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What is alumina

Alumina, also known as aluminum oxide, is significant in its use to produce aluminium metal, as an abrasive material due its inherent hardness, and as a refractory material due to high melting point. In other applications, alumina is utilized as a porous filtration material. With heat-resistant characteristics, alumina is the base material in aluminum manufacturing, and other industrial ceramic processes. The versatility of alumina is exhibited in its inherent hardening consistency, abrasive strength, and insulation (electrical and thermal) uses.

Brenntag distributes alumina as an functional filler for cosmetics, paints, and protective coatings. With our 190 distribution locations, our experts bring your business's consumer products to life.

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History of Alumina

Alumina exists as a white crystalline material that is used as a base for smelting aluminum metals. Alumina derives from an ore called bauxite, and it is gaining use in a range of ceramic products as a functional agent ingredient.

Bauxite is a common raw material used in the process of aluminum metal production. Through the refining of bauxite, alumina is created in a powder form using caustic soda, heat, and separation techniques. Synthetic traces of alumina are generated through the following process:

  • Sources of bauxite are crushed, waxed, and dried.
  • Bauxite is filtered for the removal of impurities.
  • The solution is placed into precipitator tanks where aluminum hydroxide settles for removal.
  • Aluminum hydroxide is then heated to create alumina powder.

Common Uses of Alumina

Aside from metal production, activated alumina is effective in absorbing water from gas and liquid solutions. Alumina works to treat drinking water by removing contaminants for improved water quality. Activated alumina is a treatment source for water samples containing dissolved solids or sulfate concentrations. Other uses of alumina include:

Alumina helps to create technical ceramics for applications in chemical, medical, electrical, and industrial settings. Due to alumina's corrosion-resistance and electrical/thermal insulation, alumina protects machines and facilities from wear and rust. Ceramics include but are not limited to spark-plug insulators and bone and dental implants.

Aluminum oxide works as a functional filler for plastics and cosmetic products. The ingredient is often white or colorless, and is ideal as a thickening agent for products such as cleaning products, lipsticks, and blush. With an abrasive texture, companies can implement alumina into beauty products for exfoliation.

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Industries Using Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum oxide is a versatile substance for the creation of consumer products and manufacturing. Brenntag North America sees the use of aluminum oxide within the automotive industry for its hardness and durability surrounding car parts. Depending on how the material is used, alumina can be incorporated into fine-grit sandpaper and buffers for the removal of scratches, dirt, and debris on a vehicle's exterior.

Aluminum oxide adds decorative qualities to original paints and solutions. Our alumina powders are beneficial for original creations as colors intensify and become translucent. Companies in painting industries can apply alumina ingredients to plastics and other finishes for a reflective appearance.

Businesses operating in the cosmetic industry benefit from alumina as an additive. Aluminum oxide adds a level of UV protection to sunscreens and other topical creams. As a thickening agent, alumina works to absorb overbearing ingredients in original products for a non-greasy feeling on the skin.


Need to know where to get alumina? With convenient locations across North America, Brenntag North America is perfectly positioned to ship alumina to your facility in the most expeditious, cost-effective manner.

Our combination of specialized distribution channels, industry-best expertise, extensive product selection, and world-class customer service make us the best choice for all your ingredient and chemical solution needs.

Contact us to learn more about our alumina product selection and how it can benefit your manufacturing operation today.

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