|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 |
zirconium zir·co·ni·um (zûr-kō'nē-əm)
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.
|zirconium (zûr-kō'nē-əm) Pronunciation Key
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.