What is Chrome Flour and How is it Used in Daily Life?
What is Chrome Flour?
Also known as iron chromite, chromite powder, chrome flour 325, and chromite flour, it is an inorganic compound that is used as a pigment.
What is the Chemical Composition?
The chemical composition is Cr2O3.
What are its Properties?
Chromite flour is used because it is:
- Stable at high temperatures
- Thermal-shock resistant
- Resistant to corrosive glasses and slags
- High heat resistance
What are its Uses?
It has considerable stability, which makes it perfect for use as a pigment in paints, inks, and glasses.
Another use is to make green container glass and green glass, such as oxidised green glass and reduced green glass.
Refractory Bricks and Refractory Cement
It is also perfect for use in the production of chrome magnesite refractory bricks and cement, which are used for high-heat environments such as metallurgy furnaces, electric arc furnaces, cement rotary kilns, glass kilns, and other high-temperature industrial furnaces, due to its heat resistant qualities.
The addition of chrome flour means that the bricks and cement can withstand the extreme heat necessary in metallurgy furnaces and won’t crack under heating and cooling stress.
Other Bricks, Paving and Roof Tiles
This material can also be added to ivory filing clays in the production of bricks, paving, and roof tiles to give them various attractive shades of grey, which have become increasingly popular in architecture in recent years.
Similarly, chromite flour can offer the same benefits to the ceramics industry and create grey bodies. It’s also of use in the creation of glazes for use on the ceramics.
Stainless Steel Production
It is also used in stainless steel production to help prevent the molten steel from settling inside tap holes and solidifying there.
Along with other oxides, chromite is used as a compound for polishing the edges of knives, razors, blades, and the surfaces of optical devices on a piece of leather or cloth. When it is produced in this context, it is available as a powder or wax called “green compound”.
What Colour Glass Does it Produce and What Are Their Uses?
It produces emerald green and Georgia green oxidised glass, as well as deadleaf green, dark olive green, champagne green, UV green and antique green as reduced glass.
Most reduced glass is not pure green but a yellow-amber colour or a dark green, because it contains iron pyrite. Iron pyrite is included to create a specific colour or for additional physical properties that make the product less prone to UV penetration. This is especially beneficial for manufacturers whose product can be damaged by UV light.
The amber coloured glass well known for reflecting UV rays, and it does indeed make the best choice, but the colour is considered less attractive and so most brands prefer to choose a green bottle, which is why it is necessary to mix iron chromite flour with iron pyrite to create the green shade the customer is looking for, while still retaining some of the effectiveness of its UV reflecting qualities.
This is one of the reasons you’ll find spirits in clear bottles on the shelves, while beer is always in brown or green; beer is particularly sensitive to UV light while clear spirits are not.
Where Would We Be Without Chromite Flour?
Chromite flour is a compound most people aren’t even aware exists, or have any idea the contribution its properties has on our daily lives. Even those who work with products produced with chromite powder often aren’t aware that it is contributing to making their lives easier and safer.
A huge majority of people end their day or start their weekend with a bottle of beer, completely unaware that the beautiful deep green shades are achieved with the use of chromite flour.
Its use in kilns and furnaces help make working with metal ores significantly easier, and those who live in homes that are built with grey bricks or roof tiles have extra heat-resistant qualities – while the chances of a fire getting hot enough to threaten a modern brick home structurally is remote, it does make their homes slightly more sound than homes built from other materials.
Of course, the effect we note and love about the greyscale bricks, paving, roof tiles and ceramics created using chrome flour is the colour. Grey has become particularly popular in interior design in recent years too.
Next time you’re in a kitchen or bathroom covered in grey tiles or holding a beer bottle, take a moment to think about the compound included in those products and all it offers.