Highest boron consumption occurs in the glass industry. When added to the intermediary glass product in molten form, boron enhances the viscosity of the glass and improves the surface hardness and strength of the final product. Boron oxide is extensively used primarily in borosilicate glass, textile-type and insulating glass fibres.
Boron is employed in borosilicate glass, textile and insulating fibreglass, liquid crystal display modules, special furnace containers, laboratory materials, vehicle headlight and signal glasses, glass wool, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Monitors and CRT glass products. Moreover, some boron-doped special glasses have a huge potential of applicability to the aerospace industry, electronics industry and nuclear reactors, creating extensive fields of research.
In ceramics industry, boron is mostly used in glazing and frits. Boron oxide volume employed in ceramic glazing ranges between 8% and 24% by weight. Basic function of boron oxide in glazing is to provide a thermal balance between the glass and the material and to regulate the thermal expansion coefficient of the glaze. Another benefit of boron doping to glazes is that glass is formed in the early phase of the melting process. Furthermore, borates enhance the appearance of the glass as it improves the refractory index. Boron addition to glaze improves the mechanical strength and scratch resistance. Moreover, boron improves resistance against the impacts of chemicals and water. On the other hand, boron provides a base for pigment addition.
Boron oxide, reducing the viscosity and saturation heat of enamels, may be used up to a rate of 20%. In particular, 17-32% of raw materials added to enamels are boron oxide, and here hydrous borax is preferred. As it imparts scratch resistance to the glaze, boron is added to ceramic glazes in colemanite form at a ratio of 3-24%.