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Industrial Applications of Fine Ceramic – Zirconium

H L Kulkarni, P. Naphade


The metal is used in the nuclear industry for cladding fuel elements since it has a low absorption cross section for neutrons. Zirconium is very resistant to corrosion by many common acids and alkalis and by sea water. It is therefore used extensively by the chemical industry where corrosive agents are employed. Zirconium is a corrosion resistant metal that is used in high performance pumps and valves. Since it also does not easily absorb neutrons, zirconium is widely used in nuclear reactors. The nuclear power industry uses nearly 90% of the zirconium produced each year, which must be nearly free of hafnium. It is also highly resistant to corrosion. Zirconium and its alloys have been used for centuries in a wide variety of ways. Zirconium is also used in steel alloys, colored glazes, bricks, ceramics, abrasives, flashbulbs, lamp filaments, artificial gemstones and some deodorants, according to Minerals Education. An important use of zirconium is in nuclear power plants. Its most important compound is zircon, which has a number of industrial applications. Zircon can also be obtained in gemstone quality. A gemstone is a mineral that can be cut and polished and used in jewelry or art.

Keywords: abrasives, bricks, ceramics, colored glazes, zirconium

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