices and safety procedures, the element can be toxic. Regardless, data shows it has been used for thousands of years. The uses for this element ranged from medicinal purposes to cosmetic ones. Today, the refinement and production of antimony is best left to experts like us.
Antimony distribution and occurrence
Understanding the occurrence rate of a mineral helps judge the trajectory of its availability currently and in the future. As formerly mentioned, this element is 10 times more prevalent than elements like silver.
Stibium deposits can be found all are the world. Some of the regions where antimony has been found in Considerable amounts include China, Algeria, South Africa, Bolivia, Peru, Russia, and Mexico.
According to the latest antimony ore distribution data, China has more than half of the world’s deposits of metal. This reduces the overall cost of mining, extraction, refining, manufacturing, and producing the antimony products. Transportation costs, for example, are very low since the metal is sourced locally.
Aside from mining the semimetal locally, China is also the leading producer of processed antimony elements. The region contributes to more than two-thirds of the required global supply. Moreover, China is also the leading consumer, followed by USA and Japan respectively. Flame retardants make up a great market niche for more than half of all produced antimony.
Commercial production and usage of antimony
Numerous metals and minerals are used in devices, gadgets, and items from all around. In many cases, you might not know what elements have been combined to make a device you’re using. This is the case with stibium as it is used in countless functionalities.
As mentioned above, Antimony compounds like the trioxide elements are widely used as fire retardants. This can be used in rubber, paints, textile, and plastic items. The paint industry also makes use of stibium components for making tartar emetic and other paint pigments.
The presence of antimony in some metal alloys can help in their strengthening. This hardening semimetal is used alongside equal amounts of lead and trace amounts of tin. The resulting compound is used in automobile battery plates.
Additionally, the compound of antimony mixed with other elements can be used in a similar capacity as identified above. The application for the resulting compound can be used in bullet production, cable coverings, and chemical paraphernalia like pipes, tanks, and pumps.
Quality antimony from Oushi Metals
Are you in need of antimony products or one of its byproducts? Sourcing for the right element and finding a suitable metal producer and manufacturer can prove a daunting task. Fortunately, you can us for reliable and quality antimony products.