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Name Boron
Symbol B
Atomic number 5
Atomic mass 10.8 amu
Normal state Solid
Classification Non-metal
Crystal structure Rhombohedral
Color Brown
Date of discovery 1808
Name of discoverer Sir Humphrey Davy and J. L. Gay-Lussac
Name origin From the names Borax and Carbon.
Uses Boron is used to make heat resistant alloys
Obtained from kernite

Boron is the chemical element with atomic number 5 and chemical symbol B. It is a metalloid - it shares some properties with the metals, but lacks others. [1]


Chemical Properties

Boron melts at 2349 Kelvin (K) and boils at 4200K. Pure boron comes in two forms: a brown powder or a black, non-conductive crystal.


There are two stable isotopes of boron - 10B and 11B - and eleven short-lived radioactive isotopes. The most common isotope is 11B, with a prevalence of 80.1%. Due to their very short half-lives the radioisotopes are rarely found in nature.

Occurrence in Nature

Only about 0.001% of Earth's crust consists of boron. The two main producers of commercial boron are the USA and Turkey, with Turkey having about 72% of the known commercially viable deposits. Due to its reactivity boron is not found in elemental form, but is commercially extracted from a number of compounds including borax and boric acid.


Boron has a large number of commercial uses. Its low thermal expansion makes it an essential element in heat-resistant glass, such as Pyrex. Boron fibres are used in high-strength composites for the aerospace industry and in high-end golf clubs and fishing rods. A number of boron compounds are extremely hard, and these are used in abrasives and machine tool bits. Boron is also an essential component of Neodymium (rare earth metal) magnets, which are used in high quality loudspeakers and many other applications.


  1. Boron, Los Alamos National Labs
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