Boron is a chemical element with atomic number 5 and the chemical symbol B. Boron is a trivalent nonmetallic element which occurs abundantly in the evaporite ores borax and ulexite. Boron is never found as a free element in nature.
Several allotropes of boron exist; amorphous boron is a brown powder, though crystalline boron is black, hard (9.3 on Mohs' scale), and a weak conductor at room temperature. Elemental boron is used as a dopant in the semiconductor industry, while boron compounds play important roles as light structural materials, nontoxic insecticides and preservatives, and reagents for chemical synthesis.
Boron is an essential plant nutrient, although higher soil concentrations of boron may also be toxic to plants. As an ultratrace element, boron is necessary for the optimal health of rats and presumably other mammals, though its physiological role in animals is poorly understood.
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||Material explodes with rapid cooling. Forms carbide with container.