Zirconium has strong hydrogen absorption performance, its largest hydrogen uptake amounts to ZrH1.93 as a hydrogen storage material. Zirconium compounds with special excellent properties, such as the resistance from high temperature, oxidation, corrosion, and abrasion, also it has piezoelectricity and outstanding nuclear performance, all of which made it a wide range of application as the structured and functional ceramic material in many industrial sectors, especially in high-tech industry.
Zirconium used as a getter, grid and the capacitor in electrical and electronic industry. It can make dynamite, deflagration agent, fuze and thermal battery emission materials in weapons. Zirconium powder is also used on new missiles. With its high melting point and emission ability, zirconium was also used as a plasma cutting electrode.
Zirconium alloy additive can improve the alloy performance in the metallurgical industry. Metal zirconium has strong adsorption to O2, N2, and S, zirconium with N2 can improve the aging strengthening performance of steel; the dehydrogenation of zirconium can slow down the steel grit. For the reasons given above, zirconium is often made into master zirconium alloys such as zirconium iron, aluminum zirconium alloys, aluminum zirconium iron, vanadium iron and so on as the deoxidizing agent and additive, which mainly used in low alloy steel, steel armor, weapons steel, stainless steel and high-temperature steel. As the modifier of grey cast iron, zirconium alloy can neutralize the effect of sulfur to improve the mechanical properties of high sulfur and low manganese cast iron.
Zirconium is also the important alloy element or additives of the nonferrous metal, such as copper alloy, aluminum alloy, titanium alloy, magnesium alloy and nickel-based superalloys. Magnesium-zirconium alloy, as the master alloy, can make the alloy crystallization fine and high-temperature increase, so as to use for aircraft engine components.
Zirconium has a good compatibility with muscle, bone and brain tissue, which can be used to make all sorts of medical apparatus for the surgery and other biomedical materials. Zirconium and zirconium alloy are also used to make all kinds of jewelry and high-grade decoration.