The Instrumentation Center


BoronAbout the Display:

BoraxBorax, (Na2[B4O5(OH)4]·H2O) is a naturally occurring mineral. Though primarily used as a laundry detergent booster and multi-purpose cleaner, it can also be used in DIY crafts to make crystals and slime!

Tile – Boron oxides, like boric oxide (B2O3) are found in the glazes for most wall and floor tiles. Their additions helps to improve appearance and make tile production more efficient.

Boron supplementBoron is micronutrient that helps maintain health and prevent disease in humans, animals, and plants. A balanced, nutritious diet should provide enough boron for most people, but in some cases a physician may recommend a boron supplement.

Plane – Boron fiber tape is used to fix cracks in aluminum aircraft skins of military planes.

PYREX® measuring cup and laboratory glassware –Historically, PYREX® has been made of borosilicate glass. Pure glass is made of silicon dioxide, but other elements, like sodium and calcium, must be added to it so that it can be easily molded into shapes like cups and bowls. The addition of boron to glass makes it remarkably resistant to thermal shock, making it ideal for cooking and for the science laboratory.

Golf clubs and fishing pole – Boron fibers are used in sports equipment, like the shafts of golf clubs and fishing poles, for their strength and flexibility.

AMollie Enrightbout the Contributor: Mollie Enright holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toledo from Professor Mark Mason’s group. She is a member of the Boston College Law School Class of 2026.





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Symbol: B

Atomic Number: 5

Atomic Mass: 10.81 u

Electron Configuration: [He] 2s22p1 

Year Discovered: 1808

Discovered By: Louis-Josef Gay-Lussac and Louis-Jacques Thénard in Paris, France, and Humphry Davy in London, UK
Last Updated: 12/11/23