Zirconium, like lithium and titanium, strongly absorbs gases such as nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. When the temperature exceeds nine hundred degrees Celsius, zirconium can absorb nitrogen violently; under the condition of two degrees Celsius, one hundred grams of metal zirconium can absorb 871 liters of hydrogen, equivalent to more than 800,000 times of iron. This characteristic of zirconium has been widely used. For example, in the electric vacuum industry, zirconium powder is widely used on the surface of anodes and other heated parts of electric vacuum components and meters to absorb residual gas in the vacuum tube to make a high vacuum. Tubes and other electric vacuum gauges improve their quality and extend their life.
Zirconium can also be used as a "vitamin" in the metallurgical industry to exert its powerful functions of deoxidation, nitrogen removal and desulfurization. As long as one thousandth of zirconium is added to the steel, the hardness and strength will increase dramatically. Zirconium-containing armor steel, stainless steel and heat-resistant steel are important materials for the manufacture of armored vehicles, tanks, cannons and bulletproof panels. . The zirconium is doped into the copper and is drawn into a copper wire. The electrical conductivity is not weakened, and the melting point is greatly improved. It is very suitable for use as a high voltage wire. Zirconium-containing zinc-magnesium alloy, which is light and high temperature resistant, is twice as strong as ordinary magnesium alloy and can be used in the manufacture of jet engine components.
In addition, zirconium powder is characterized by low ignition point and fast burning speed, and can be used as a primer for detonating detonators. This advanced detonator can also explode even under water. Zirconium powder plus oxidant. This is like a fuel on the fire, it burns up with glare, and is a good material for making tracers and flares.
A zirconium alloy is a colored alloy formed by adding zirconium as a matrix to other elements. The main alloying elements are tin, antimony, iron, and the like. Zirconium alloy has good corrosion resistance, moderate mechanical properties, low atomic thermal neutron absorption cross section in high temperature and high pressure water and steam at 300-400 °C, good compatibility with nuclear fuel, and is widely used as water-cooled nuclear reactor. Core structure material. In addition, zirconium has excellent corrosion resistance to various acids, bases and salts, and has strong affinity with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. Therefore, zirconium alloy is also used in the manufacture of corrosion resistant parts and pharmaceutical mechanical parts in the electric vacuum and bulb industry. It is widely used as a non-evaporable getter.
Zirconium alloys produced on an industrial scale are of the zirconium-tin and zirconium-based systems. The former alloy grades are Zr-2 and Zr-4, and the latter is typically Zr-2.5Nb. In the zirca-tin alloy, the alloying elements tin, iron, chromium, and nickel improve the strength, corrosion resistance, and thermal conductivity of the corrosion-resistant film, and reduce the sensitivity of the surface state to corrosion. Usually Zr-2 alloy is used in boiling water reactors and Zr-4 alloy is used in pressurized water reactors. In the zirconium-lanthanum alloy, when the amount of niobium added reaches the solid solution limit of the crystal structure of zirconium at the use temperature, the corrosion resistance of the alloy is the best. The zirconium alloy has an isomorphous transformation, the crystal structure at high temperature is body-centered cubic, and the dense-packed hexagonal at low temperature. The zirconium alloy has good plasticity and can be made into pipes, plates, rods and wires by plastic processing; its weldability is also good, and it can be used for welding processing.
Zirconium has a small thermal neutron capture cross section and outstanding nuclear properties. It is an indispensable material for the development of atomic energy industry and can be used as a reactor core structure material. Zirconium powder is easy to burn in the air and can be used to detonate detonators and smokeless gunpowder. Zirconium can be used as an additive for deoxidation and desulfurization of high-quality steel. It is also a component of armor steel, steel for cannon, stainless steel and heat-resistant steel. Zirconium is an important alloying element of magnesium alloys, which can improve the tensile strength and processing properties of magnesium. Zirconium is also a modifier of aluminum-magnesium alloys that refines grains. Zirconium dioxide and zircon are the most valuable compounds in refractories. Zirconium dioxide is the main material of new ceramics and cannot be used as a heating material for high temperature oxidation. Zirconium dioxide can be used as an additive for acid-resistant enamel and glass, which can significantly improve the elasticity, chemical stability and heat resistance of the glass. Zircon has strong light reflection properties and good thermal stability, and can be used as an opacifier in ceramics and glass. Zirconium can absorb a large amount of gases such as oxygen, hydrogen and ammonia when heated. It is an ideal getter. For example, zirconium powder is used as a deaerator in the electron tube, and zirconium wire zirconium sheet is used as a grid support and an anode support.
Powdered iron is mixed with zirconium nitrate and can be used as a flash powder. Metal zirconium is used almost exclusively as a cladding for uranium fuel components in nuclear reactors. Also used in the manufacture of photographic flash lamps, as well as corrosion-resistant containers and pipes, especially resistant to hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. Zirconium chemicals can be used as crosslinkers for polymers.
From the perspective of military industry, as long as one thousandth of zirconium is added to the steel, the hardness and strength will increase dramatically. Zirconium-containing armor steel, cannon forging steel, stainless steel and heat-resistant steel are important materials for the manufacture of armored vehicles, tanks, cannons and bulletproof panels.
From the point of view of atomic energy and nuclear energy, zirconium has outstanding nuclear energy and is an indispensable material for the development of atomic energy industry. China's large-scale nuclear power plants generally use zirconium materials. If nuclear power is used to generate electricity, each million kilowatts of power generation capacity, one year. It consumes 20 to 25 tons of metal zirconium. The zirconium alloy used in a 30,000-horsepower nuclear submarine can be used as a nuclear fuel envelope and pressure tube, which can be used up to 20 to 30 tons.
Zirconium is a rare metal with amazing corrosion resistance, high melting point, high hardness and strength. It is widely used in aerospace, military, nuclear reaction and atomic energy fields. The anti-corrosion and high-resistance titanium products used on "Shenzhou VI" have far less corrosion resistance than zirconium, and its melting point is about 1600 degrees, while the melting point of zirconium is above 1800 degrees, and the melting point of zirconium dioxide is as high as 2700. Above the degree, so zirconium as an aerospace material, its performance in all aspects is much superior to titanium.