Zirconium, (lat. Zirconium; the Zr ) atomic № 40. - an element of side subgroup IV group V period of the Periodic table - shiny silver-grey metal, high-flexible, the corrosion-resistant. Probably, the zirconium name comes from the Arabic zarkûn (cinnabar) or from the Persian zargun (golden colour).

Physical properties

The specific weight of α-zirconium 6.5 g/cm3; specific heat capacity (25-100 C) 0,291 kJ/(kg*K), melting temperature 1855 C; boiling point 4409 C; the heat conductivity coefficient (50 C) 20,96 w/(m*K), and the temperature coefficient of linear widening (20-400 C) 6.9×10−6; resistivity pure zirconium (20 degrees  C) 44,1 mkOm*cm. Zirconium becomes a superconductor at a temperature of 0.7 degrees K.

Zirconium - paramagnetic, the magnetic sensitivity increases with heating and when temperature−73 degrees C reaches 1.28×10−6 and 1.41×10−6 at a temperature 327 degrees C. Thermal neutron cross-section capture 0, 18 ×10−28 m2, with an mixture of hafnium increases. Pure zirconium is easy to hot and cold processing (forging, rolling, stamping). The mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon makes zirconium fragile. Modulus of elasticity (20 C) 9700 kgf/mm2, the strength tensile 25,3 kgf/mm2; Brinell hardness:64-67 kgf/mm2; hardness is strongly depends on the impurities of oxygen, zirconium is bad to cold working pressure at 0.2% of O2 and more.


Zirconium, began to be used since the 1930s, but because of the high price is limited. The only place of the zirconium production in Russia - Chepetsk mechanical factory (Glazov, Udmurtia).

Nuclear power

Zirconium has a high melting point and narrow thermal neutrons capturing cross-section. Therefore, from zirconium and its alloys (without admixture of hafnium) produced fuel elements and heat generating items for nuclear reactors.


Zirconium good deoxidizer, effectively than silicon, manganese, titanium. Zirconium alloying to 0.8 % improves the mechanical properties and processing steel and copper makes it more solid and heat-resistant, with little loss of conductivity.


Zirconium flares up at a temperature of 250 degrees C and burns with high speed almost without smoke. Meanwhile achieved a temperature 4650 C - the highest for metal fuels and the zirconia dioxide is bright light that is used in fireworks, and in the production of chemical light sources (torches, the flares, flares, PHOAB – photoairbombs). It is remarkable that zirconium alloys with cerium provide more light output. Zirconium powder mixed with bertolle's salt- smokeless item in the signal lights and the fuses, replacing bang-mercury and lead azide.


Alloy 25 % of zirconium and 75 % of niobium (superconductivity in 4,2 K) can stand a load up to 100 thousand A/cm2.

Structural material

From zirconium produce acid stable-chemical reactors, pumps, fittings. Zirconium replace precious metals. In the nuclear power industry zirconium - main material of the cladding.

Zircon "disironed" used as firebrick for lining of steel and glass melting furnaces and in the manufacture of building ceramics, enamels and glazes for sanitary ware.


Zirconium is a biologically inert, more resistant to the action of the biological environments, than titan, that’s why is used in the manufacture of joint, bone, dental and surgical tools.

Casual Life

Chemical inertness of the zirconium makes it possible to produce a variety of dishes with excellent hygienic properties.

See also:

Zirconium wire
Zirconium sheet
Zirconium application