Welding Zirconium

Welding Zirconium – Zirconium is a very special expensive metal used in the Nuclear and Petrochemical industries.

Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® has experience in welding zirconium parts, tubes and pipes and have previously advised engineers from Siemens about making pumps and pipework out of zirconium for the Chemical Industry.

Some Industries make highly corrosive products like nitric acid for example and zirconium is about the only metal that can resist such acids.

Siemens went on to purchase HFT® Pipe Purging Systems and accessories for welding zirconium and titanium.

Zirconium is transparent to neutrons so it can be used to make small cans for the nuclear fuel (uranium) that is put into pressurised water reactors.

These fuel cans are made into, what are called the ‘stringer rods’ in nuclear language and are used to make the water in the reactor boil to make steam, that turns the turbines (turbo generators) to make electricity.

The zirconium cans are loaded with uranium, a cap is put into the can and it is welded shut. The offshore industry manufactures items from zirconium, because it resists saltwater corrosion.

China uses about half of the worlds zirconium because of the rapid growth of Nuclear Power Stations there.

Zirconium is used in the pressure tubes of Canada’s nuclear reactors and it is used in the reactors of Nuclear Submarines.

For more information, please read HFT®’s White Paper Welding Zirconium and its Alloys.


  1. Ron Sewell April 16, 2018 Reply

    It would be interesting to hear from any readers whether they are using Zirconium and what they use it for.

  2. Neill Smith April 17, 2018 Reply

    I like it a lot. Zirconium weld looks amazing. Getting more materials made like pumps also needs expansion joints upon the pumps also to be made, valves, controls, and the list goes on. Thank you for inspiring me to my on ideas for a plasma reactor that takes a lot of piping and isn’t near solved on how to create perfect plasma ball that’s stable within a plasma reactor. Gases to collide together takes special turbulent mixing systems. Good to be a pipefitter.

  3. Ron Sewell April 17, 2018 Reply

    Interesting comments Neill. Do you know any companies that are working with Zirconium?

  4. john mccluskey May 20, 2018 Reply

    I would be interested to find out more some previous experience with zirc on an acetic acid plant

  5. Rajan Vadakkepat May 27, 2018 Reply

    I was worked with zirconium machining. It is very inflamable with very low temperatures even a small sparks used high coolant application at all times of machining operation. Very interesting the material welding procedures. Can share more

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