Zirconium is a gray transition metal with a silvery sheen. Plastic. It melts at 1855 °C, in powder form it is capable of self-ignition at ordinary temperatures. Refers to paramagnets. It is resistant to corrosion, radiation, is immune to alkali solutions, sulfuric (up to 50%) and hydrochloric acids.
It is mined by enriching ores containing it. In Russia, there are 10% of all deposits with zirconium dioxide and only one enterprise producing this metal – the Chepetsk Mechanical Plant.
Zirconium is used in the following industries and areas of human activity:
As an alloying additive to increase the strength of materials.
Electronic and electrical industry.
For coating boards, as a superconductor, etc.
In the manufacture of fuel assemblies and other elements of reactors.
In the production of fittings operated in an aggressive environment; pumps, etc.
As a component of ceramic-metal coating with high wear and acid resistance.
In the manufacture of surgical and dental implants, instruments, suture threads, medical bracelets, etc.
As a filler in flares and tracer bullets.
Optics and jewelry.
For the manufacture of cubic zirkonia, used in the manufacture of lenses and artificial diamonds.
Zirconium is also used in the production of pyrotechnics: salutes and fireworks with it burn beautifully and without excess smoke.