Commodity Marketing is Australia's largest supplier of zirconium and zirconium-based products supplying a wide variety of industries including electronics, chemical enginnering and aerospace.

Zirconium Suppliers

Zirconium is a very corrosion resistant material that was first produced commercially in the 1950s. This formerly exotic material is now finding application in many chemical industries.

The unique properties of zirconium make it beneficial in a variety of applications.

Nuclear grade zirconium

Because of its strength, corrosion resistance and other specific attributes zirconium is a material of choice in nuclear reactors for military vessels and commercial power generation.

More information about zirconium

Zirconium is a chemical element with the symbol Zr and atomic number 40. It is a lustrous, gray-white, strong transition metal that resembles titanium. Zirconium is used as an alloying agent due to its high resistance to corrosion. It is never found as a native metal; it is obtained mainly from the mineral zircon, which can be purified by chlorine. Zirconium was first isolated in an impure form in 1824 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius.

Zirconium has no known biological role. Zirconium forms both inorganic and organometallic compounds such as zirconium dioxide and zirconocene dichloride, respectively. There are five naturally-occurring isotopes, three of which are stable. Short-term exposure to zirconium powder causes minor irritation, and inhalation of zirconium compounds can cause skin and lung granulomas.


Zirconium is a lustrous, grayish-white, soft, ductile, and malleable metal which is solid at room temperature, though it becomes hard and brittle at lower purities.[4][5] In powder form, zirconium is highly flammable, but the solid form is far less prone to igniting. Zirconium is highly resistant to corrosion by alkalis, acids, salt water, and other agents.[6] However, it will dissolve in hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, especially when fluorine is present.[7] Alloys with zinc become magnetic below 35 K.[6]

The melting point of zirconium is at 1855°C, and the boiling point is at 4409°C.[6] Zirconium has an electronegativity of 1.33 on the Pauling scale. Of the elements within d-block, zirconium has the fourth lowest electronegativity after yttrium, lutetium, and hafnium.[8]


Because of zirconium's excellent resistance to corrosion, it is often used as an alloying agent in materials that are exposed to corrosive agents, such as surgical appliances, explosive primers, vacuum tube getters and filaments. Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) is used in laboratory crucibles, metallurgical furnaces, and as a refractory material.[6] Zircon (ZrSiO4) is cut into gemstones for use in jewelry. Zirconium carbonate (3ZrO2·CO2·H2O) was used in lotions to treat poison ivy, but this was discontinued as it caused bad skin reactions in some cases.[4] 90% of all zirconium produced is used in nuclear reactors because of its low neutron-capture cross-section and resistance to corrosion.[5][6] Zirconium alloys are used in space vehicle parts for their resistance to heat, an important quality given the extreme heat associated with atmospheric reentry.[9] Zirconium is also a component in some abrasives, such as grinding wheels and sandpaper.[10] Zirconium is used in weapons such as the BLU-97/B Combined Effects Bomb for incendiary effect. Zirconium in the oxidized form is also used in dentistry for crowning of the teeth because of its biocompatibility, strength and appearance. High temperature parts such as combustors, blades and vanes in modern jet engines and stationary gas turbines are to an ever increasing extent being protected by thin ceramic layers which reduce the metal temperatures below and keep them from undergoing (too) extensive deformation which could possibly result in early failure. They are absolutely necessary for the most modern gas turbines which are driven to ever higher firing temperatures to produce more electricity at less CO2. These ceramic layers are usually composed by a mixture of zirconium and yttrium oxide.[citation needed]


Upon being collected from coastal waters, the solid mineral zircon is purified by spiral concentrators to remove excess sand and gravel and by magnetic separators to remove ilmenite and rutile. The byproducts can then be dumped back into the water safely, as they are all natural components of beach sand. The refined zircon is then purified into pure zirconium by chlorine or other agents, then sintered until sufficiently ductile for metalworking.[5] Zirconium and hafnium are both contained in zircon and they are quite difficult to separate due to their similar chemical properties.[9]