Zirconium
Zirconium is named from the Arabic zargun, gold color and was first isolated in 1824. Zircon, the principal ore is found in deposits in Florida, South Carolina, Australia and Brazil. Zirconium is produced commercially by reduction of the chloride with magnesium. It is a grayish-white lustrous metal. Zirconium is primarily used as a cladding for nuclear fuel rods. The nuclear industry accounts for 90% of zirconium metal use. It is used by the chemical industry as it is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, and is also used as an alloying agent in steel, in making surgical appliances, photoflash bulbs, and lamp filaments. Zirconium oxide has a high index of refraction and is used as a gem material.