Antimony (Sb) – Properties, Applications

Topics Covered

Introduction
Chemical Properties
Physical Properties
Mechanical Properties
Thermal Properties
Applications

Introduction

Antimony is a chemical element with Sb as its symbol. It belongs to group 15, periodic number 5 of the periodic table. The metallic form of this element is bright, silvery, and brittle. The Mohs scale for hardness is 3 for this metal. It is a poor conductor of heat and electricity.

Antimony occurs naturally in the environment and is predominantly found in Russia, Bolivia, china, and South Africa. It is found in over 100 mineral species with sulfide stibnite (Sb2S3) being the main ore mineral.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of antimony are provided in the table below.

Chemical Data
CAS number 7440-36-0
Thermal neutron cross section 5.7 barns/atom
Electrode potential 0.10 V
Ionic radius 0.620 Å
Electronegativity 2.05
X-ray absorption edge 0.40663 Å
Electrochemical equivalent 1.494 g/A/h

Physical Properties

The following table discusses the physical properties of antimony.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 6.618 g/cm3 0.2391 lb/in3
Melting point 630.74 °C 1167.3 °F
Boiling point 1380 °C 2516°F

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of antimony are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength 11.4 MPa 1650 psi
Modulus of elasticity 77.759 GPa 11278 ksi
Shear modulus 19 GPa 2760 ksi
Hardness, Brinell 30 - 58 30 - 58
Hardness, Vickers 30 - 60 30 - 60

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of antimony are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal expansion co-efficient (@20-100°C/68-212°F) 10.9 µm/m°C 6.06 µin/in°F
Thermal conductivity 18.6 W/mK 129 BTU in/hr.ft².°F

Applications

The following are the application areas of antimony:

  • Brake pads
  • Ammunition
  • Ball bearings
  • Safety matches
  • Fire retardants
  • As alloying material for lead
  • Diodes and infrared detectors
  • Startup neutron sources in nuclear reactors
  • Dopants for silicon wafers for semiconductor industry

Antimony alloys are used in batteries, type metal, low friction metals, and cable sheathing. Antimony compounds are used to manufacture paints, ceramic enamels, flame-proofing materials, glass and pottery.

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