Zirconium and its alloys show exceptional resistance to sulfuric acid at temperatures above boiling point and concentrations up to 70%. This is over and above to resisting HCI. At temperatures above boiling and concentrations of 90%, the corrosion rate of nitric acid is less than 1 million per year. This metal can also withstand the majority of organic acids, including chlorinated organic, tannic, oxalic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids, as well as acetic anhydride and acetic acid.
Zirconium alloys can be machined using standard techniques; however, they tend to fret and work harden as they go through the process. To pierce previously work-hardened surfaces, tools with higher than usual clearance angles are also required. However, using tools made of cemented carbide or high-speed steel can produce satisfactory results. Tools made of carbide typically offer better finishes and increased output.
There are four main grades of mill products: 702, 704, 705, and 706. On common shop equipment, these metals can be punched, bent, and shaped with a few special methods and adjustments. On standard roll-forming or press-brake machinery, grades 702 (unalloyed) and 704 (Zr-Sn-Cr-Fe alloy) strip and sheet can be formed to a bend radius of 5t at room temperature and to a bend radius of 3t at 200°C. Grades 705 and 706 (Zr-Cb alloys) can be bent to 3t and 2.5t and approximately 1.5t at 200°C, respectively.
Compared to some of the more popular forging metals, such as aluminum alloys and alloy steels, zirconium is more easily welded. Low thermal expansion is the cause of the low distortion during welding. The gas-tungsten arc (GTAW) process is the one that is most frequently used to weld zirconium, but other techniques can also be employed, such as resistance welding, electron beam, plasma arc, and gas metal arc (GMAW).
The best method for determining whether a zirconium weld is acceptable is typically a bend test. If you want to know more about this test, contact us today!
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