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The Element Zirconium


"The Atom"

Definition of the Zirconium Element
A lustrous, greyish-white, strong, ductile metallic element obtained primarily from zircon. Zirconium is extremely resistant to heat and corrosion. It is lighter than steel and its hardness is similar to copper. It is used chiefly in ceramic and refractory compounds, as an alloying agent, and in nuclear reactors as a highly corrosion-resistant alloy. The Atomic Number of this element is 40 and the Element Symbol is Zr.

Properties of the Zirconium Element
Symbol of Element : Zr
Atomic Number : 40
Atomic Mass: 91.224 amu
Melting Point: 1852.0 C - 2125.15 K
Boiling Point: 4377.0 C - 4650.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons : 40
Number of Neutrons: 51
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
Density @ 293 K: 6.49 g/cm3
Color of Zirconium : grayish-white

Origin / Meaning of the name Zirconium
The name Zirconium originates from the Persian word 'zarkun' meaning Gold like.

Periodic Table Group and Classification of the of the Zirconium Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Zirconium is classified as a "Transition Metal" which are located in Groups 3 - 12 of the Periodic Table. Elements classified as Transition Metals are generally described as ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat. Nearly 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals which are detailed in the List of Metals.

Facts about the History and Discovery of the Zirconium Element
Zirconium was discovered by Martin Heinrich Klaproth in 1789. It was first isolated in 1824 by Jons Jakob Berzelius by heating a mixture of Potassium and potassium zirconium fluoride.

Occurrence of the Zirconium Element
Located in USA, Australia, Brazil, India and Russia
Source of zirconium is the zirconium silicate mineral, zircon and baddeleyite

Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 510-6%
% in Sun 410-6%
% in Meteorites 0.00066%
% in Earth's Crust 0.013%
% in Oceans 2.610-9%
% in Humans 510-6%

Medical Uses of Zirconium - Health and Treatments
Interesting information on the Medical Uses of Zirconium, Health and Treatments. A component of zirconium dioxide was once used in some ointments for the treatment of poison ivy skin rashes, however these ointments caused skin granulomas in some individuals A granuloma is a small area of inflammation due to tissue injury. Similar skin conditions also developed in individuals using deodorants containing zirconium sodium lactate. Subsequently the use of zirconium compounds, except for zirconyl hydroxychloride, has been discontinued in the manufacture of skin ointments. Zirconyl hydroxychloride is still used in antiperspirants. 

Associated Uses of Zirconium
Vacuum tubes
A natural gemstone used in jewelry - cubic zirconia
Cubic zirconium rings and earrings
Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex
Nuclear energy uses
Military incendiaries
Lamp filaments
Artificial joints and limbs

Site Index
Transition Metals
List of Metals
Chemical Formulas
Periodic Law
Periodic Symbol
Periodic Table

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