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General Information

  • Zirconium silicate, also zirconium orthosilicate, (ZrSiO4) is a chemical compound, a silicate of zirconium.
  • Zirconium silicate is usually colorless, but impurities induce various colorations.
  • Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate and its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4.
  • Zircon is a transparent, translucent, or opaque mineral, composed chiefly of zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4, and crystallizes in the tetragonal system.
  • Zirconium silicate occurs in nature as mineral zircon.


  • Zirconium silicate is used for manufacturing refractory materials for applications where resistance to corrosion by alkali materials is required.
  • Thin films of zirconium silicate and hafnium silicate produced by chemical vapor deposition, most often MOCVD, can be used as a high-k dielectric as a replacement for silicon dioxide in semiconductors.
  • Zirconium Silicate is also used in production of some ceramics, enamels, and ceramic glazes.
  • Zircon is recovered from heavy mineral sands and is used largely for its thermal properties in the fields of ceramics refractories and foundry uses.


  • At present, Australia, South Africa, United States, Ukraine, India, China, Brazil and Sri Lanka are the largest exporters of zirconium minerals, in 1992 they supplied about 99% of the world production.
  • In Italy, zirconium minerals are widely used and most of the national demand, currently estimated at around 60}65 ktons, goes into the ceramics market.
  • The zirconium minerals are used in the Italian ceramic industry for the production of ceramic colours, glazes, tiles and sanitary and table ware.
  • Zirconium Silicate is reported by Kleber and Putt (1986) as being used in chewing gum and in a dental prophylaxis paste.
  • Australia is the world’s largest producer of zircon (zirconium silicate—ZrSiO4), chiefly in the form of heavy mineral sands.

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