Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

We had a small, now resolved, issue with how to handle listing the purity of our hafnium ingots given that it is mined with and nearly impossible to completely separate from zirconium as they are almost chemically identical. More interesting is that despite their nearly identical chemical properties, their physical properties couldn't be much different (alter ego metals of sorts). For example hafnium is about 100% more dense than zirconium and has a much higher melting point. It also has a very large neutron capture cross-section, which in conjunction with it's excellent corrosion resistance and high melting point make it an ideal material for use in nuclear reactor control rods (the jail surrounding the core, exerting a calming influence). Zirconium, on the other hand is nearly completely transparent to thermal neutrons and is also used in nuclear reactors for the opposite purpose, in the claddings of fuel rods in the reactor core (where all hell breaks loose).

With that background, we are pleased to announce that "Dr." Hafnium is now in the house with a very small "Mr." Zirconium impurity embedded within. We will see more of "Mr." Zirconium in coming months when this alter ego metal will make its own appearance.  We suggest not getting these two together at parties.



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