Ulexite is a hydrous sodium calcium borate with formula of NaCaB5O6(OH)6.5H2O. In nature, ulexite is mostly fibrous. Ulexite is popularly called as TV rock as its natural fiber optic character transmits light along their lengths by internal reflection. The physical properties of ulexite is colorless or white triclinic crystal. Ulexiteis a complex mineral containing chains of sodium, water, and hydroxide octahedra. In nature, ulexite can be found in evaporite deposits.
Ulexite can be derived from colemanite by calcination process. During the calcination, ulexite gains hardness while colemanite is decrepitated. The calcined mixture is then screened producing ulexite concentrate.
The calcination process is at a lower temperature but a longer retention time. During this process, ulexite became friable while colemanite kept its original crystal structure and the ulexite is separated from colemanite by semi-autogenous grinding and screening.
Boron compounds have many household and industrial applications such as soaps ingredient, cleaning agent, herbicides, soldering fluxes, water softeners, food preservatives, and fire retardants. Boron is also used for manufactring glass, pyrex, and porcelain enamels.