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Zirconium | History of Zirconium

what is zirconium?

Have you heard of the metal zirconium? It’s a chemical element that is a strong solid at room temperature. It does not exist in a pure state in nature and requires complex physio-chemical processes to get there. When it is in pure form, it’s a corrosion resistant metal that can handle high water temperatures. In addition, it can create different alloys that can handle highly corrosive environments, such as strong alkalis and mineral acids. This is why it’s very useful for parts that will be exposed to extreme environments.

what is zirconium

Brief History of Zirconium

Martin Heinreich Klaproth was the German chemist who discovered zirconium. This discovery took place in 1789 as Klaproth was analyzing jargon from the island of Ceylon. Upon finding the element, he decided to name it “zirkonerde (zirconia).” In 1808, Humphry Day tried to isolate the element using electrolysis, but was unable to do so. Later, Jons Jacob Berzelius was finally able to successfully isolate it.

In 1824, it was prepared in an impure form by Berzelius. This preparation was done by mixing potassium and potassium zirconium fluoride in a tube. The first industrial process that was able to produce metallic zirconium was called the crystal bar process. This process was surpassed by the easier and cheaper kroll process later on.

Learn More About Zirconium Today!

By now, you should be more familiar with the history of zirconium. But if you want to learn even more about this metal, Ferralloy Inc. can educate you. Our team is extremely knowledgeable about the different metals and alloys and would be more than happy to assist you.

Here at Ferralloy Inc., we provide industries with all of the materials and components they need to complete various projects. If you’re interested in finding out how zirconium might benefit your project, contact us today! You can also visit our website to learn more about our services and how they can help you.