Zircon sand is not corrosive to metals when tested in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Interim Guidance for Conducting the Refined MHB (Materials Hazardous only in Bulk) Corrosivity (Cr) Test, the Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) has announced.

ZIA today published an Industry Position Paper outlining its findings following an independent test carried out by global consulting and advisory firm, DEKRA Insight (UK). The test, carried out over a 7-day period in February 2019, concluded that there was 0% mass loss on steel, with no observed surface pitting. Therefore, zircon sand is not a corrosive solid bulk material.

The IMO’s International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code requires material carried in bulk to be tested for corrosivity to metals. However, the specified UN C.1 test was developed for liquids and was not validated for solids. Refinements to this C.1 test and guidance that extends and details the testing method were developed following a research program carried out by a Global Industry Alliance. The IMO member states of Australia, Brazil, Canada and the USA proposed the amendments to the IMSBC Code

To provide clarity in the short term, ZIA commissioned DEKRA Insight to test a sample of zircon sand that previously failed the UN C.1 test. Zircon sand from the same sample was re-tested at the same laboratory, using the test method in accordance with IMO’s Interim Guidance for Conducting the Refined MHB Corrosivity (Cr) Test. The results demonstrated that bulk zircon sand is not corrosive to metal.

Dr Keven Harlow, Executive Director, ZIA, said, “This test result shows conclusively that bulk zircon sand is not corrosive to metal. Our industry position paper including this test data can be used by our members and relevant authorities to ensure that zircon sand continues to be shipped safely and effectively across the globe.”

“Zircon is an essential material in our modern world, and is used in everything from ceramic tiles, to electronic equipment, nuclear reactors, medical implants and jet engines.”

A summary of the test results can be found in the Industry Position Paper and a full copy of the DEKRA Insight test report is available to ZIA members and relevant maritime authorities.

Notes to editors

  1. A copy of the ZIA Industry Position Paper can be downloaded from the ZIA website
  2. A copy of the full test report can be obtained by members and relevant authorities by emailing enquiries@zircon-association.org
  3. The Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) is an independent industry association. Its mission is to represent and support the interests of the zircon, zirconia and zirconium value chains, from zircon sand production, to a wide range of downstream products including zircon flour, opacifiers, refractory materials, friction materials, fused zirconias and zirconium chemicals, metal and alloys. Its members currently represent some 80% of the globally-produced zircon tonnage.
  4. ZIA implements a strict antitrust compliance policy

For further information, please contact:

Claire Caton / media@zircon-association.org


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