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3 Manufacturing Applications for Iron (III) Oxide

Iron (III) oxide, otherwise called ferric iron, is one of the three main oxides of iron. It is abbreviated as Fe2O3 and is actually a naturally-occurring mineral known as hematite. Readily attacked by acids, Iron (III) oxide is what most people know as rust.

Iron oxides are commonly used components in a wide variety of manufacturing process. They’re integral for several high-throughput applications that result in some of today’s most prominent commercial goods. Noah Chemicals supplies a wide variety of iron oxides to manufacturers all over the country in various purities and amounts.

Here are three common manufacturing applications for these unique compounds.

  1. Iron/Steel Feedstock Ferric iron is the main source of iron for the entire steel industry. Steel itself is an alloy made of iron, carbon, and several other elements, but iron is the base metal and makes up over 95% of the atomic structure of steel. The process of ironmaking also utilizes iron (III) oxide as a base metal. As construction and building continue to rebound, use of iron oxides to manufacture structural components for use within the industries is expected to grow significantly.
  2. Pigment Production Because of its striking red color, iron (III) oxide is considered a valuable pigment for use in a wide variety of manufacturing processes. Known within the industry as “pigment 6,” “pigment 7,” or “pigment red 101,” the material can be derived naturally from hematite or produced synthetically in a lab. Some iron oxide pigments have been approved by the FDA for use within cosmetics manufacturing; other pigments are primarily used within the construction industry for coatings, paints, and other industrial finishes. Transparent iron oxide pigments are also sold commercially as staining products, such as wood stain for decking. Iron oxide pigments can easily be blended to create a wide array of earth-toned colors.
  3. Magnetic Tape Manufacturing Magnetic tape energizes an electromagnet to affect a recording medium. In practice, the magnetic medium readily “picks up” the polarity transferred onto it but does not easily lose that polarity after the fact. These tapes have applications in video recording, data recording, and particularly within auto recording, as well as on the back of credit cards. Iron (III) oxide is the most common magnetic particle used for making magnetic storage tape; it was once the most commonly used medium for computer data storage but has been overtaken by cobalt alloys and other thinner, higher-storage solutions.

Iron (III) oxide and other iron oxides are crucial to the success of a staggering number of modern manufacturing processes. Industrial demand for iron oxides is expected to increase dramatically over the coming years as industries like construction continue to thrive.

Noah Chemicals is a leading supplier of iron oxides to manufacturers throughout the U.S. We sell iron oxides in a wide variety of purities and amounts, and our in-house quality assurance programs ensure an as-described product every time.

For questions about the role iron (III) oxide plays in your manufacturing process, reach out to our experienced team today!


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