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Zirconium (chemical symbol Zr) — steel-gray metal with yellowish tinge. Obtained from ore concentrate or by smelting zirconium waste. It is malleable and ductile almost like gold, paramagnetic, corrosion-resistant heat-resistant metal. It is resistant to chlorinated and sea water, ammonia, alkalis, acids, delays radiation, does not lose its qualities in high or cryogenic temperatures. As a rule, it is used in alloy with other metals, which gives not only its extraordinary properties, but also improves manufacturability.
|Atomic Number Zr||Atomic (molar) mass g/mol||Oxidation state||
|Melting point t °С||Boiling point t °С||Heat of Fusion kJ/kg|
|№ 40||91,2||0, 1, 2, 3, 4||8,5||1855°С||4409°С||19,2|
In ore deposits, zirconium is literally scattered in various parts of planet, where it is found in form of amorphous oxides and salts, as well as in form of single crystals, for example, in North Carolina USA. Such crystals in deposits of Nigeria sometimes reach weight of more than kilogram. Richest deposits are located in North America, Australia, South Africa and India. In ore, zirconium is often found together with hafnium — properties of metal closest to it. Natural reserves of zirconium in Russia are estimated at 10% of world. In 1799, this metal was first isolated in form of dioxide by German chemist Klaprot from zirconium mineral. Zr is smelted from enriched ore concentrate, in which content of zirconium dioxide reaches 60−65%.
Percentage composition of zirconium alloys
Unique properties of this metal have long attracted jewelers, Anodized zirconium can take on any shade, providing tremendous opportunities for embodiment of most daring artistic designs. If you want something original and unusual, you should pay attention to jewelry made of zirconium. These products are elegant, thoughtful and beautifully executed, attractive in their completeness. For this reason, they are very highly regarded in global market.
Chemical composition of foreign analogues of zirconium
Metallurgy and energy
Mineral zircon and ZrO2 dioxide are part of the refractory lining of metallurgical furnaces, heat-resistant coating of crucibles, refractory pipes, etc. Domestic engineers have developed a technology for rolling pipes of any profile made of KTC-110 zirconium alloy. Such pipes are relevant in TVEL heat exchange systems. They can operate at temperatures above 2000 °C without loss of technological qualities.
This rather expensive metal was first used for alloying steels. By grinding grain size of alloy, zirconium not only gives steels heat resistance and corrosion resistance, but also improves manufacturability. Alloying steel pipes with zirconium leads to twofold reduction in corrosion losses. Almost 1 gram less metal per year is lost per square meter of alloy pipe surface. Zirconium is a good deoxidant. It makes copper alloys heat resistant with slight loss of conductivity. It is also part of brass and bronze. During hydrogenation (hydrogenation) zirconium increases several times in volume, much more than when heated, which allows you to connect incompatible materials when neither soldering nor welding are applicable. This is non-alternative method in manufacture of two-layer pipes from materials of different heat resistance, for example, brass or bronze — with tungsten. So if you put sleeve of steel and aluminum onto zirconium ring and hydrogenate it for 400 hours at 400 ° C, steel and aluminum stick together tightly. In metallurgy, zirconia or zircon and baddeleyite minerals produce refractory bricks for industrial furnaces, crucibles for smelting metals, etc. refractory products.
Up to 25% of zirconium is consumed for the production of ceramics, enamel and glaze. More than one hundred thousand tons of ZrO2 concentrate per year goes into production of not only household, but also electrical ceramics: high-voltage insulators and other technical porcelain with high resistance. Zirconium-based ceramics are used for chemical crucibles, mortars, etc., in ultrasonic sensors and medical devices, in pyroelectric infrared radiation detectors.
Narrow thermal neutron capture cross section plus heat resistance make it possible to use zirconium for fuel elements of nuclear boilers. This is one of main structural materials of nuclear reactors. In Ukraine, an industrial technology has been developed for the production of pipes of a wide assortment of KTC-110 zirconium alloy, including for TVEL components. This metal retains radiation well. Study was conducted in cardiocenter of Nizhny Novgorod in X-ray department. Thin zirconium plate protected from radiation much better than several layers of lead aprons.
Medicine and life
Study was conducted in cardiocenter of Nizhny Novgorod. In X-ray department, thin zirconium plate retained radiation much more strongly than several layers of protective lead aprons. It turned out that this metal actively absorbs and neutralizes harmful radiation. Regular wearing of zirconium products has beneficial effect on health. In case of chronic disorders, treatment process often goes through period of exacerbation. In this case, product must be removed and put on again after time when the discomfort decreases. Disease goes away after several cycles. Biological inertness, among other advantages of zirconium, allows it to be used for production of injection needles, stitching of bone fragments and staging of dentures. Exclusive household utensils and cutlery are made from this metal. Regular wearing of zirconium products has beneficial effect on health.
Pyrotechnics and ammunition
Powdered zirconium in presence of oxidizing agents (for example, bertholite salt) burns out at temperature of 4650 ° C with release of bright light. Used in fireworks, for tracer bullets, photo-aerial bombs, recently — for pumping lasers.
Resistance of zirconium to action of superheated steam, acids, industrial condensate zirconium pipes are relevant in chemical industry, processing, pulp and paper industry, Biological inertness and compliance with most stringent sanitary standards allows use of zirconium for food industry and in everyday life, manufacture of dishes, steam condensers and injection needles.
Zirconium rods are produced by cast, hot-pressed and cold-rolled, forged with thickness of 4.5 — 81 mm and length of more than seven meters. An alloy of zirconium with niobium (1 — 2.5%) or alloy E635 are used. Manufacturing accuracy can be: ordinary and high accuracy. They are reliable structural material in production of heat-resistant parts of nuclear reactors, fuel elements and various elements of fuel assemblies.
Zirconium iodide rods
Such pseudo-crystalline rods (Van Arkel rods) are special class of products of highest purity zirconium obtained by iodide refining technology. They produce wire, electrodes and parts of vacuum devices.
Cold rolled sheets
Cold-rolled sheets are produced from alloys of zirconium alloyed with 2.5% niobium — to order any parameters. Annealing is carried out in vacuum, the surface is etched. Such sheets have high corrosion resistance. Used as basis for covers for fuel cartridges of nuclear reactors, chemical tanks and reactors fragments of marine equipment.
Cold drawn wire
Cold-rolled wire Ø 0.7 — 4 mm is produced from zirconium alloys doped with 1 — 2.5% niobium. Such wire serves as basis for production of parts for shutoff valves of nuclear reactors, and it is also necessary for welding tubular parts.
Relevant for applying particularly durable coatings — nitrides, oxides, zirconium oxynitrides — on edges of cutting tools made of hard alloys, on blades of turbines, elements of friction pairs (shafts, bushings). At same time, service life of products increases by 10 times. In dentistry, zirconium cathode is coated with wear-resistant coating on dental crowns.
Buy at bargain price
Company «Elektrovek-Steel» offers wide range of products based on zirconium:
- wire (Ø 0.7 — 4 mm);
- bar Ø up to 150 mm;
as well as products from zirconium according to drawing of customer:
- cathodes for sputtering, etc.
We supply certified rental from rare metals and alloys at best prices. Specification reflects percentage of composition and mechanical quality of product. It is easy to wholesale from us any semi-finished products for large-scale production. We also work with retail customers. High level of service, compliance with GOST products and international quality standards, prompt service are face of our company. We deliver zirconium pipes of standard and non-standard sizes as soon as possible from warehouses located in Russia and Ukraine. High quality, reasonable prices and wide selection of products determine face of our company. Having become our regular customer, you can count on system of discount discounts. Cooperation with us will help you realize any engineering plans. We are waiting for your orders on site.