Hafnium is a chemical element with symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray, tetravalenttransition metal, hafnium chemically resembles zirconium and is found in many zirconium minerals.
- Hafnium is used for nuclear reactor control rods because of its ability to absorb neutrons and its good mechanical and corrosion resistance qualities. This is in complete contrast to zirconium, which although is chemically is very similar to hafnium, is very poor at absorbing neutrons. Zirconium is therefore used in the cladding (outer layer) of fuel rods through which it is important that neutrons can travel easily.
Hafnium is also used in photographic flash bulbs, light bulb filaments, and in electronic equipment as cathodes and capacitors.
Hafnium alloys with several other metals, such as iron, niobium, tantalum and titanium.
Hafnium-niobium alloys, for example, are heat resistant and are used in aerospace applications, such as space rocket engines.
Hafnium carbide is used to line high temperature furnaces / kilns due to its refractory properties (it does not melt at high temperatures).
Hafnium-based compounds are used in gate insulators in the 45 nm generation of integrated circuits for computers.
Hafnium oxide-based compounds are being introduced into silicon-based chips to produce smaller, more energy efficient and performance packed processors.
- Metals have a substantial role in every walk of human life. Many metals have been either used as a utility material or in medical treatments. Benefits of Hafnium metal are listed below.
- People can be exposed to hafnium in the workplace by breathing it in, swallowing it, skin contact, and eye contact. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the legal limit (Permissible exposure limit) for exposure to hafnium and hafnium compounds in the workplace as TWA 0.5 mg/m3 over an 8-hour workday. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set the same recommended exposure limit (REL). At levels of 50 mg/m3, hafnium is immediately dangerous to life and health.
Hf, atomic number 72
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafnium#Other_uses