How to Choose the Right Borates

:: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 :: Posted By Allen Zheng

Is your organization manufacturing a product or conducting a process that depends on borates as a component material? Choosing the right borate can drastically affect your success—and your customers’ satisfaction. But how do you evaluate which borate product is best for your needs?

Obviously, price is a factor. But if you aren’t considering quality, you could be putting your results and your reputation at risk.

Low-quality borates can result in an inconsistent or off-spec end product or process. This in turn can drive up reject rates or decrease process efficiency. And that can increase raw material use or emission levels, reduce equipment life and increase maintenance costs, and slash productivity. In this way, a low-cost product can end up costing you much more than you would have spent on a higher quality, higher price borate.

Quality Borates? Pure and Not So Simple

So what makes a high-quality borate? Your first thought might be that quality is equivalent to the purity of the borate.

Purity is certainly a factor. Borates from different producers will have slightly different impurity footprints. Some might be high in calcium or other harmful elements.

These aspects depend on numerous factors, including where and how the borates are mined and the current stage of the mine’s life, the processing and refinement techniques used, and the vendor’s expertise.

For example, a borate’s source can determine the level of sodium or calcium that it contains. And those minerals can react with other components in your process or product. The extent of impact, however, will largely dependent on your individual process or product recipe. Hence it is important to work with the vendor to understand what impurity level is important and what the true tolerance and impact will be.

In addition to quality, consideration of other borate product aspects is equally important (but often overlooked by borate users). Look at aspects such as:

  • Consistency: Can you be sure that you’ll receive product that is sized consistently, that contains consistent concentrations of boron, and that delivers consistent product in each batch?
  • Traceability: Does the vendor maintain reliable product and manufacturing traceability standards?
  • Standardization: Does the vendor maintain standardized refinement processes to produce a reliable product, from start to finish?
  • Continued improvement: Is the vendor committed to the development and improvement of their products? Are they willing to listen to your needs and feedback?

When It Comes to Boron Properties and Uses, Knowledge Is Power

Choosing the right borate depends a great deal on your specific purpose or end product. That’s why it’s important to use a vendor that has extensive knowledge of boron properties and testing techniques—and also understands various borate applications and the interactions affected by borate quality.

You likely have an internal technical team to advise you on the general requirements of potential borate component products. With those specs, your vendor should be able to provide details about which of their products meet your requirements and the value in use of each option. When more than one option is available, the vendor’s experts should be able to help your buyers determine which will deliver the optimal results. The vendor should also be able to help you choose the best packaging, storage, and transportation options.

Another sign of a quality-minded borate vendor is the availability of technical and logistic support after purchase.

  • Does the vendor offer options to best suit user’s region and industry?
  • Are they well-regarded and well-connected across technical and industry associations?
  • Do they conduct and maintain research on the use of borates?

At U.S. Borax, We Know Borates

We stand behind the quality of our products and our customer support. Our six-step refinement process is designed to provide optimal product quality. As a result, our borate products are highly soluble, consistently sized, low in calcium, and crush resistant. We maintain a reliable global supply chain and our technical experts have decades of extensive research at their disposal. Those experts are available to answer your questions and help you determine which products can provide optimal results for your specific needs.

Our experts have an outstanding understanding of borate chemistry, product characteristics, environmental stewardship, and how borates contribute to a variety of products and uses related to food, shelter, and energy.



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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