Properties & Uses of Aluminum Oxide

by Loise Kinyanjui

Aluminum oxide is one of the most used compounds in engineering processes. Due to its light weight, it is used to make airplanes, for example. Its slow reaction with oxygen and its high boiling point also make it suitable for use in cooking pans. Aluminum oxide exists in temperature-stable crystalline forms.

Properties of Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum oxide bears chemical and physical characteristics similar to a compound known as natural corundum. It is a very hard material that resists any type of wear. It is also among the hardest compounds in existence, which makes possible its use as an abrasive material. Aluminum oxide conducts electricity easily. It also resists reacting with acids and bases at high temperature. It is a good thermal conductor due to its high boiling point.

Insulating Material

Aluminum oxide is used in the ceramic industry as an insulating material. The porous ceramics formed from its use have good resistance toward most acids except phosphoric and hydrofluoric acid. These ceramics are preferred for their inertness and the fact that they can be used and reused in many process applications.

Manufacturing

Aluminum oxide is used to the manufacture of refractories because of its low reactivity with acids and its high boiling point. Refractories must resist heat, pressure and acidic environments. Aluminum oxide is used in the instrumentation of thermal test machines. In the electronic industry, it is used in making passive components for interconnection and in the making of resistors and capacitors.

Coating Tatanium Oxide

Aluminum oxide is used in the coating of titanium oxide, a compound that is used as a pigment for paints and plastic papers. It helps in preventing catalytic reactions between these products and the atmosphere. Aluminum oxide is also used in the making of fillers used in the welding industry.

About the Author

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Loise Kinyanjui has been writing since 2009. She works as a features writer with Kitabu Publishers and has contributed news articles to various magazines and newspapers including "Weekly Citizen" and the "Kenyan Times." Kinyanjui holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Baraton University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images