3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||101.960 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||2,072 °C (3,762 °F; 2,345 K)|
|Boiling point||2,977 °C (5,391 °F; 3,250 K)|
|Solubility||insoluble in diethyl ether |
practically insoluble in ethanol
|Thermal conductivity||30 W·m−1·K−1|
Refractive index (nD)
|Trigonal, hR30, space group = R3c, No. 167|
a = 478.5 pm, c = 1299.1 pm
Std enthalpy of
|D10AX04 ( WHO )|
|Safety data sheet||See: data page|
|US health exposure limits (NIOSH):|
|OSHA 15 mg/m3 (Total Dust)|
OSHA 5 mg/m3 (Respirable Fraction)
ACGIH/TLV 10 mg/m3
IDLH (Immediate danger)
| boron trioxide |
|Supplementary data page|
| Refractive index (n),|
Dielectric constant (εr), etc.
| Phase behaviour |
|UV, IR, NMR, MS|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Aluminium oxide (IUPAC name) or aluminum oxide (American English) is a chemical compound of aluminium and oxygen with the chemical formula Al 2 O 3. It is the most commonly occurring of several aluminium oxides, and specifically identified as aluminium(III) oxide. It is commonly called alumina and may also be called aloxide, aloxite, or alundum depending on particular forms or applications. It occurs naturally in its crystalline polymorphic phase α-Al2O3 as the mineral corundum, varieties of which form the precious gemstones ruby and sapphire. Al2O3 is significant in its use to produce aluminium metal, as an abrasive owing to its hardness, and as a refractory material owing to its high melting point.
American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.
A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules composed of atoms from more than one element held together by chemical bonds. A chemical element bonded to an identical chemical element is not a chemical compound since only one element, not two different elements, is involved.
Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminium makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust; it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and the most abundant metal in the crust, though it is less common in the mantle below. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Aluminium metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.
Corundum is the most common naturally occurring crystalline form of aluminium oxide.Rubies and sapphires are gem-quality forms of corundum, which owe their characteristic colors to trace impurities. Rubies are given their characteristic deep red color and their laser qualities by traces of chromium. Sapphires come in different colors given by various other impurities, such as iron and titanium.
Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide typically containing traces of iron, titanium, vanadium and chromium. It is a rock-forming mineral. It is also a naturally transparent material, but can have different colors depending on the presence of transition metal impurities in its crystalline structure. Corundum has two primary gem varieties: ruby and sapphire. Rubies are red due to the presence of chromium, and sapphires exhibit a range of colors depending on what transition metal is present. A rare type of sapphire, padparadscha sapphire, is pink-orange.
Crystallinity refers to the degree of structural order in a solid. In a crystal, the atoms or molecules are arranged in a regular, periodic manner. The degree of crystallinity has a big influence on hardness, density, transparency and diffusion. In a gas, the relative positions of the atoms or molecules are completely random. Amorphous materials, such as liquids and glasses, represent an intermediate case, having order over short distances but not over longer distances.
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red. The color of a ruby is due to the element chromium.
Al2O3 is an electrical insulator but has a relatively high thermal conductivity (30 Wm−1K−1) for a ceramic material. Aluminium oxide is insoluble in water. In its most commonly occurring crystalline form, called corundum or α-aluminium oxide, its hardness makes it suitable for use as an abrasive and as a component in cutting tools.
An electrical insulator is a material whose internal electric charges do not flow freely; very little electric current will flow through it under the influence of an electric field. This contrasts with other materials, semiconductors and conductors, which conduct electric current more easily. The property that distinguishes an insulator is its resistivity; insulators have higher resistivity than semiconductors or conductors.
The thermal conductivity of a material is a measure of its ability to conduct heat. It is commonly denoted by , , or .
An abrasive is a material, often a mineral, that is used to shape or finish a workpiece through rubbing which leads to part of the workpiece being worn away by friction. While finishing a material often means polishing it to gain a smooth, reflective surface, the process can also involve roughening as in satin, matte or beaded finishes. In short, the ceramics which are used to cut, grind and polish other softer materials are known as abrasives.
Aluminium oxide is responsible for the resistance of metallic aluminium to weathering. Metallic aluminium is very reactive with atmospheric oxygen, and a thin passivation layer of aluminium oxide (4 nm thickness) forms on any exposed aluminium surface. This layer protects the metal from further oxidation. The thickness and properties of this oxide layer can be enhanced using a process called anodising. A number of alloys, such as aluminium bronzes, exploit this property by including a proportion of aluminium in the alloy to enhance corrosion resistance. The aluminium oxide generated by anodising is typically amorphous, but discharge assisted oxidation processes such as plasma electrolytic oxidation result in a significant proportion of crystalline aluminium oxide in the coating, enhancing its hardness.
Weathering is the breaking down of rocks, soil, and minerals as well as wood and artificial materials through contact with the Earth's atmosphere, water, and biological organisms. Weathering occurs in situ, that is, in the same place, with little or no movement, and thus should not be confused with erosion, which involves the movement of rocks and minerals by agents such as water, ice, snow, wind, waves and gravity and then being transported and deposited in other locations.
Passivation, in physical chemistry and engineering, refers to a material becoming "passive," that is, less affected or corroded by the environment of future use. Passivation involves creation of an outer layer of shield material that is applied as a microcoating, created by chemical reaction with the base material, or allowed to build from spontaneous oxidation in the air. As a technique, passivation is the use of a light coat of a protective material, such as metal oxide, to create a shell against corrosion. Passivation can occur only in certain conditions, and is used in microelectronics to enhance silicon. The technique of passivation strengthens and preserves the appearance of metallics. In electrochemical treatment of water, passivation reduces the effectiveness of the treatment by increasing the circuit resistance, and active measures are typically used to overcome this effect, the most common being polarity reversal, which results in limited rejection of the fouling layer. Other proprietary systems to avoid electrode passivation, several discussed below, are the subject of ongoing research and development.
Aluminium bronze is a type of bronze in which aluminium is the main alloying metal added to copper, in contrast to standard bronze or brass. A variety of aluminium bronzes of differing compositions have found industrial use, with most ranging from 5% to 11% aluminium by weight, the remaining mass being copper; other alloying agents such as iron, nickel, manganese, and silicon are also sometimes added to aluminium bronzes.
Aluminium oxide was taken off the United States Environmental Protection Agency's chemicals lists in 1988. Aluminium oxide is on the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory list if it is a fibrous form.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President and approved by Congress. The current Administrator is former Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler, who had been acting administrator since July 2018. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank.
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available database containing information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities in the United States.
Aluminium oxide is an amphoteric substance, meaning it can react with both acids and bases, such as hydrofluoric acid and sodium hydroxide, acting as an acid with a base and a base with an acid, neutralising the other and producing a salt.
In chemistry, bases are substances that, in aqueous solution, release hydroxide (OH−) ions, are slippery to the touch, can taste bitter if an alkali, change the color of indicators (e.g., turn red litmus paper blue), react with acids to form salts, promote certain chemical reactions (base catalysis), accept protons from any proton donor or contain completely or partially displaceable OH− ions. Examples of bases are the hydroxides of the alkali metals and the alkaline earth metals (NaOH, Ca(OH)2, etc.—see alkali hydroxide and alkaline earth hydroxide).
Hydrofluoric acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride (HF) in water. It is a precursor to almost all fluorine compounds, including pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine (Prozac), diverse materials such as PTFE (Teflon), and elemental fluorine itself. It is a colourless solution that is highly corrosive, capable of dissolving many materials, especially oxides. Its ability to dissolve glass has been known since the seventeenth century, even before Carl Wilhelm Scheele prepared it in large quantities in 1771. Because of its high reactivity toward glass and moderate reactivity toward many metals, hydrofluoric acid is usually stored in plastic containers.
Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye and caustic soda, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaOH. It is a white solid ionic compound consisting of sodium cations Na+
and hydroxide anions OH−
The most common form of crystalline aluminium oxide is known as corundum, which is the thermodynamically stable form. 3c (number 167 in the International Tables). The primitive cell contains two formula units of aluminium oxide.The oxygen ions form a nearly hexagonal close-packed structure with the aluminium ions filling two-thirds of the octahedral interstices. Each Al3+ center is octahedral. In terms of its crystallography, corundum adopts a trigonal Bravais lattice with a space group of R
Aluminium oxide also exists in other, metastable, phases, including the cubic γ and η phases, the monoclinic θ phase, the hexagonal χ phase, the orthorhombic κ phase and the δ phase that can be tetragonal or orthorhombic.Each has a unique crystal structure and properties. Cubic γ-Al2O3 has important technical applications. The so-called β-Al2O3 proved to be NaAl11O17.
Molten aluminium oxide near the melting temperature is roughly 2/3 tetrahedral (i.e. 2/3 of the Al are surrounded by 4 oxygen neighbors), and 1/3 5-coordinated, with very little (<5%) octahedral Al-O present.Around 80% of the oxygen atoms are shared among three or more Al-O polyhedra, and the majority of inter-polyhedral connections are corner-sharing, with the remaining 10–20% being edge-sharing. The breakdown of octahedra upon melting is accompanied by a relatively large volume increase (~20%), the density of the liquid close to its melting point is 2.93 g/cm3. The structure of molten alumina is temperature dependent and the fraction of 5- and 6-fold aluminium increases during cooling (and supercooling), at the expense of tetrahedral AlO4 units, approaching the local structural arrangements found in amorphous alumina.
Aluminium hydroxide minerals are the main component of bauxite, the principal ore of aluminium. A mixture of the minerals comprise bauxite ore, including gibbsite (Al(OH)3), boehmite (γ-AlO(OH)), and diaspore (α-AlO(OH)), along with impurities of iron oxides and hydroxides, quartz and clay minerals.Bauxites are found in laterites. Bauxite is purified by the Bayer process:
Except for SiO2, the other components of bauxite do not dissolve in base. Upon filtering the basic mixture, Fe2O3 is removed. When the Bayer liquor is cooled, Al(OH)3 precipitates, leaving the silicates in solution.
The solid Al(OH)3 Gibbsite is then calcined (heated to over 1100 °C) to give aluminium oxide:
The product aluminium oxide tends to be multi-phase, i.e., consisting of several phases of aluminium oxide rather than solely corundum.The production process can therefore be optimized to produce a tailored product. The type of phases present affects, for example, the solubility and pore structure of the aluminium oxide product which, in turn, affects the cost of aluminium production and pollution control.
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Known as alundum (in fused form) or aloxitein the mining, ceramic, and materials science communities, aluminium oxide finds wide use. Annual world production of aluminium oxide in 2015 was approximately 115 million tonnes, over 90% of which is used in the manufacture of aluminium metal. The major uses of speciality aluminium oxides are in refractories, ceramics, polishing and abrasive applications. Large tonnages of aluminium hydroxide, from which alumina is derived, are used in the manufacture of zeolites, coating titania pigments, and as a fire retardant/smoke suppressant.
Over 90% of the aluminium oxide, normally termed Smelter Grade Alumina (SGA), produced is consumed for the production of aluminium, usually by the Hall–Héroult process. The remainder, normally called speciality alumina is used in a wide variety of applications which reflect its inertness, temperature resistance and electrical resistance.
Being fairly chemically inert and white, aluminium oxide is a favored filler for plastics. Aluminium oxide is a common ingredient in sunscreen and is sometimes also present in cosmetics such as blush, lipstick, and nail polish.
Many formulations of glass have aluminium oxide as an ingredient.
Aluminium oxide catalyses a variety of reactions that are useful industrially. In its largest scale application, aluminium oxide is the catalyst in the Claus process for converting hydrogen sulfide waste gases into elemental sulfur in refineries. It is also useful for dehydration of alcohols to alkenes.
Aluminium oxide serves as a catalyst support for many industrial catalysts, such as those used in hydrodesulfurization and some Ziegler–Natta polymerizations.
Aluminium oxide is widely used to remove water from gas streams.
Aluminium oxide is used for its hardness and strength. It is widely used as an abrasive, including as a much less expensive substitute for industrial diamond. Many types of sandpaper use aluminium oxide crystals. In addition, its low heat retention and low specific heat make it widely used in grinding operations, particularly cutoff tools. As the powdery abrasive mineral aloxite, it is a major component, along with silica, of the cue tip "chalk" used in billiards. Aluminium oxide powder is used in some CD/DVD polishing and scratch-repair kits. Its polishing qualities are also behind its use in toothpaste. It is also used in microdermabrasion, both in the machine process available through dermatologists and estheticians, and as a manual dermal abrasive used according to manufacturer directions.
Aluminium oxide flakes are used in paint for reflective decorative effects, such as in the automotive or cosmetic industries.
Aluminium oxide has been used in a few experimental and commercial fiber materials for high-performance applications (e.g., Fiber FP, Nextel 610, Nextel 720).Alumina nanofibers in particular have become a research field of interest.
Some body armors utilize alumina ceramic plates, usually in combination with aramid or UHMWPE backing to achieve effectiveness against even most rifle threats. Alumina ceramic armor is readily available to most civilians in jurisdictions where it is legal, but is not considered military grade.
Aluminium oxide can be grown as a coating on aluminium by anodizing or by plasma electrolytic oxidation (see the "Properties" above). Both the hardness and abrasion-resistant characteristics of the coating originate from the high strength of aluminium oxide, yet the porous coating layer produced with conventional direct current anodizing procedures is within a 60-70 Rockwell hardness C rangewhich is comparable only to hardened carbon steel alloys, but considerably inferior to the hardness of natural and synthetic corundum. Instead, with plasma electrolytic oxidation, the coating is porous only on the surface oxide layer while the lower oxide layers are much more compact than with standard DC anodizing procedures and present a higher crystallinity due to the oxide layers being remelted and densified to obtain α-Al2O3 clusters with much higher coating hardness values circa 2000 Vickers hardness.
Alumina is used to manufacture tiles which are attached inside pulverized fuel lines and flue gas ducting on coal fired power stations to protect high wear areas. They are not suitable for areas with high impact forces as these tiles are brittle and susceptible to breakage.
Aluminium oxide is an electrical insulator used as a substrate (silicon on sapphire) for integrated circuits but also as a tunnel barrier for the fabrication of superconducting devices such as single electron transistors and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs).
For its application as an electrical insulator in integrated circuits, where the conformal growth of a thin film is a prerequisite and the preferred growth mode is atomic layer deposition, Al2O3 films can be prepared by the chemical exchange between trimethylaluminum (Al(CH3)3) and H2O:
H2O in the above reaction can be replaced by ozone (O3) as the active oxidant and the following reaction then takes place:
The Al2O3 films prepared using O3 show 10–100 times lower leakage current density compared with those prepared by H2O.
Aluminum oxide, being a dielectric with relatively large band gap, is used as an insulating barrier in capacitors.
In lighting, transparent aluminium oxide is used in some sodium vapor lamps.Aluminium oxide is also used in preparation of coating suspensions in compact fluorescent lamps.
In chemistry laboratories, aluminium oxide is a medium for chromatography, available in basic (pH 9.5), acidic (pH 4.5 when in water) and neutral formulations.
Health and medical applications include it as a material in hip replacementsand birth control pills.
It is used as a dosimeter for radiation protection and therapy applications for its optically stimulated luminescence properties.[ citation needed ]
Insulation for high-temperature furnaces is often manufactured from aluminium oxide. Sometimes the insulation has varying percentages of silica depending on the temperature rating of the material. The insulation can be made in blanket, board, brick and loose fiber forms for various application requirements.
Small pieces of aluminium oxide are often used as boiling chips in chemistry.
It is also used to make spark plug insulators.
Using a plasma spray process and mixed with titania, it is coated onto the braking surface of some bicycle rims to provide abrasion and wear resistance.[ citation needed ]
Most ceramic eyes on fishing rods are circular rings made from aluminium oxide.[ citation needed ]
Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content. It is the world's main source of aluminium. Bauxite consists mostly of the aluminium minerals gibbsite (Al(OH)3), boehmite (γ-AlO(OH)) and diaspore (α-AlO(OH)), mixed with the two iron oxides goethite and haematite, the aluminium clay mineral kaolinite and small amounts of anatase (TiO2) and ilmenite (FeTiO3 or FeO.TiO2).
Aluminium hydroxide, Al(OH)3, is found in nature as the mineral gibbsite (also known as hydrargillite) and its three much rarer polymorphs: bayerite, doyleite, and nordstrandite. Aluminium hydroxide is amphoteric in nature, i.e., it has both basic and acidic properties. Closely related are aluminium oxide hydroxide, AlO(OH), and aluminium oxide or alumina (Al2O3), the latter of which is also amphoteric. These compounds together are the major components of the aluminium ore bauxite.
Gibbsite, Al(OH)3, is one of the mineral forms of aluminium hydroxide. It is often designated as γ-Al(OH)3 (but sometimes as α-Al(OH)3.). It is also sometimes called hydrargillite (or hydrargyllite).
The Bayer process is the principal industrial means of refining bauxite to produce alumina (aluminium oxide). Bauxite, the most important ore of aluminium, contains only 30–60% aluminium oxide (Al2O3), the rest being a mixture of silica, various iron oxides, and titanium dioxide. The aluminium oxide must be purified before it can be refined to aluminium metal.
Aluminium chloride (AlCl3), also known as aluminium trichloride, is the main compound of aluminium and chlorine. It is white, but samples are often contaminated with iron(III) chloride, giving it a yellow color. The solid has a low melting and boiling point. It is mainly produced and consumed in the production of aluminium metal, but large amounts are also used in other areas of the chemical industry. The compound is often cited as a Lewis acid. It is an example of an inorganic compound that reversibly changes from a polymer to a monomer at mild temperature.
A superalloy, or high-performance alloy, is an alloy that exhibits several key characteristics: excellent mechanical strength, resistance to thermal creep deformation, good surface stability, and resistance to corrosion or oxidation. The crystal structure is typically face-centered cubic austenitic. Examples of such alloys are Hastelloy, Inconel, Waspaloy, Rene alloys, Incoloy, MP98T, TMS alloys, and CMSX single crystal alloys.
Sodium aluminate is an inorganic chemical that is used as an effective source of aluminium hydroxide for many industrial and technical applications. Pure sodium aluminate (anhydrous) is a white crystalline solid having a formula variously given as NaAlO2, NaAl(OH)4 (hydrated), Na2O·Al2O3, or Na2Al2O4. Commercial sodium aluminate is available as a solution or a solid.
Other related compounds, sometimes called sodium aluminate, prepared by reaction of Na2O and Al2O3 are Na5AlO4 which contains discrete AlO45− anions, Na7Al3O8 and Na17Al5O16 which contain complex polymeric anions, and NaAl11O17, once mistakenly believed to be β-alumina, a phase of aluminium oxide.
In chemistry aluminate is a compound containing an oxyanion of aluminium, such as sodium aluminate. In the naming of inorganic compounds it is a suffix that indicates a polyatomic anion with a central aluminum atom.
Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO), also known as electrolytic plasma oxidation (EPO) or microarc oxidation (MAO), is an electrochemical surface treatment process for generating oxide coatings on metals. It is similar to anodizing, but it employs higher potentials, so that discharges occur and the resulting plasma modifies the structure of the oxide layer. This process can be used to grow thick, largely crystalline, oxide coatings on metals such as aluminium, magnesium and titanium. Because they can present high hardness and a continuous barrier, these coatings can offer protection against wear, corrosion or heat as well as electrical insulation.
Aluminium nitrate is a white, water-soluble salt of aluminium and nitric acid, most commonly existing as the crystalline hydrate, aluminium nitrate nonahydrate, Al(NO3)3·9H2O.
Indium(III) oxide (In2O3) is a chemical compound, an amphoteric oxide of indium.
Thermal barrier coatings (TBC) are advanced materials systems usually applied to metallic surfaces, such as on gas turbine or aero-engine parts, operating at elevated temperatures, as a form of exhaust heat management. These 100 μm to 2 mm coatings serve to insulate components from large and prolonged heat loads by utilizing thermally insulating materials which can sustain an appreciable temperature difference between the load-bearing alloys and the coating surface. In doing so, these coatings can allow for higher operating temperatures while limiting the thermal exposure of structural components, extending part life by reducing oxidation and thermal fatigue. In conjunction with active film cooling, TBCs permit working fluid temperatures higher than the melting point of the metal airfoil in some turbine applications. Due to increasing demand for higher engine operation, better durability/lifetime, and thinner coatings to reduce parasitic weight for rotating/moving components, there is significant motivation to develop new and advanced TBCs.
Aluminium hydroxide oxide or aluminium oxyhydroxide, AlO(OH) is found as one of two well defined crystalline phases, which are also known as the minerals boehmite and diaspore. The minerals are important constituents of the aluminium ore, bauxite.
An alumina effect pigment is a pearlescent pigment based on alumina.
Bauxite tailings, also known as red mud, red sludge, bauxite residue, or alumina refinery residues (ARR), is a highly alkaline waste product composed mainly of iron oxide that is generated in the industrial production of alumina. Annually, about 77 million tons of the red special waste are produced, causing a serious disposal problem in the mining industry. The scale of production makes the waste product an important one, and issues with its storage are reviewed and every opportunity is explored to find uses for it.
Nanosized aluminium oxide occurs in the form of spherical or nearly spherical nanoparticles, and in the form of oriented or undirected fibers.
Titanium is often used in medical and military applications because of its strength, weight, and corrosion resistance characteristics. In implantable medical devices, titanium is used because of its biocompatibility and its passive, stable oxide layer. Also, titanium allergies are rare and in those cases mitigations like parylene coating are used. In the aerospace industry titanium is often bonded to save cost, touch times, and the need for mechanical fasteners. In the past, Russian submarines hulls were completely made of titanium because the non-magnetic nature of the material went undetected by the defense technology at that time. This article will discuss surface preparation for adhesive bonding to titanium. There is not a single solution for all applications. For example, etchant and chemical methods are not biocompatible and cannot be human used in blood and tissue contact. Mechanical surface roughness techniques like sanding and laser roughening may make the surface brittle and create micro-hardness regions that would not be suitable for cyclic loading found in military applications. Air oxidation at high temperatures will produce a crystalline oxide layer at a lower investment cost but the increased temperatures can deform precision parts. The type of adhesive, thermosetting or thermoplastic, and curing methods are also factors in titanium bonding because of the adhesive's interaction with the treated oxide layer. Surface treatments can also be combined. For example, a grit blast process can be followed by a chemical etch and a primer application.
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