Zirconium is a silvery white metal that has the symbol Zr and is solid at room temperature. Here are a list of fun and interesting Zirconium facts:
- Zirconium gets its name from the Persian word zargun which means gold-colored: This is somewhat puzzling as Zirconium is much more of a silvery color than a golden one.
- Typically, there is between 1% to 3% of hafnium found in zirconium metal: This usually doesn’t present any issues as both metals share very similar properties. Bonus fact: hafnium is named after Hafnia, which is the Latin name for Copenhagen.
- Zirconia – or zirconium dioxide – is a common application, typically used as a diamond substitute or for thermal barriers: Zirconium carbide is often used in the production of drill bits.
- While there are references to zirconium in the bible, it wasn’t until 1789 that it was formally named: Martin Heinrich Klaproth was the scientist who made the discovery.
- Zirconium is used in a wide range of medical health applications: For example, related compounds are often present in knee/hip replacements or dental crowns.
- Humans typically have around 250 milligrams of zirconium within their body at any given time: We consume approximately 4 milligrams from our daily diets.
- Approximately 1% of the annual production of zirconium is employed as cladding for nuclear reactor fuel: One downside of this is that it can react with water at high temperatures, causing issues in the case of a meltdown.
- Zircon prices expanded rapidly between 2003 to 2007: In 2003, Zircon fetched $360 per tonne, and this figure more than doubled to $840 by 2007.
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