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How is boron used?

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Quick Answer

Boron is widely used in the medical, industrial, aesthetic and construction sectors. Boron can be easily manipulated and altered to serve a variety of purposes, which makes it one of the most versatile substances on Earth. It is a naturally occurring element and is most commonly found as borax.

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Full Answer

Boron is a common element found around the world. For centuries, compounds of boron and borax have been extracted, altered and used for human purposes, primarily in the areas of medicine and industry. Boron is chalky white in appearance. Its name comes from the Arabic word for “white,” and borax, the most common form of this element, is the lightest and brightest of all kinds of boron. Boron is relatively hardy and stable, making it suitable for industrial use. In fact, it is nearly as hard as diamond and is often used as a cheaper and more practical alternative to diamond, particularly when used for interior decorating and home remodeling. The same property of hardness makes boron ideal for use as an abrasive. In its acid form, called boracic acid, boron is used as a mild antiseptic. Lastly, compounds of boron are used for detergents and soaps, enamels, medicine and heat-resistant glass.

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