Pure zirconium - similar in appearance to steel, but more durable metal with high ductility. One of the remarkable properties of zirconium - to handle corrosive environments. By corrosion qualities zirconium exceeds resistant metals such as niobium and titanium. Zirconium particularly high resistance to the action of alkalis, in this respect, it is inferior even tantalum. Due to its high resistance to corrosion, zirconium found application in neurosurgery. Zirconium alloys used in hemostatic clips, surgical instrument, thread for sutures during operations on the brain.
|The chemical composition of zirconium|
Once the scientists noticed that the addition of zirconium improve the properties of steel, zirconium was named a valuable alloying element. Zirconium increases the hardness and strength of steel, improves workability, hardenability, weldability.
|The chemical composition of foreign zirconium|
Zirconium improves the corrosion resistance of tool steel.
Zirconium can be heated to high temperatures. This allows you to improve the processes of forging, stamping, heat treatment and cementation of zirconium.
Zirconium is good alloy for the non-ferrous metals. If you add zirconium to copper, it increases strength without reducing conductivity. If you add zirconium alloy to aluminium, it increases strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, heat resistance. The corrosion resistance of titanium doubled, if You add 14% zirconium alloy. Additive 5% zirconium to Molybdenum increases the hardness.
Physicists knew that zirconium easily holds neutrons, and this property must have the material for the shells of the rods of uranium. Some metals - magnesium, aluminum, tin - in this respect similar to zirconium, but they are low-melting. Zirconium melts at 1850 °C.
In nature, hafnium and zirconium are commonly found together, get completely free of zirconium without hafnium - an incredibly difficult task. However, chemists and metallurgists had to solve this problem, because the nuclear industry is in dire need of structural materials.
When the problem was solved, there was a increase in the production of zirconium.
Now large presence of this valuable element developed in the United States, Australia, Brazil, India, West Africa. Zirconium has significant reserves in Russia.
Application of zirconium grows every year, since this material covers all areas of industry. It is used in electric-and nuclear industry. Zirconium is also used in the manufacture of water-resistant materials, typographical paints, specialty coatings, plastics and high-quality motor oils and fuels.
Zirconium dioxide - one of the most refractory materials in nature. Melting point - 2700 °C. Zirconium dioxide is widely used in the manufacture of refractory products, heat-resistant enamel, heat-resistant glass, covers for thermocouples.
Zirconium has the property of emitting light when overheated. Therefore, zirconium can be used in lighting technology.
In the land contains more zirconium than copper, nickel, lead and zinc. However, zirconium called rare metal. This is explained by the considerable distraction of zirconium ores and difficulty of receiving it.