Uses for Chrome Oxide Green

Written by madeline masters
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  • Introduction

    Uses for Chrome Oxide Green

    Chrome oxide green, also known as chromium oxide green, chromium sesquioxide, or chromia, is a powdered mineral used to add colour to various materials. Its basic chemical composition is Cr2O3. Chrome oxide green is used to create a green colour in plastics, paints, and glass. It is also used in certain polishing and sharpening techniques.

    Chrome oxide green is used to colour items from glass to industrial materials. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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    Chrome oxide green has been used in artists' paints since the 1800s. More recently, chrome oxide green is added to paints used for industrial purposes, such as military vehicles and in institutional interiors. As a pigment, chrome oxide green retains its colour in high-heat and light exposure situations, making it an ideal choice for outdoor and heavy-use applications.

    Chrome oxide green is used to make "institutional green." (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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    Chrome oxide green makes a durable ink, which is why it has been used to print bank notes for hundreds of years. Chrome oxide green was the original ink used on the backs of American bills, until each bill received its makeover in the 2000s. The U.S. Treasury Department now uses a secret mixture of inks for printing, one more effort in the fight against counterfeiting.

    Chrome oxide green is used to print money. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

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    Chrome oxide green can be mixed with glass in its liquid form to produce the green colour most commonly seen in wine and beer bottles. Because the compound is so durable, adding chrome oxide green also strengthens the bottle.

    Chrome oxide green can be used to make green glass. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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    Polishing & Sharpening

    Chrome oxide green can be used in a paste form for polishing, especially glass. It is used in sharpening metal blades. Chrome oxide green compound is used as an abrasive when hand-lapping, and also in combination with a stropping wheel.

    Chrome oxide acts as an abrasive for sharpening. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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    Because it is lightfast and can resist high temperatures, chrome oxide green is used to colour products for industrial use. Plastics in many forms, such as recycling boxes, public waste receptacles, and wire coatings, are a few of the practical applications for which chrome oxide green is used.

    Because it is lightfast, chrome oxide is used in plastics. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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    Chrome oxide green adds colour to ceramics. The compound can either be mixed with clay before firing, or it can be used in glazes and slips. In ceramics, chrome oxide provides a grey-green colour to glazes. It is also combined with other minerals to produce new colours, for instance chrome oxide used with a zinc glaze will produce a brown glaze after firing.

    Chrome oxide can mix with other minerals, creating new shades of green. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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