Borax anhydrous is an inorganic compound that has a white, fine crystal or powder appearace. Borax hydrates occur naturally in evaporite deposits produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes. Naturally occurring borax is refined by a process of recrystallization, but it can be produced synthetically from other boron compounds. The term borax is often used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content. This is why there are also compounds namely: borax decahydrate, borax octahydrate, and borax pentahydrate.
Anhydrous borax is made by fusing hydrated borax into a glass and regrinding it. It thus contains little or no water at all. The powder will not rehydrate under normal dry storage conditions. It is slightly water soluble, but considerably less so than raw borax. This material does not puff or swell during melting, minimizing loss of powder in kilns with strong drafts, and melts easier. The swelling in other forms can create a porous state with an insulation factor that slows melting.
Glass and Ceramics Industry
This material is used as a source of boron trioxide (B2O3) in the manufacture of many different types of borosilicate glass, including heat and chemical resistant glasses, illumination glasses, optical lenses. For ceramics, Used as an additive in ceramic slips and glazes to improve fit.
For small scale mining, borax anhydrous is used as an alternative to mercury as an extracting chemical for gold due to it being less toxic than mercury.
Water Treament Industry
Borax anhydrous is used as a water softening agent for removing temporary and permanent hardness (Ca2+, Mg2+) in water.
Borax anhydrous is popularly used as an ingredient for the rubber polymers such as slime or Silly Putty. It can also be used to manufacture medical and cosmetic containers, glass beads, and hollow microspheres. It is used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound, in the manufacture of fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking