Editorial Feature

Zirconium Carbide (ZrC) Nanoparticles – Properties, Applications

Novel solutions provided by nanoparticles have become an important part of biotechnology, ceramics, semiconductors, electronics and medicine. Nanoparticles can exhibit unique behaviors due to alteration of the atomic and molecular properties of basic elements. This article deals with the properties and applications of zirconium carbide nanoparticles.

Zirconium carbide nanoparticles (ZrC) are characterized by properties such as high strength and hardness, resistance to oxidation at high temperatures, excellent toughness and thermal conductivity. They also exhibit optical properties such as infrared reflectance, high visible light absorption and ability to store large amounts of energy. The storage conditions of these nanoparticles need special mention as it is important to maintain cool, dry and vacuum storage conditions. Zirconium is a Block D, Period 5 element and carbon is a Block P, Period 2 element.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of zirconium carbide nanoparticles are as per the table below.

Chemical Data
Chemical symbol ZrC
CAS No 12070-14-3
Group Zirconium 4
Carbon 14
Electronic configuration Zirconium [Kr] 4d2 5s2
Carbon [He] 2s2 2p2
Chemical Composition
Element Content (%)
Zirconium 88.2
Carbon 11.6

Physical Properties

Zirconium carbide nanoparticles appear in the form of black powder having nearly spherical shape. The physical properties are listed below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 6.7 gm/cm3 0.242 lb/in3
Molar Mass 103.235 g/mol -

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of zirconium carbide nanoparticles are as below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Melting Point 2700°C 4892°F


Zirconium carbide nanoparticles are manufactured by the plasma vapor phase synthesis method.


The following are the chief applications of zirconium carbide nanoparticles:

  • Carbide compounds are characterized by their hardness; hence can be used as drills and other tools that need to be abrasion resistant.
  • Nanometer zirconium carbide can be used in nano-structured parts in metallurgical, chemical and aviation industry.
  • It finds application in the textile industry in making thermostat textiles in nylon, fiber and hard alloy.
  • Composite materials that are used in the ceramic and metal matrix are also made from these nanoparticles.

Source: AZoNano

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