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ZIA completes study on the effects of metamictization on the milling of zircon sand

October 2021

ZIA has completed a study to understand the effect of metamictization on the milling of zircon. Metamictization is the process by which the crystal structure of zircon is changed over time by the radiation emitted from embedded U and Th atoms.

Several zircon sand samples were first characterised to determine their respective metamictic state based on differentiating chemical and physical attributes. The dry milling behaviour of each sample was then measured over several milling time intervals.

The results provided insights on the relationship between metamictic state and the milling performance, including particle size distribution of milled zircon. The effects of heat treatment to reverse zircon metamictization were also explored. Our work showed that the difference between annealed and non-annealed milling behaviour could be significant.

Knowledge of these results may benefit both producers and millers of zircon sand. The full study report and experimental data are available exclusively to ZIA members.

Keven Harlow, Executive Director of ZIA, said:

“This study offers important insights to producers and millers of zircon sand. ZIA regularly conducts similar projects with the aim of exploring new applications and promoting the technical advantages of zircon, for the benefit of our members and for the wider industry.”

Notes to editors

  1. ZIA members can request a copy of the full report via the ZIA office.
  2. As a non-profit organisation, ZIA works on behalf of its members to develop and promote zircon, zirconia, and derivative substances by advocating the benefits of their widespread application in today's world.
  3. ZIA has a strict Code of Conduct and Antitrust policy which applies to all ZIA activities.

For further information, please contact:
Claire Caton / media@zircon-association.org