Q:

Is boron a metal?

A:

Quick Answer

Boron is not a metal, but it is a metalloid. Metalloids share characteristics similar to both metals and non-metals. Like a metal, boron is a solid with a metallic luster and high tensile strength. Like a non-metal, boron has a low density and forms covalent bonds with other non-metals.

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Full Answer

Elemental boron has a high melting point, making it useful for heat-resistant alloys, some of which are used in the production of magnets. Boron is also used in flares, abrasives and nuclear control rods. Boron is a poor electrical conductor, but its conductivity improves at high temperatures. Its light weight combined with its high tensile strength make boron ideal for composite materials used in aerospace engineering.

Boron is not found in its elemental state in nature, but grains, fruits and mineral salts contain boron. One of the primary sources of boron is boric acid, which is found in hot springs and steam from volcanic fissures. The acid is collected from the water and used in several medicinal products, such as pest control, skin ointments, cancer treatments and as a cleaning agent.

Boron was classified as an element in 1824 by Jons Jacob Berzelius and was produced in 1909 by Ezekiel Weintraub.

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