Zirconium (Zr 702) a unique material


Zirconium is a silver-grey, shiny heavy metal. In its pure form it is easy to work, corrosion resistant even at high temperatures and has a very low neutron capture cross section. In addition, zirconium offers good stability against structural damage caused by neutron irradiation and against cavitation by coolant flows. The metal is mainly used pure or alloyed with 1.2-1.7% tin, for corrosion resistant pipes, fittings and valves in the chemical industry. This special alloy is called Zircaloy. Zirconium plays an important role in reactor construction. It is used for fuel element claddings and holders, for the pressure vessel lining, and for all structural components that come into contact with neutrons. In the rocket and jet aircraft industry zirconium is used for the manufacture of combustion chambers and feed lines. In electron and X-ray tubes zirconium is used as getter material.

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