zirconium

[zur-koh-nee-uhm]
noun Chemistry.
a metallic element found combined in zircon, baddeleyite, etc., resembling titanium chemically: used in steel metallurgy, as a scavenger, as a refractory, and as an opacifier in vitreous enamels. Symbol: Zr; atomic weight: 91.22; atomic number: 40; specific gravity: 6.49 at 20°C.

Origin:
1800–10; < Neo-Latin; see zircon, -ium

zirconic [zur-kon-ik] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
zirconium (zɜːˈkəʊnɪəm)
 
n
a greyish-white metallic element, occurring chiefly in zircon, that is exceptionally corrosion-resistant and has low neutron absorption. It is used as a coating in nuclear and chemical plants, as a deoxidizer in steel, and alloyed with niobium in superconductive magnets. Symbol: Zr; atomic no: 40; atomic wt: 91.224; valency: 2, 3, or 4; relative density: 6.506; melting pt: 1855±2°C; boiling pt: 4409°C
 
[C19: from New Latin; see zircon]
 
zirconic
 
adj

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

zirconium zir·co·ni·um (zûr-kō'nē-əm)
n.
Symbol Zr
A strong ductile metallic element obtained primarily from zircon. Atomic number 40; atomic weight 91.22; melting point 1,855°C; boiling point 4,409°C; specific gravity 6.51 (20°C); valence 2, 3, 4.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
zirconium   (zûr-kō'nē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol Zr
A shiny, grayish-white metallic element that occurs primarily in zircon. It is used to build nuclear reactors because of its ability to withstand bombardment by neutrons even at high temperatures. Zirconium is also highly resistant to corrosion, making it a useful component of pumps, valves, and alloys. Atomic number 40; atomic weight 91.22; melting point 1,852°C; boiling point 4,377°C; specific gravity 6.56 (20°C); valence 2, 3, 4. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The oxygen sensor in your car is based on the same yttria-stabilized zirconium
  oxide ceramic.
Cooling failure causes steam to burn off the zirconium cladding of the fuel
  rods leaving zirconium oxide and hydrogen gas.
Fuel rods in nuclear reactor cores are filled with uranium oxide ceramic
  pellets in zirconium cladding.
It's essentially a high-speed rusting, where the zirconium becomes zirconium
  oxide and the hydrogen is set free.
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