Metal oxides

  • image for Borax (B4O7Na2) pigment stain

What is Borax? Can sodium tetraborate act itself as a flux? Difference between boron oxide. Is borax banned? Can improve the blue color of cobalt oxide

B4O7Na

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve in water. A number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content are referred to as borax, and the word is usually used to refer to the octahydrate. Commercially sold borax is partially dehydrated.

Borax is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes.

How to use Iron Oxide in the pottery: 

In ceramics, borax has been used to improve the fit of earthenware or greenware glazes. Additionally, when mixed with oxides, borax produces bright colors. 

Boron has been an essential ingredient in ceramic glazes and porcelain (vitreous) enamels for centuries. Borates initiate glass formation and reduce glass viscosity, helping to form a smooth surface and reduce thermal expansion. These qualities help to ensure a good fit between the glaze or enamel and the item it covers. Borates also increase the refractive index (luster), enhance mechanical durability and resistance to chemicals, and help to dissolve coloring agents. Add small amounts to a glaze that contains Cobalt Oxide to improve the blue color.

Benefits of Borax: 

For glazes and enamels, boric oxide is unique in that it acts simultaneously as a glass former, as a flux, and as a viscosity stabilizer that prevents the glaze from running too much while it is being fired. Perhaps most important of all, boric oxide reduces the thermal expansion of the glaze so that it can be matched to the expansion of the underlying ceramic or metallic body. At the same time, it improves aqueous and chemical durability while adding to the brilliance of the glaze.


Formula: B4O7Na2
Molecular Weight: 201.22 g/mol
Form: powder
CAS Number: 1330-43-4
Density: 1.73 g/cm³
Synonyms: Natrium boracicum, disodium borate, Komex, sodium borate, sodium metaborate, sodium tetraborate

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BORAX - Improves glaze's frit and produces brighter vivid colors

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