Alumina is properly called aluminum oxide, which is a chemical compound comprised of aluminum and oxygen molecules (Al2O3). When refined from bauxite, alumina generally looks like a white powder similar to table salt or granular sugar. Aluminum oxide is typically referred to as alumina, but may also be called aloxide, aloxite or alundum, depending on the industry and the metal’s use.
Alumina may be consumed in either metallurgical (e.g., Bayer alumina for aluminum production) or non-metallurgical (e.g. ceramics, refractories) applications. Alumina grades that are commonly used in refractories are those categorized as specialty calcined products, such as calcined, white fused and tabular alumina. Brown fused alumina (BFA) is also a type of specialty calcined alumina used in refractories. However, it is produced by fusing abrasive-grade calcined bauxite and is influenced more by demand for bauxite.