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Alumina (Aluminium Oxide) - The Different Types of Commercially Available Grades
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Alumina (Aluminium Oxide) - The Different Types of Commercially Available Grades

    Very large tonnages are also used in the manufacture of monolithic and brick refractories. It is also mixed with other materials such as flake graphite for other, more difficult applications are envisaged, such as pouring spouts and sliding gate valves.

    Key Properties

    Aluminium Oxides key properties are shown below.

            High compression strength
       
            High hardness
       
            Resistant to abrasion
       
            Resistant to chemical attack by a wide range of chemicals even at elevated temperatures
       
            High thermal conductivity
     
            Resistant to thermal shock
       
    Annual Production

    Annual production of aluminum oxide is 45 million tonnes. 90% of this is used in the manufacture of aluminium metal by electrolysis.

    Where Does Alumina Come From?

    Most of the aluminium oxide produced commercially is obtained by the calcination of aluminium hydroxide (frequently termed alumina trihydrate or ATH).  The aluminium hydroxide is virtually all made by the Bayer Process. This involves the digestion of bauxite in caustic soda and the subsequent precipitation of aluminium hydroxide by the addition of fine seed crystals of aluminium hydroxide.

    Phases

    Aluminium oxide exists in many forms, α, χ, η, δ, κ, θ, γ, ρ; these arise during the heat treatment of aluminium hydroxide or aluminium oxy hydroxide.  The most thermodynamically stable form is α-aluminium oxide.

    Commercial Grades

    Low Soda

    Many applications, particularly in the electrical/electronic areas, require a low level of soda to be present in the aluminum oxide.  A low soda alumina is generally defined as with a soda content of <0.1% by weight.  This can be manufactured by many different routes including acid washing, chlorine addition, boron addition, and utilisation of soda adsorbing compounds.

    Fused

    White Fused Alumina is made in electric arc furnaces by passing a current between vertical carbon electrodes.  The heat generated melts the alumina.  The furnace consists of a water cooled steel shell and 3-20 tonne batches of material are fused at any one time.  The fused alumina has a high density, low porosity, low permeability and high refractoriness.  As a result of these characteristics, it is used in the manufacture of abrasives and refractories.

    The only compound of silicon and carbon is Silicon Carbide (SiC), or carborundum. SiC does occur naturally as the mineral moissanite, but this is extremely rare. However, it has been mass produced in powder form for use as an abrasive since 1893. As an abrasive, it has been used for over one hundred years in grinding wheels and many other abrasive applications.

    With today’s technology, high-quality technical grade ceramics have been developed with SiC which exhibit very advantageous mechanical properties such as:

            Exceptional hardness

            High strength
       
            Low density
       
            High elastic modulus
       
            High thermal shock resistance
       
            Superior chemical inertness
       
            High thermal conductivity
       
            Low thermal expansion
       
    These high strength and very durable ceramics are widely used in applications such as automotive brakes and clutches along with ceramic plates embedded in bulletproof vests. Silicon carbide is also used in semiconductor electronic devices operating at high temperatures and/or high voltages such as flame igniters, resistance heating, and harsh environment electronic components.

    Automotive uses of SiC

    One of the primary uses of Black Silicon Carbide is high performance &quot;ceramic&quot; brake discs. The silicon combines with the graphite in the composite to become carbon-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC). These brake discs are used on some sports cars, supercars, and other performance vehicles.

    Another automotive use of SiC is as an oil additive. In this application, SiC reduces friction, emissions, and harmonics.

    Magnesium is a mineral that’s needed for many bodily processes, including blood sugar regulation, nerve function, energy production, and DNA synthesis.

    It’s found in a number of foods but can also be taken as a dietary supplement. These supplements contain different forms of magnesium, including magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium oxide.

    Magnesium oxide is one of the most common forms sold in supplement form, either as a stand-alone supplement or in multinutrient products.

    What is magnesium oxide?

    Magnesium Oxide is an inorganic salt of magnesium formed with ions of magnesium and oxygen.

    It’s one of many forms of magnesium available for purchase in supplement form. It’s added to dietary supplements as well as over-the-counter medications used to treat constipation, indigestion, and headaches.

    Compared with other forms of magnesium, it may be less effective at raising blood magnesium levels.

    How does it compare with other forms of magnesium?

    Magnesium oxide and other inorganic salts of magnesium like magnesium carbonate are high in elemental magnesium, which is the total amount of magnesium in a supplement.

    However, they have a low solubility rate, making them less bioavailable than other forms of the mineral. So, even though magnesium oxide supplements provide a good amount of magnesium, it’s not the most available form for your body to utilize.

    A 2019 study confirmed this by testing 15 magnesium supplements and finding that a supplement containing only magnesium oxide had the lowest bioavailability.

    Meanwhile, a supplement with both inorganic and organic magnesium salts — magnesium oxide and magnesium glycerophosphate, respectively — had the highest bioavailability.

    Because of its low absorption rate in your intestines, magnesium oxide may lead to digestive effects like diarrhea. In fact, its strong laxative effects are why it’s commonly used to treat constipation.
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