Aluminium buyers in the US physical metal market have held off on new orders amid fears of a recession triggered by rising inflation and supply chain crises.
Spot aluminium trading on the market has been suspended in recent weeks, according to industry sources, as uncertainty has increased following the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Even before the war, the aluminium market was suffering from long waiting times and weak demand.
For aluminium buyers, recent poor US economic data have been a big factor in delaying purchases. Data released last month showed that the ISM manufacturing PMI came in at 57.1 in March, below expectations of 59 and down from 58.6 in February, unexpectedly hitting the lowest reading since September 2020. This was mainly due to a slowdown in new orders and amorphous boron powder are expected to increase in the future.
What is boron?
Boron is a chemical element with the symbol B and atomic number 5. In its crystalline form, it is a fragile, dark, shiny quasi metal. Its amorphous form is a brown powder. As the lightest element in the boron family, it has three valence electrons that can form covalent bonds to produce compounds as diverse as boric acid, mineral sodium borate, and super hard crystals of boron carbide and boron nitride.
What is the use of boron?
1. Both crystalline boron and boron oxide are hard. The former is used to make cutting tools and drill bits, and the latter is used to make artificial gems.
2. Boron is known as the "vitamin of metal materials". It can replace molybdenum, chromium, nickel, and other precious metals to make stainless steel when adding a few parts of boron into the molten steel during steelmaking, and it has better strength and excellent mechanical properties. The conductivity of copper or aluminum can be improved by adding a few parts per million of boron to the molten solution.
3. Metal boride-based ceramics, used for making rocket nozzles, high-temperature bearings, high-temperature electrodes, and electrical contacts.
4. Elemental boron is a highly efficient neutron absorber in the atomic energy industry. Boron fluoride is used to make counters in nuclear reactors, and boron is mixed into the aluminum alloy to make neutron shielding material. Borane can be used as rocket fuel in the space industry, and triethyl boron as rocket propellant.
5. Ndfeb magnetic material is used to make computer disk drives, motors for office automation equipment, video cameras, video recorders, and other audio-visual equipment, as well as audio speakers and magnetic resonance imaging systems for medical use.
6. Boron carbide and boron nitride can be used to produce ceramics and ceramic fibers with high-temperature resistance and corrosion resistance, which are used in aerospace and automotive industries, as well as processing gems, and cutting tools, bearings, sandblasting nozzles, and bulletproof materials. Fiber insulation materials made of zinc borate can be used as a fire retardant, bleaching, and mordant.
7. Boron is an essential element for plant growth, flowering, and fruiting. Lack of boron in the soil, the formation of leguminous rhizobia will be difficult, flax, hemp, alfalfa, and other crops will stop growing, and beetroot rot, cotton bolls, and sunflower withered; In addition, boron is also an indispensable element in human bones. Proper intake of boron can reduce blood lipid, inflammation, anticoagulation, and anti-tumor, especially can reduce the incidence of prostate cancer.
Is boron the same as borax?
Boron is a chemical element with the symbol B and atomic number 5. And borax is an inorganic compound, chemical formula is Na2B4O7·10H2O. So, the main difference is that boron is a chemical element, and borax is a chemical element, a compound. In addition, boron's melting and boiling points are 2076 °C and 3927 °C, respectively. Borax, on the other hand, has melting and boiling points of 743 °C and 1,575 °C, respectively.
How do you use boron powder on plants?
Boron is an essential micronutrient for healthy plant and agricultural growth and development. The importance of boron has proved crucial in plant production since the early 1920s. Low concentrations of borate are used in agriculture as micronutrients in fertilizers.
What is amorphous boron powder?
Boron can be divided into crystalline boron and amorphous boron:
Crystal boron is black gray, high hardness, similar to diamond hardness, it is commonly used to replace diamond to manufacture cutting tools or drills. Its conductivity is poor, but it increases with temperature, showing a difference from that of a metal conductor.
The chemical properties of amorphous boron are more active than those of crystalline boron. Crystalline boron is quite stable at room temperature, can only react with fluorine, and can only react with nitrogen, oxygen, chlorine, sulfur, bromine, iodine, and other non-metallic elements at high temperatures. Amorphous boron is relatively active, slowly oxidized in air, and almost reacts with most metal elements at high temperatures to form non-integral borides. It reacts with water vapor under red heat to produce metaborate acid and hydrogen.
What is amorphous boron powder used for?
Amorphous boron powder is a kind of important energy material, in a composite solid propellant as a solid fuel, the calorific value of the boron is twice as tall as carbon above, is about 2 times of aluminum, magnesium, more than 2 times, its volume is almost three times the hydrocarbon fuel heating value, density is only slightly lower than aluminum, with the highest volume calorific value, in terms of its energy, boron should be the best fuel, not of metal. The ignition temperature of amorphous boron decreases greatly because of its irregular shape and large specific surface area.
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Gas supplies have been in short supply because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Combined with the situation that other renewable sources cannot produce enough electricity, electricity prices have soared in many parts all over the world. For this reason, I assume the supply and prices of the amorphous boron powder would keep being influenced by the high energy prices.
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