A key theme for ZIA is the informed value chain - whilst we want to understand the issues that affect our customer industries and their use of our materials, we also want them to be aware of our issues so that they can act and plan accordingly. ZIA has established partnerships at industry level with many of the key industry sectors and are reaching out to others.

New applications for zircon

One of the founding principles of ZIA was, and still is, to encourage and support development of new uses and applications for zircon and its derivative materials.

As can be read in our Zircon Handbook (latest edition 2015) , zircon has a unique suite of physical properties which make it suitable for a wide range of demanding applications.

There is considerable R&D activity involving these materials, much of it in the zirconium chemicals sector. ZIA monitors global R&D activity across the whole zirconium value chain through regular reviews of the literature and is keen to encourage and support projects that have the potential to add to market demand.

Existing applications for zircon

Not to be forgotten are the existing applications and markets for zircon and its derivative materials; the most important (volume-wise) being the manufacture of ceramic tiles - in the range of 45-50% of total world demand.

ZIA has sponsored research into the performance of zircon relative to other opacifier materials - read the article Performance and Cost Optimisation in Ceramic Tile Production: Achieving Whiteness and Opacity through zircon Opacifier, published in Ceramic Forum International in 2015.

Life Cycle Assessment is an important area of activity for ZIA and we are currently undertaking a global LCA project for use of zircon in the ceramic tile industry.

Need more detail?

ZIA Members can participate in market development, technical and R&D programmes and get access to our full Knowledge Bank and Zircon Academy.