Antimony is a metal naturally found in the earth's crust.

Antimony Trioxide (ATO) is manufactured via the revolatilization of crude antimony trioxide (formed via the oxidation of crude stibnite) or via the oxidation of antimony metal resulting in the formation of a white crystalline powder of a ceramic character.

Total worldwide volume of ATO production was 120.000 tons in 2005.

Uses of Antimony Trioxide

Antimony Trioxide (ATO) provides unique properties to a variety of products that cannot easily be replaced by alternative chemicals:

Increasing Fire Safety

The assessment of international safety standards since the 1980’s to ensure a higher level of fire safety in houses as well as in public places (cinemas, underground trains, airplanes…) accelerated and increased the need to make inherently flammable materials fire resistant. ATO greatly increases the effectiveness of halogenated flame retardants when used as a synergist in plastics, paints, adhesives, sealants, rubber and textile back coatings.

ATO tremendously increases resource efficiency and ensures compliance with stringent fire safety standards. For example, it enables the use of certain plastics in consumer products such as computer casings and TV sets that might otherwise pose a great fire hazard.

The Leading Catalyst for Manufacture of PET Plastics

ATO is the major catalyst for the production of PET plastic used eg as packaging of mineral water and soft drinks. PET is one of the best materials for plastic bottles, with a history of safe use by millions of consumers every day. ATO's safe use in the production of PET bottles has been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (2003) and the European Food Safety Authority (2004). The use of ATO as a catalyst in PET bottles does NOT impact the safety of the beverages.

ATO is also used as:

  • A catalyst in PET fibres and films
  • Ingredient in ZnO varistors
  • An intermediate for the production of certain glasses 
  • A coating used on certain grades of TiO2 pigments
  • A component in the manufacturing of complex inorganic colored rutile pigments
  • An opacifier in cast iron bath and sinking enameling

International Antimony Association VZW
Avenue de Broqueville 12
BE-1150 Brussels
T : +32 2 762 30 93
F : +32 2 762 82 29
VAT : BE 0894.536.176
E :
Création site internet | IDcreation 2012 | Last updated: 24/06/2019
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