BorATES in Urbanization

Building Modern Cities with Sustainable Development

Today’s cities embody the excitement of modern living. Technological advances and bustling industry power the endless movement and expansion of the world’s urban centers. Yet we also call these cities home. Growth and innovation must be balanced by security, safety, comfort, and affordability.

U.S. Borax helps support sustainable development, efficient energy consumption, human safety, and technological advances. From ultra-high-strength steel in our cars, to fire retardants and wood protectants in our homes, to borate-based cleaning products and the borosilicate glass on our mobile devices, boron plays an essential role in the way we live.

Built to last

Durability and safety—we expect these qualities in our homes, vehicles, and city infrastructures. U.S. Borax products increase building materials’ ability to resist rot, corrosion, pests, and heat, improving the performance and staying power of everything from wood siding to roof tiles, railway ties to automobile frames.


Sustainable development

Efficient, affordable living

It’s simple logic: If building materials last longer, repair and replacement costs go down. If energy consumption is more efficient, heating and transportation costs are more reasonable.

  • Whether used in building construction or railway ties, the durability of U.S. Borax-treated wood can reduce repair and replacement expenses.
  • Borates impart benefits during the manufacture of glass fiber insulation and contribute to the thermal insulation properties of the final product. Borate-containing insulation reduces heat loss in buildings—improving energy efficiency and lowering heating and cooling costs.
  • Boron is an essential nutrient for crop growth. Boron supplementation can help farmers increase crop yield and quality, which can help reduce bottom-line food costs.


Enabling tomorrow’s tech

Don’t let our 150-year history fool you: U.S. Borax is firmly rooted in the future. Borates help strengthen your cell phone screen. They boost the cleaning power of laundry detergent. And, U.S. Borax products are used to help build everything from wind farms to test tubes—dozens of products that keep us moving forward. They are used:

  • To create heat-, shock-, and crack-resistant borosilicate glass for use in LCD screens in televisions, cell phones, and other electronic devices
  • In lithium ion batteries, capacitors, and supercapacitors—enabling electric vehicles and road transportation. Batteries and supercapacitors are also used in intermittent renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power.
  • In laundry detergents, household and industrial cleaners, and personal care products, thanks to their stain-removal and bacteria-control capabilities.

We care about sustainability. Our Product Stewardship and Health, Safety, Environment (HSE) teams are dedicated to the responsible production and safe use of U.S. Borax products.

Urbanization Products

Ammonium Pentaborate

Whether inhibiting heat, flame, or corrosion, the purity of this alkaline salt makes it an excellent choice. Learn More ›

Borax Decahydrate

From detergents to dyes to adhesives, this mild alkaline salt does it all, particularly excelling as a buffering and fluxing agent. Learn More ›

Boric Oxide

Pure anhydrous form is ideal where boric acid is required without metals. A powerful tool in the production of specialty glasses, ceramics, enamels, and fluxes. Learn More ›

Borogard ZB

Protect wood and wood composites from destroying organisms, rot decay fungi, and subterranean termites. Learn More ›


This hard, glassy, granular product is excellent when forming flux or glass, where it helps to increase yield and reduce energy consumption. Learn More ›


These products are unique zinc borates combining the best of zinc and boron oxides that can be used to develop fire-retardant formulations. Learn More ›

Firebrake 500

This zinc borate is anhydrous—it contains no water of hydration—which makes it highly stable in fire-retardant applications and in polymer systems that require very high processing temperatures. Learn More ›

Firebrake ZB

This unique zinc borate combines the best of zinc and boron oxides with water release to provide multi-functional benefits in fire-retardant formulations. Learn More ›


With lower transportation, handling, and storage costs, this concentrated sodium borate is used in glass, fiberglass, cleaning products, and flame retardants. Learn More ›

Optibor boric acid

From reducing melting temperatures in fiberglass production to inhibiting corrosion in fuel additives, Optibor has a multitude of uses in numerous industries. Learn More ›


Polybor earns its spot in industrial cleaning compounds, fire retardants, and the manufacture of water-treatment chemicals. Learn More ›

Potassium Tetraborate

An excellent buffering agent, potassium tetraborate can lower the pH of strong alkalis and is also used in welding, soldering, and brazing fluxes. Learn More ›

Sodium Metaborate

Provides increased viscosity, quicker tack, and better fluidity in starch and dextrin adhesives. Helps stabilize hydrogen peroxide solutions and neutralize acidic oxidation by-products in textile processing. Learn More ›


This industrial, high-performance wood preservative is ideal for protecting rafters, cladding, and joinery against insects and decay. Learn More ›


When it comes to particulate materials, particle size affects end product quality and properties. U.S. Borax offers many of its products in powder grade. Learn More ›


Learn more about the applications of borates in modern urbanization.

Maximizing the Value of Essential Materials
Spurred by the passage of the extensive U.S. infrastructure funding package, the construction industry is preparing for a surge in projects. A closer look at ... Learn More
The Brilliance of Borogard ZB
Wood composite products are increasingly important to the construction industry as builders around the world look for materials that are versatile, strong, an... Read More
Borates for Wood Protection: Forest-to-Market
The wood and timber industries rely on borates for environmentally safe options for wood protection. Learn how borates protect, preserve, and extend the life ... Learn More

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 500 customers with more than 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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