Remember your atomic numbers in high school? That rare corrosion-resistant metal your professor discussed in class with an atomic number of 40 is zirconium. Unlike its correlative element, hafnium, this type of metal is not ideal when it comes to absorbing neutrons. Nonetheless, it is one of the materials used in producing high-performance valves and pumps. Statistics show that nuclear power plants use about 90% of the zirconium produced each year.

zirconium forging

Importance of Using Zirconium

Natural Abundance

This corrosion-resistant metal is found in about 30 mineral species in Brazil, South Africa, and Australia. The primary mineral species which contain zirconium are baddeleyite and zircon. Most baddeleyite minerals are mined in Brazil, while zircon is mined in South Africa and Australia.

Where Is It Used?

Apart from high-performance valves and pumps, zirconium is also used for creating steel alloys, ceramics, different abrasives, flashbulbs, and of course, fake gemstones. It is also widely used in the chemical industry, where acidic and corrosive materials are employed since it is so corrosion resistant.As provided above, this corrosion-resistant metal is bad at absorbing neutrons. Because of this, it becomes an ideal material for use by nuclear power plant industries.Since zirconium is commonly used in corrosive environments, it can be found in pipes, fittings, and heat exchangers. It is also used in steel alloys, colored glazes, bricks, ceramics, abrasives, flashbulbs, lamp filaments, artificial gemstones, and even some deodorants.

zirconium forging

What Makes Zirconium Desirable and Useful for Metalworking Industries?

Aside from the fact that this element is known for its malleability and ductility, it’s also highly resistant to corrosion, steam, high temperature, and water. In fact, it’s very much similar to steel in terms of features and characteristics. For this reason, it is ideal for environments where the metal components are subjected to extreme environments. Contact Ferralloy Inc. today if you want to get parts and components with zirconium!