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Inorganic borates are naturally occurring minerals. They are mined from naturally formed deposits in the earth. They exist in trace amounts in rock, soil, water and all living things. Borates are essential for plants and key ingredients in fiberglass, glass, ceramics, detergents and fertilizers. These inorganic salts are colourless and odourless. Inorganic borate compounds are salts of the oxyacids of boron, such as boric acid, H3BO3, metaboric acid, HBO2 and tetraboric acid, H2B4O7.
Applications include: furnishings and interior construction, such as framing, furring strips, sill plates, sheathing, trusses and joists. Borates find use in the glass, ceramic, enamel and porcelain industries. Borates are important components in bleaching and stain removal. They are used to control viscosity in paints, adhesives and cosmetics. Borates find use in modifying the structure of glass to make it resistant to heat or chemical attack. They facilitate the production of ultra-thin LCD screens, functional fiberglass and beautiful ceramic tiles and glazes. These compounds act as a flame retardant in cellulose insulation.