History of Hafnium
Hafnium was first discovered by Dirk Coster and Charles von Hevesy in Denmark. Before its discovery in 1923 it was thought that Hafnium was in various zirconium minerals and concentrations. It was then discovered in zirconium ore from Norway by x-ray analysis. The origin of the name comes from the latin word “Hafnia”. It is rarely encountered by most people and in solid metal form does not cause problems. All hafnium compounds however are considered toxic and the powder and dust presents a fire and explosion hazard.
Fabrication and Applications
Hafnium is fabricated into ingot form through vacuum arc melting of material into slab form and then rolling into plate and sheet product. It is a highly complex reduction process from raw ore to finished product due to the fact it is extremely difficult to separate from zirconium.
Applications for Hafnium include: Nuclear fuel rods because it readily absorbs thermal neutrons, has good mechanical properties and is vary corrosion resistant. It can be used as a “getter” for oxygen and nitrogen gases and can be used inside of gas filled incandescent lamps. Due to its high melting point and high electron emissions it can also be used in radio tubes, rectifiers and as cathodes in x-ray tubes. Its biggest use is in alloying with other metals to enhance the properties of the same.
Hafnium is generally produced in plate or sheet form only but it can be fabricated into thin foils as well. H. Cross Company can produce Hafnium sheet and foil from .0005″ to .020″ thick at widths from .150″ to 2″ wide. If you wish to inquire about sizes outside these ranges Contact Us with your requirements and we will see if we can accommodate your request.
H. Cross Company will package your product by a method suitable to ensure the material will not be damaged during transport to your facility. Depending on the size and length the material may be packed flat or spooled onto non-returnable containers.