Aluminum fluoride is white crystals that sublimes (760 mm) at approximately 1272 degrees Celsius. It has a density of 2.882 and is a strong irritant to tissue. Aluminum fluoride, Trihydrate is slightly soluble in water; insoluble in most organic solvents, while Aluminum fluoride, Anhydrous is water insoluble.
THE MANY WAYS TO USE ALUMINUM FLUORIDE
Aluminum fluoride sees its primary use as an additive in aluminum production and by electrolysis. Aluminum manufacturing must include extracting the aluminum from its ore, in which the ore is covered in pure aluminum oxide and is then electrolyzed by a solution of aluminum fluoride and cryolite. These two chemicals help lower the melting point and increases the conductivity of the aluminum solution.
One of the more interesting findings about aluminum fluoride uses is the wide variety in which it has found its way into very specific industries and activities. For instance, it is an ingredient in fluoroaluminate glass production. Fluoroaluminate glass is found in optical fiber applications, such as fiber-optic imaging and medical applications.
Aluminum fluoride is commonly used in ceramics, where it is found as the main chemical compound in glazes for finished products. It is also included to create refractory ceramic products. And in another instance of seemingly surprising uses for a chemical such as aluminum fluoride, it is widely used in beer and wine making industries, where it has the ability to inhibit the fermentation process.
Often found in powder form, aluminum fluoride should be stored in a tightly closed container away from air, moisture and heat. Always wear protective gloves, clothing, and eye protection when handling aluminum fluoride.
The chemical is potentially lethal in small doses, where it creates a neurotoxic effect, impacting the bone and nervous systems. Prolonged exposure may cause asthma, alter bones or severely impair the nervous system.
Aluminum fluoride’s insolubility with strong acids should prevent storage with such acids in close containment.
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