Zirconium tube is mainly used in the nuclear industry where it is used as a shell for reactors and their active zone. Because of its unique chemical and physical properties, zirconium pipe can ensure the safe operation of the reactor.
Zirconium is a steel-gray colored metal with a yellowish tinge. It is produced by the melting zirconium waste and ore concentrate. It is different malleability and ductility nearly identical to gold, corrosion resistant, heat resistant and paramagnetic metal. Zirconium is resistant to sea and fresh water, alkalis, ammonia, acids, it traps more radiation and does not lose its properties in cryogenic conditions, high temperature. Zirconium is usually used in alloy with other metals. Its presence in other metals gives its extraordinary quality and improves the manufacturability.
From α-zirconium specific gravity is 6.5 g/cm3; temperature at 25−100°C specific heat equal to 0,291 kJ/(kg•K), melting point is 1855 °C; boiling point equal 4409 °C; coefficient of linear thermal expansion at a temperature of 20−400°C is 6,9x10−6; the coefficient of thermal conductivity at 50 °C is equal to 20, and 96 W/(m•K); resistivity of zirconium at a temperature of 20 °C is 0.44 micro-Ohm • mm2/m.
Properties of zirconium
Zirconium at a temperature of 0.7°K becomes a superconductor. It is a paramagnetic metal and a specific magnetic susceptibility increases with heat and achieves a temperature of 73 °C. of 1.28x10-6, and at 327 °C to 1.41x10-6. Pure Zirconia lends itself easily to cold and hot working (rolling, forging, stamping). The impurity of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, sulfur makes Zirconia very fragile. At 20 °C modulus of elasticity equal to 9700 kgf/mm2; tensile strength is 25.3 kgf/mm2; Brinell hardness equal 64−67 kgf/mm2; also the hardness is directly dependent on the admixture of oxygen. This metal not be cold pressure treatment in O2 — 0,2% or more. The only plant for the production of Zirconia in the country is Chepetsk mechanical plant (Udmurtia, Glazov).
|Physical qualities Zr
|Atomic (molar) mass, g/mol
|The degree of oxidation
|4, 3, 2, 1, 0
|The melting temperature t°C
|The heat of fusion kJ/mol
|The thermal conductivity K [W/(m·K)]
|Heat of evaporation kJ/mol
Zirconium tubes are used not only in nuclear energy but also in mechanical engineering, instrument making, electrical engineering, military-industrial complex. From the pipe producing electrodes for EDM, where it is driven with a current decomposition into the elements. Cathodes of zirconium shall be applied to wear-resistant coatings by electrolytic deposition. Applied oxynitride Zirconia, nitrides, oxides on the cutting edges of high speed tool steels and hard metals, friction parts in the transmission gear, turbine blades, bushings, shafts, greatly increasing the durability of the parts. Zirconium coating that protects against corrosion, is being implemented with the help of wire.
Zirconia thin layer is applied in vacuum to the details. In dentistry recently began to use zirconium-plated dentures. Zirconium is an important part of the mechanisms operating in vacuum. His constant customers are physical research laboratory, institutes. It is hard to imagine without Zirconia computer and household appliances. Its biological inertness allows the use of zirconium in surgery for fixation of bone fragments and stapling ligaments.
Zirconium is used to manufacture jewelry. Such jewelry is elegant, beautiful, show good taste, and are very much appreciated at international presentations and exhibitions. Due to the fact that zirconium is able to delay radiation, and has a narrow capture cross section for thermal neutrons and resistance to aggressive environments, which is used in nuclear power. Zirconium is used as alloying element for welding tubular parts in the fuel channels of the fuel rod. It should be remembered that up to 300 °C the zirconium is not included in the reaction with superheated steam, however, at temperatures above 700 °C may occur paraseraya exothermic reaction, is fraught with a nuclear reactor water coolant accident.
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