Formula of aluminum oxide
Aluminium Oxide is a naturally occurring substance, appearing in crystal form as Corundum, the purest forms of which are rubies and sapphires. These precious stones acquire their colour from various trace impurities present in the raw material. Rubies acquire their deep red colour from traces of Chromium, whilst Sapphires acquire their various colours as a result of impurities such as Titanium and Iron.
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Aluminium Oxide in Metal
Aluminium Oxide is known as an Amphoteric Oxide and has the chemical formula Al2O3. Aluminium Oxide has a range of uses, the most common of which being in the production of Aluminium metal. Alumina, as it is often known, is a reasonably priced and readily available material. Fine grade technical Alumina is used as a good thermal conductor as it is resistant to strong acid and strong alkali attacks.
More Uses of Aluminium Oxide
Aluminium Oxide is a hard, strong substance which is placed at Position 9 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness. This gives it a number of uses due to its abrasive quality. For example, it is used as an abrasive additive in the manufacture of sandpaper and in the manufacture of snooker chalk. Another use for Aluminium Oxide is in polishing materials for CD’s and DVD’s. Its abrasive qualities are also extended to the manufacture of toothpaste and as an abrasive and polishing agent to remove stains on teeth. Many wooden floor coverings are coated with an Aluminium Oxide based material to act as a hard coating and protect the wood.
Alumina is used as a high temperature electrical insulator, a high voltage insulator, in furnace laser tubes, in gas laser tubes, in seal rings and wear pads, in instrumentation parts for thermal property test machines, in laboratory instrument tubes and sample holders and as abrasion-resistant elbow and tube liners. Aluminium Oxides are also used in food additives.
Health and Safety
Aluminium Oxide appears as white granules or powder, with a melting point of 2030 degrees Centigrade and a boiling point of 2977 degrees Centigrade. Aluminium Oxide is classified as non-Toxic and non-Hazardous for air, sea and road transport.
As with any chemical substance, Aluminium Oxide should only be used by competent persons wearing appropriate protective clothing including safety glasses and adequate protective gloves. Large qualities of Aluminium Oxide should be handled under fume extraction or by operators wearing breathing apparatus as inhalation of the material may result in an irritating cough and potential long-term damage to the respiratory tract. The material should not be inhaled or ingested and should be kept away from children and animals.