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About Zirconium

Zirconium Bohr

Zirconium minerals are very common, and have been known to human civilizations for centuries, often used as precious stones. The first chemist to recognize that the mineral zircon contained a new “earth”--a term early chemists applied to metal oxides--distinct from the already well characterized alumina was Martin Heinrich Klaproth, and he named the new metallic element for its source mineral in 1789. The famous chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius was the first to actually isolate the metal in pure form, a feat accomplished in 1824.

The vast majority of zirconium used commercially is found as some form of zirconium dioxide, also known as zirconia. Zirconia can exhibit three different crystal structures depending on temperature. Unstabilized zirconia may crack when heated or cooled due to transitions between these phases, but stabilized cubic zirconia, produced via addition of oxides of other metals, generally magnesium, yttrium, calcium, or cerium, is extremely stable across wide temperature ranges. Stabilized zirconia is frequently used as a refractory ceramic material, in the form of lab crucibles, metal furnaces, thermal barrier coatings, and as a surface coating for foundry molds. It is useful for joining ceramic and metal surfaces, as it has similar thermal expansion properties to steel. Zirconia is also biocompatible, and is frequently used as as material for medical implants, either alone, as a coating for metal implants, or in composite metal-ceramic devices. Ytrrium stabilized zirconia is useful as an electroceramic, found in sensors for detecting conditions such as pH and oxygen levels, and when doped with rare earths can be used for phosphor thermometry. Zirconia is also notable for its ability to conduct ions, which lends it to use as a solid electrolyte in fuel cells.

Zirconium is also a component several other important ceramic materials. Zirconium carbide and zirconium nitride are extremely hard ceramics generally used as refractory materials or cutting tools. Additionally, zirconium is a component of some electroceramics, the most well known example being lead zirconate titanate, a material used frequently in ceramic capacitors, sensors, and actuators. This compound is essential for the production of ferroelectric RAM, a form of non-volatile random access memory being actively researched by several electronics manufacturers.

A few other zirconium compounds have niche applications as chemical agents. Ammonium and potassium zirconium carbonates are used in paper coatings used for the production of high-quality prints. Other zirconium compounds find use as crosslinkers in polymers or in inks to promote adhesion to metals and plastics. Additionally, zirconium hydrides are used as hydrogenation catalysts, reducing agents, foaming agents, and to help produce seals between metals and ceramics.

As a metal, zirconium is used as an alloying agent. Its primary advantage is high resistance to corrosion, which lends it to use in specialty alloys designed for use in highly corrosive environments. Additionally, zirconium is biocompatible, lending it to use in alloys for metal implants, and has a low absorption cross section for thermal neutrons, which dictates its use in nuclear fuel cladding.

Zircon, the source of all zirconium used commercially, is a silicate mineral found as a minor component of heavy mineral sands, which also contain the source minerals for titanium. The two elements are therefore co-products of the same mining operations. Most zircon is never converted to the pure element, and is instead converted to zirconium dioxide, which is the starting material for most other zirconium products. Zirconium metal is produced only for use in alloying applications, uses the Kroll process, which requires converting zircon to zirconium tetrachloride, which is then reduced to the metal using magnesium. Zircon is also used directly as an opacifier in decorative ceramics, and large crystals of sufficient quality are cut for use as gemstones.

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Zirconium is mainly used as a refractory and opacifier. Heating zirconia initiates a phase transformation process resulting in a solid solution. This solid solution is termed as stabilized zirconia, a valuable refractory. High Purity (99.999%) Zirconium (Zr) Sputtering TargetZirconium is used to a lesser extent as an alloying agent due to its strong resistance to corrosion. High Purity (99.999%) Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2) PowderZirconium is available as metal and compounds with purities from 99% to 99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity). Metallic forms include pellets, rod, wire and granules for evaporation source material purposes. Zirconium nanoparticles and nanopowders provide ultra-high surface area. Zirconium oxides are available in numerous forms such as powder and dense pellets for such uses as optical coating and thin film applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Fluorides are another insoluble form for uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Zirconium is also available in soluble forms including zirconium chloride, nitrate and acetate. These compounds can be manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Zirconium Properties

Zirconium(Zr) atomic and molecular weight, atomic number and elemental symbol Zirconium is a Block D, Group 4, Period 5 element. Zirconium Bohr ModelThe number of electrons in each of Zirconium's shells is 2, 8, 18, 10, 2 and its electron configuration is [Kr] 4d2 5s2. Elemental ZirconiumThe zirconium atom has a radius of and its Van der Waals radius is In its elemental form, CAS 7440-67-7, zirconium has a silvery white appearance. Zirconium’s principal mineral is zircon (zirconium silicate). Zirconium is produced as a byproduct of titanium and tin mining. It is not found in nature as a native metal. Zirconium was first isolated by Jons Jakob Berzelius in 1824. The name of zirconium comes from the mineral zircon, the most important source of zirconium, and from the Persian word 'zargun' meaning gold color or gold-like.

Symbol: Zr
Atomic Number: 40
Atomic Weight: 91.224
Element Category: transition metal
Group, Period, Block: 4, 5, d
Color:  silvery white/ grayish-white
Other Names: Zirkonium, Zirconio, Circonio
Melting Point: 1855 °C, 3371 °F, 2128 K
Boiling Point: 4409 °C, 7968 °F, 4682 K
Density: 6.52 g·cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 5.8 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 6.52 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 6511 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.0671 Cal/g/K @ 25 oC °C
Superconductivity Temperature: 0.61 [or -272.54 °C (-458.57 °F)] K
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 23
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 566.7
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 607.47
Thermal Conductivity: 22.6 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: (25 °C) 5.7 µm·m-1·K-1
Electrical Resistivity: (20 °C) 421 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: 230 MPa
Molar Heat Capacity: 25.36 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: 88 GPa
Shear Modulus: 33 GPa
Bulk Modulus: 91.1 GPa
Poisson Ratio: 0.34
Mohs Hardness: 5
Vickers Hardness: 903 MPa
Brinell Hardness: 650 MPa
Speed of Sound: (20 °C) 3800 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: 1.33
Sanderson Electronegativity: 0.9
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.22
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: 2.67
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 40
Protons: 40
Neutrons: 51
Electron Configuration: [Kr] 4d2 5s2
Atomic Radius: 160 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
Covalent Radius: 175±7 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.48
Van der Waals Radius: 200 pm
Oxidation States: 4, 3, 2, 1 (amphoteric oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: hexagonal close-packed
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 41.088
1st Ionization Energy: 640.08 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 1266.86 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2218.21 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-67-7
EC Number: N/A
MDL Number: MFCD00011303
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Zr]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Zr
PubChem CID: 23995
ChemSpider ID: 22431
Earth - Total: 7.2 ppm
Mercury - Total: 5.5 ppm
Venus - Total: 7.5 ppm
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 0.026
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 0.0018
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 130000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 30000
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 40
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 0.5
Stream, ppb by weight: 3
Stream, ppb by atoms: 0.03
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 6700
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 1600
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: 50
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: 3
Universe, ppb by weight: 50
Universe, ppb by atom: 0.7
Discovered By: Martin Heinrich Klaproth
Discovery Date: 1789
First Isolation: Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1824)

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Zirconium

Zirconium is non-toxic, however, safety data for Zirconium and its compounds can vary widely depending on the form. For potential hazard information, toxicity, and road, sea and air transportation limitations, such as DOT Hazard Class, DOT Number, EU Number, NFPA Health rating and RTECS Class, please see the specific material or compound referenced in the Products tab. The below information applies to elemental (metallic) Zirconium.

Safety Data
Signal Word Danger
Hazard Statements H250-H251-H260
Hazard Codes F
Risk Codes 15-17
Safety Precautions 43-7/8
RTECS Number ZH7070000
Transport Information UN 1358 4.1/PG 2
WGK Germany nwg
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)
Review and Print SDS for Zirconium Metal


Date Created: 05/15/2015
Date Revised: 05/15/2015


Product Name: Zirconium Metal

Product Number: All applicable American Elements product codes, e.g. ZR-M-02, ZR-M-03, ZR-M-04, ZR-M-05

CAS #: 7440-67-7

Relevant identified uses of the substance: Scientific research and development

Supplier details:
American Elements
1093 Broxton Ave. Suite 2000
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: +1 310-208-0551
Fax: +1 310-208-0351

Emergency telephone number:
Domestic, North America +1 800-424-9300
International +1 703-527-3887


Classification of the substance or mixture
Classification according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
The substance is not classified as hazardous to health or the environment according to the CLP regulation.
Classification according to Directive 67/548/EEC or Directive 1999/45/EC
Not applicable
Information concerning particular hazards for human and environment:
No information known.
Hazards not otherwise classified
No information known.
Label elements
Labelling according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
Not applicable
Hazard pictograms
Not applicable
Signal word
Not applicable
Hazard statements
Not applicable
WHMIS classification
Not controlled
Classification system
HMIS ratings (scale 0-4)
(Hazardous Materials Identification System)

Health (acute effects) = 0
Flammability = 0
Physical Hazard = 0
Other hazards
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
PBT: Not applicable.
vPvB: Not applicable.


Chemical characterization: Substances
CAS# Description:
7440-67-7 Zirconium
Identification number(s):
EC number: 231-176-9


Description of first aid measures
General information
No special measures required.
After inhalation
Seek medical treatment in case of complaints.
After skin contact
Generally the product does not irritate the skin.
After eye contact
Rinse opened eye for several minutes under running water. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
After swallowing
If symptoms persist consult doctor.
Information for doctor
Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
No further relevant information available.
Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed
No further relevant information available.


Extinguishing media
Suitable extinguishing agents
Special powder for metal fires. Do not use water.
For safety reasons unsuitable extinguishing agents
Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
If this product is involved in a fire, the following can be released:
Zirconium oxide
Advice for firefighters
Protective equipment:
No special measures required.


Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures
Not required.
Environmental precautions:
Do not allow material to be released to the environment without proper governmental permits.
Do not allow product to reach sewage system or any water course.
Do not allow to penetrate the ground/soil.
Methods and material for containment and cleaning up:
Pick up mechanically.
Prevention of secondary hazards:
No special measures required.
Reference to other sections
See Section 7 for information on safe handling
See Section 8 for information on personal protection equipment.
See Section 13 for disposal information.


Precautions for safe handling
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry place in tightly closed containers.
Information about protection against explosions and fires:
No special measures required.
Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities
Requirements to be met by storerooms and receptacles:
No special requirements.
Information about storage in one common storage facility:
No information known.
Further information about storage conditions:
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry conditions in well sealed containers.
Specific end use(s)
No further relevant information available.


Additional information about design of technical systems:
No further data; see section 7.
Control parameters
Components with limit values that require monitoring at the workplace:
7440-67-7 Zirconium (100.0%)
PEL (USA) Long-term value: 5 mg/m³ as Zr
REL (USA) Short-term value: 10 mg/m³
Long-term value: 5 mg/m³ as Zr
TLV (USA) Short-term value: 10 mg/m³
Long-term value: 5 mg/m³ as Zr
EL (Canada) Short-term value: 10 mg/m³
Long-term value: 5 mg/m³ as Zr
EV (Canada) Short-term value: 10 mg/m³
Long-term value: 5 mg/m³ as zirconium
Additional information: No data
Exposure controls
Personal protective equipment
General protective and hygienic measures
The usual precautionary measures for handling chemicals should be followed.
Maintain an ergonomically appropriate working environment.
Breathing equipment: Not required.
Protection of hands: Not required.
Penetration time of glove material (in minutes)
Not determined
Eye protection: Safety glasses
Body protection: Protective work clothing.


Information on basic physical and chemical properties
General Information
Form: Solid in various forms
Color: Grey to silver
Odor: Odorless
Odor threshold: Not determined.
pH-value: Not applicable.
Change in condition
Melting point/Melting range: 1855 °C (3371 °F)
Boiling point/Boiling range: 3580 °C (6476 °F)
Sublimation temperature / start: Not determined
Flammability (solid, gaseous): Not determined.
Ignition temperature: Not determined
Decomposition temperature: Not determined
Auto igniting: Not determined.
Danger of explosion: Not determined.
Explosion limits:
Lower: Not determined
Upper: Not determined
Vapor pressure: Not applicable.
Density at 20 °C (68 °F): 6.506 g/cm³ (54.293 lbs/gal)
Relative density: Not determined.
Vapor density: Not applicable.
Evaporation rate: Not applicable.
Solubility in / Miscibility with Water: Soluble
Partition coefficient (n-octanol/water): Not determined.
dynamic: Not applicable.
kinematic: Not applicable
Other information
No further relevant information available.


No information known.
Chemical stability
Stable under recommended storage conditions.
Thermal decomposition / conditions to be avoided:
Decomposition will not occur if used and stored according to specifications.
Possibility of hazardous reactions
No dangerous reactions known
Conditions to avoid
No further relevant information available.
Incompatible materials:
No information known.
Hazardous decomposition products:
Zirconium oxide


Information on toxicological effects
Acute toxicity: No effects known.
LD/LC50 values that are relevant for classification: No data
Skin irritation or corrosion: No irritant effect.
Eye irritation or corrosion: No irritant effect.
Sensitization: No sensitizing effects known.
Germ cell mutagenicity: No effects known.
ACGIH A4: Not classifiable as a human carcinogen: Inadequate data on which to classify the agent in terms of its carcinogenicity in humans and/or animals.
Reproductive toxicity: No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - repeated exposure: No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - single exposure: No effects known.
Aspiration hazard: No effects known.
Subacute to chronic toxicity:
The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) contains multiple dose toxicity data for this substance.
Additional toxicological information:
To the best of our knowledge the acute and chronic toxicity of this substance is not fully known.


Aquatic toxicity:
No further relevant information available.
Persistence and degradability
No further relevant information available.
Bioaccumulative potential
No further relevant information available.
Mobility in soil
No further relevant information available.
Additional ecological information:
General notes:
Do not allow material to be released to the environment without proper governmental permits.
Do not allow undiluted product or large quantities to reach ground water, water course or sewage system.
Avoid transfer into the environment.
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
PBT: Not applicable.
vPvB: Not applicable.
Other adverse effects
No further relevant information available.


Waste treatment methods
Consult state, local or national regulations to ensure proper disposal.
Uncleaned packagings:
Disposal must be made according to official regulations.
Recommended cleansing agent:
Water, if necessary with cleansing agents.


Not applicable
UN proper shipping name
Not applicable
Transport hazard class(es)
Not applicable
Packing group
Not applicable
Environmental hazards:
Not applicable.
Special precautions for user
Not applicable.
Transport in bulk according to Annex II of MARPOL73/78 and the IBC Code
Not applicable.
Transport/Additional information:
Marine Pollutant (DOT):
UN "Model Regulation":


Safety, health and environmental regulations/legislation specific for the substance or mixture
National regulations
All components of this product are listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical substance Inventory.
All components of this product are listed on the Canadian Domestic Substances List (DSL).
SARA Section 313 (specific toxic chemical listings)
Substance is not listed.
California Proposition 65
Prop 65 - Chemicals known to cause cancer
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, female
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, male
Substance is not listed.
Information about limitation of use:
For use only by technically qualified individuals
Other regulations, limitations and prohibitive regulations
Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) according to the REACH Regulations (EC) No. 1907/2006.
Substance is not listed.
The conditions of restrictions according to Article 67 and Annex XVII of the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) for the manufacturing, placing on the market and use must be observed.
Substance is not listed.
Annex XIV of the REACH Regulations (requiring Authorisation for use)
Substance is not listed.
REACH - Pre-registered substances
Substance is listed.
Chemical safety assessment:
A Chemical Safety Assessment has not been carried out.


Safety Data Sheet according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH). The above information is believed to be correct but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide. The information in this document is based on the present state of our knowledge and is applicable to the product with regard to appropriate safety precautions. It does not represent any guarantee of the properties of the product. American Elements shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product. See reverse side of invoice or packing slip for additional terms and conditions of sale. COPYRIGHT 1997-2016 AMERICAN ELEMENTS. LICENSED GRANTED TO MAKE UNLIMITED PAPER COPIES FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY.

Zirconium Isotopes

Zirconium has four stable isotopes: 90Zr, 91Zr, 92Zr and 94Zr.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
78Zr 77.95523(54)# 50# ms [>170 ns] Unknown 0+ N/A 627.18 -
79Zr 78.94916(43)# 56(30) ms ß+ + p to 78Sr; ß+ to 79Y 5/2+# N/A 640.85 -
80Zr 79.9404(16) 4.6(6) s ß+ to 80Y 0+ N/A 657.31 -
81Zr 80.93721(18) 5.5(4) s ß+ to 81Y; ß+ + p to 80Sr (3/2-)# N/A 668.19 -
82Zr 81.93109(24)# 32(5) s ß+ to 82Y 0+ N/A 681.85 -
83Zr 82.92865(10) 41.6(24) s ß+ to 83Y; ß+ + p to 82Sr (1/2-)# N/A 692.73 -
84Zr 83.92325(21)# 25.9(7) min ß+ to 84Y 0+ N/A 705.46 -
85Zr 84.92147(11) 7.86(4) min ß+ to 85Y 7/2+ N/A 715.41 -
86Zr 85.91647(3) 16.5(1) h EC to 86Y 0+ N/A 728.14 -
87Zr 86.914816(9) 1.68(1) h EC to 87Y (9/2)+ N/A 738.09 -
88Zr 87.910227(11) 83.4(3) d EC to 88Y 0+ N/A 749.89 -
89Zr 88.908890(4) 78.41(12) h EC to 89Y 9/2+ N/A 759.83 -
90Zr 89.9047044(25) STABLE - 0+ N/A 771.64 51.45
91Zr 90.9056458(25) STABLE - 5/2+ -1.30362 778.78 11.22
92Zr 91.9050408(25) STABLE - 0+ N/A 786.86 17.15
93Zr 92.9064760(25) 1.5 x 106 y ß- to 93Nb 5/2+ N/A 794.01 -
94Zr 93.9063152(26) Observationally Stable - 0+ N/A 802.09 17.38
95Zr 94.9080426(26) 64.032(6) d ß- to 95Nb 5/2+ N/A 808.3 -
96Zr 95.9082734(30) 3.9 x 1019 y - to 96Mo 0+ N/A 816.38 2.8
97Zr 96.9109531(30) 16.744(11) h ß- to 97Nb 1/2+ N/A 822.6 -
98Zr 97.912735(21) 30.7(4) s ß- to 98Nb 0+ N/A 828.81 -
99Zr 98.916512(22) 2.1(1) s ß- to 99Nb 1/2+ N/A 833.17 -
100Zr 99.91776(4) 7.1(4) s ß- to 100Nb 0+ N/A 840.31 -
101Zr 100.92114(3) 2.3(1) s ß- to 101Nb 3/2+ N/A 845.6 -
102Zr 101.92298(5) 2.9(2) s ß- to 102Nb 0+ N/A 853.68 -
103Zr 102.92660(12) 1.3(1) s ß- to 103Nb (5/2-) N/A 861.75 -
104Zr 103.92878(43)# 1.2(3) s ß- to 104Nb 0+ N/A 869.83 -
105Zr 104.93305(43)# 0.6(1) s ß- to 105Nb; ß- + n to 104Nb N/A N/A 868.6 -
106Zr 105.93591(54)# 200# ms [>300 ns] ß- to 106Nb 0+ N/A 876.67 -
107Zr 106.94075(32)# 150# ms [>300 ns] ß- to 107Nb N/A N/A 875.44 -
108Zr 107.94396(64)# 80# ms [>300 ns] ß- to 108Nb 0+ N/A 883.52 -
109Zr 108.94924(54)# 60# ms [>300 ns] Unknown N/A N/A 891.59 -
110Zr 109.95287(86)# 30# ms [>300 ns] Unknown 0+ N/A 890.36 -