Powdered Borates: Specialty Grades for Specialty Applications

:: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 :: Posted By Maryam Moravej
In highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals and nuclear energy—and in many agricultural and specialty applications—inputs like borates must conform to the highest standards of purity. Many applications also require precise input measurements. Still others demand high solubility for full incorporation into your final formulations. And, depending on the industry and end use, inputs must be traceable and certified.
Businesses with such special needs require a special solution: U.S. Borax powders. Our borate powders contain extremely small particles, but they offer big benefits!

A multitude of uses

Powder-grade borates can be used in a variety of precision, industrial applications. In certain industries, borate powders offer specific benefits, including:
  • Pharmaceutical: Borate powders provide better dispersion and solubility and meet requirements for smaller particle size. U.S. Borax powdered products for pharmaceutical use include 20 Mule Team® Borax Optibor® EP P and Optibor NF P as well as borax decahydrate EP P and borax decahydrate NF P.
  • Ceramics: Modern high-tech and engineering ceramics are produced in precision processes that demand uniform chemical composition. In the manufacture of these industrial ceramics, borate powders such as Optibor TP, Optibor TP EF, and boric oxide 200 mesh provide higher reactivity, better diffusion, and a more efficient boride synthesis process.
  • Agriculture: Borate powders have good applicability in agriculture as well due to smaller particle size and high boron content. When added with NPK blends, for example, borate powders such as Anhybor® Fine function as a coating technology with the aid of a binder to minimize segregation and improve spreadability in the field.

U.S. Borax borate powders make the grade

Regardless of your application, U.S. Borax offers a powdered product that’s right for your needs. With more than one dozen powder-grade specifications—more than any competitor—we offer powdered versions of nearly all of our products.

Some products are even available in multiple powder grades that include:
  • Fine
  • Extra Fine
  • Technical
  • 60-Mesh
  • 200-Mesh
And, thanks to our production processes, we can even tailor particle-size distribution of some of our powder grades to better suit your application.

Smaller, purer, better

For many applications, particle size matters. For powder-grade products, median particle size generally ranges from 25 to 50 microns. (For comparison, granular product particles range from 300 to 700 microns.) Particle size affects end-product quality and properties in a few ways.
  • Faster dissolution: Whether a borate reacts with other chemicals or is dissolved in a formulation, particle size affects the rate or reaction of solubility. Because of their greater surface area, smaller particles react or dissolve at a faster rate.
  • Faster dispersion: When a borate is incorporated into a formulation as a solid, smaller particles mix and disperse more quickly and evenly into the formulation. Smaller particles are also less likely to have an impact on the mechanical properties of the end product.
Particle size isn’t the only consideration when choosing the right borate powder. Purity is another important factor. When it comes to quality, U.S. Borax powdered borates are second to none.

Of course, all manufacturers prefer high-quality inputs. But for certain applications, our high standards for borate refinement are critical to prevent contamination of your process, products, or even the environment. Not only do we put all our products through a rigorous refinement process, we devote that same dedication to every aspect of production, storage, and testing.
Like all our products, our borate powders are fully traceable. We record product information from production to shipping, including batch, bag and pallet numbers, detailed production data, and quality analyses results.
Our non-volatile, non-flammable and non-explosive borate powders also comply with crucial industry standards and certification requirements:
  • Our Certificate of Suitability (CEP)—a certificate of Suitability to the Monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia delivered by EDQM (European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare)—enables pharmaceutical manufacturers to easily administer Marketing Authorization Applications (MAA) for their products and offers optimal cost management and control.
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients certification ensures our manufacturing, laboratory, packaging, storage, and distribution processes all comply with important industry benchmarks.
  • ISO 9001:2015 specifies requirements for quality management systems.

Supporting innovation with specialty borate powders

Ready to get started—or need to learn more? Our technical support team is here to help you determine the best borate powder for your specific application. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about formulation, storage, transportation, certification, or our refinement processes.
We can even provide product and formulation research as well as product samples. We have sent powder samples to research centers and universities for research into borates’ use in agriculture, glass, refractories, metallurgy, oil and gas, and industrial fluids.
To promote improvements in agriculture, we have worked directly with research centers to evaluate the agronomic performance of our powders. A recent work with International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) proved the good performance of Anhybor Fine as a coating technology with the aid of a binder system. Anhybor Fine was launched in January 2021.
Whether you’re developing a new formulation or simply want to try out our high-quality powdered borates before switching from a different product, simply contact us to request a sample.



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 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 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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