HHomeBackground Color:He
LiBeHafnium Pictures PageBlack White GrayBCNOFNe
NaMgHafnium Technical DataAlSiPSClAr
KCaHafnium Isotope DataScTiVCrMnFeCoNiCuZnGaGeAsSeBrKr
RbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPdAgCdInSnSbTeIXe
CsBaLaCePrNdPmSmEuGdTbDyHoErTmYbLuHfTaWReOsIrPtAuHgTlPbBiPoAtRn
FrRaAcThPaUNpPuAmCmBkCfEsFmMdNoLrRfDbSgBhHsMtDsRgCnUutUuqUupUuhUusUuo
Hafnium     

Hafnium

Atomic Weight 178.49
Density 13.31 g/cm3
Melting Point 2233 °C
Boiling Point 4603 °C
Full technical data

This remarkable image shows the inside surface of a huge high-purity hafnium crystal bar from Russia. The vapor deposition process used to make this bar yields the purest hafnium known.

Scroll down to see examples of Hafnium.
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Hafnium Plasma torch in operation

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Plasma torch in operation.
A plasma torch with hafnium-button electrode in operation.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 16 April, 2009
Text Updated: 16 April, 2009
Price: Donated
Size: 18"
Purity: 95%
Hafnium Hafnium carbide cutting insert

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Hafnium carbide cutting insert.
This might be a hafnium carbide milling bit insert. Tungsten carbide inserts that look exactly like this are very common, and hafnium carbide is really hard too.

Arguing in favor of its being hafnium carbide is the fact that it came in a box prominently labeled in several unmistakable ways as HfC:


Arguing against is that I can find no record of anyone ever having made such inserts, and the company, Hafnium Carbide Corp, does not appear to exist at the given address, or anywhere else for that matter.

Hafnium coated, as it says on one side of the box, is perhaps more likely, but I prefer to think they are exotic solid hafnium carbide created as an experiment that almost made it to market, but not quite. This is largely wishful thinking on my part.

Source: eBay seller hemlytool
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 24 March, 2009
Text Updated: 24 March, 2009
Price: $50
Size: 1"
Purity: 93%
Hafnium Crystal bar

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Crystal bar.
High purity hafnium crystal bar.
Source: Ethan Currens
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 29 January, 2009
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Anonymous
Size: 4"
Purity: 99.99%
Hafnium Button for no reason

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Button for no reason.
Description supplied by the source:
This is a nice little button of pure hafnium that was lying around the alloy company I was visiting, so I picked it up and sent it to you! Nothing particularly special, but hey, it's hafnium.
Source: Ethan Currens
Contributor: Ethan Currens
Acquired: 30 April, 2008
Text Updated: 30 April, 2008
Price: Anonymous
Size: 1"
Purity: 99.99%
Hafnium Bulk high purity hafnium

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Bulk high purity hafnium.
Description supplied by the source:
This sample is a newer generation of the industrial van Arkel-de Boer process, and it shows both clear differences and similarities to the more commonly-seen 'iodide-process' bar. This hafnium is produced and sold in bulk pails/barrels as >99.99% melt stock- it was difficult to refine hafnium reliably to this purity in the past, due to its 'getter' characteristics, very high melting point, and chemical similarity to other refractory metals, and the Arkel-de Boer process was used at very high expense for critical applications where this level of purity was needed. This newer material is proportionally much less expensive due to refinements in the process. The older crystal bars take a lot of electricity to create, a dedicated reaction vessel, and already-purified raw material, and a decent amount of time; all of these factors contributed to their cost. However, this crystal bar looks as if it was grown on an electrode placed against a wall; the ends are clearly mechanically chopped to remove it, but in the center of the bar, the hollow channel for the electrode is visible, and the 'bar' is only a half cylinder, with no evidence of being chopped in half. In addition, and unfortunately for the collector, the crystal structure of this hafnium is starkly different from other crystal bar- the individual crystal grains are quite small and less developed, and the overall structure is more homogeneous; this would imply a shorter and hotter growth period, with less time for the individual crystals to slowly develop and grow outward from the electrode.
Source: Ethan Currens
Contributor: Ethan Currens
Acquired: 21 March, 2008
Text Updated: 2 April, 2008
Price: Anonymous
Size: 2"
Purity: 99.99%
Hafnium Element coin

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Element coin.
Dave Hamric sells element samples under the name Metallium. He's developed a line of coins struck out of various common and uncommon metals: They are quite lovely, and very reasonably priced, considering the difficulty of creating some of them.

This strike on this coin is a little shallow compared to the others in the series, presumably because of the great hardness of the metal.

Here is the back side of this coin (click either picture to see it larger):

Click the Sample Group link below to see many other coins made of various elements, or click the link to his website above if you want to buy one like this.
Source: Dave Hamric
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 December, 2006
Text Updated: 14 January, 2007
Price: $32
Size: 0.75"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: Coins
Hafnium Blood of S'urak coin

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Blood of S'urak coin.
Shire Post Mint makes and sells an extensive line of fantasy coins based on the stories and worlds of the Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, George R.R. Martin, and others. What I like about this of course is the fact that many of them are made of unusual elements including titanium, niobium, and even hafnium (click the Sample Group link below to see the others).

description card

If it's still available, you can buy this coin from Shire Post Mint. (And if not, they have many others like it: If that link doesn't work, go to their home page and follow the links to find lots of coins.)

Source: Shire Post Mint
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 10 June, 2006
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: $50
Size: 0.75"
Purity: 99.6% (excluding Zr)
Sample Group: Coins
Hafnium High purity button

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High purity button.
This very high purity button was produced by Kaistar R&D (see Source link below if you want one) in their vacuum electron beam furnace, which Oliver Sacks and I visited in the summer of 2004. I wrote a story about the visit, which includes photographs of the incredible furnace used to produce this button and the many others they offer on eBay and direct to the element collecting hobby. I think it's safe to say that you will not find more perfect samples of transition metals anywhere.
This sort of button is hard to appreciate in a photograph: It's the great smoothness and density that make them so satisfying to hold.
Source: Kaistar R&D
Contributor: Kaistar R&D
Acquired: 6 August, 2004
Price: Donated
Size: 0.75"
Purity: 99.99% (excluding Zr)
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Hafnium Hollow cathode lamp

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Hollow cathode lamp.
Lamps like this are available for a very wide range of elements: Click the Sample Group link below to get a list of all the elements I have lamps like this for. They are used as light sources for atomic absorption spectrometers, which detect the presence of elements by seeing whether a sample absorbs the very specific wavelengths of light associated with the electronic transitions of the given element. The lamp uses an electric arc to stimulate the element it contains to emit its characteristic wavelengths of light: The same electronic transitions are responsible for emission and absorption, so the wavelengths are the same.
In theory, each different lamp should produce a different color of light characteristic of its element. Unfortunately, the lamps all use neon as a carrier gas: You generally have to have such a carrier gas present to maintain the electric arc. Neon emits a number of very strong orange-red lines that overwhelm the color of the specific element. In a spectrometer this is no problem because you just use a prism or diffraction grating to separate the light into a spectrum, then block out the neon lines. But it does mean that they all look pretty much the same color to the naked eye.
I've listed the price of all the lamps as $20, but that's really just a rough average: I paid varying amounts at various eBay auctions for these lamps, which list for a lot more from an instrument supplier.
(Truth in photography: These lamps all look alike. I have just duplicated a photo of one of them to use for all of them, because they really do look exactly the same regardless of what element is inside. The ones listed are all ones I actually have in the collection.)
Source: eBay seller heruur
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 24 December, 2003
Price: $20
Size: 8"
Purity: 99.9%
Sample Group: Atomic Emission Lamps
Hafnium Slice of very large hot wire decomposition rod

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Slice of very large hot wire decomposition rod.
Gillian Pearce must have one amazing house. After getting my first large hafnium sample (see above) from her, about a year later I got an email saying she'd found another hafnium lump around the house, nicer than the first one, and was I interested? Of course I said absolutely, I'm always interested in a nice lump of hafnium, as anyone would be. Then a few days later I got another email saying, sorry, she's misplaced that lump, but while searching for it, she ran across yet another lump, not quite as nice, but still bigger than the first one. Now what I want to know is, what on earth does a house look like where you can run across a fistful of hafnium while you're looking for a different fistful of hafnium! Is there zirconium in the sofa cushions? Molybdenum dust swept under the carpets?
Anyway, this is a lovely slice.
Source: eBay seller rubbleshop
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 20 December, 2002
Price: $75
Size: 2.5"
Purity: >99%
Hafnium Wire deposition crystal bar

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Wire deposition crystal bar.
This is a lovely short bar of high-purity hafnium metal. It is grown on a wire (you can see the core on the cut face) from a vapor of a hafnium compound, possible hafnium iodide though I am not sure of this. Max Whitby buys this kind of material from China which has become the dominant supplier of a lot of the somewhat unusual elements (not to mention a lot of everything else).
This is one rod from a lot he got for the series of museum periodic table displays we are working on.
Source: Max Whitby of RGB
Contributor: Max Whitby of RGB
Acquired: 1 November, 2003
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: Donated
Size: 1"
Purity: 99.9%
Hafnium Sample from the Everest Set

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Sample from the Everest Set.
Up until the early 1990's a company in Russia sold a periodic table collection with element samples. At some point their American distributor sold off the remaining stock to a man who is now selling them on eBay. The samples (except gases) weigh about 0.25 grams each, and the whole set comes in a very nice wooden box with a printed periodic table in the lid.

To learn more about the set you can visit my page about element collecting for a general description and information about how to buy one, or you can see photographs of all the samples from the set displayed on my website in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.

Source: Rob Accurso
Contributor: Rob Accurso
Acquired: 7 February, 2003
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Donated
Size: 0.2"
Purity: >99%
Hafnium Sample from the RGB Set

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Sample from the RGB Set.
The Red Green and Blue company in England sells a very nice element collection in several versions. Max Whitby, the director of the company, very kindly donated a complete set to the periodic table table.

To learn more about the set you can visit my page about element collecting for a general description or the company's website which includes many photographs and pricing details. I have two photographs of each sample from the set: One taken by me and one from the company. You can see photographs of all the samples displayed in a periodic table format: my pictures or their pictures. Or you can see both side-by-side with bigger pictures in numerical order.

The picture on the left was taken by me. Here is the company's version (there is some variation between sets, so the pictures sometimes show different variations of the samples):


Source: Max Whitby of RGB
Contributor: Max Whitby of RGB
Acquired: 25 January, 2003
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: Donated
Size: 0.2"
Purity: 99.9%
Hafnium Heavy 290g lump

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Heavy 290g lump.
This lump has one of the most interested surfaces I've seen. Smooth, silky, yet crystalline. It's very heavy (heavier than lead, though not in the same league as tungsten). Words don't do justice to this very interesting hunk of metal. Gillian Pearce, the source, reports that this surface is very characteristic of hafnium, and forms spontaneously any time hafnium metal is cooled from a molten state. I'd sure like to see that happening some day, but the extremely high melting point means it's not something I can do at home.

The rotatable 3D image is particularly good for this sample: Worth the download time. You'll see that the back face is completely different than the front face you see in the main picture.

Analysis by x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy at the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, University of Illinois (partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant DEFG02-91-ER45439) indicates it is 99.25% hafnium, 0.75% zirconium. Hafnium and zirconium are quite difficult to separate, and even very pure zirconium is often sold with the understanding that there is several percent of hafnium contamination, and vice versa. Since they are chemically very similar (which is why they are hard to separate) this is often not a big deal, other than in nuclear applications.

I chose this sample to represent its element in my Photographic Periodic Table Poster. The sample photograph includes text exactly as it appears in the poster, which you are encouraged to buy a copy of.
Periodic Table Poster

Source: eBay seller rubbleshop
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 19 October, 2002
Text Updated: 4 May, 2007
Price: $18
Size: 2"
Purity: 99.25%
Hafnium Plasma cutter electrode

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Plasma cutter electrode.
Plasma cutters are really neat: You can cut thick steel using nothing but electricity and air. No acetylene, no fuel of any sort, just the iron burning in air. Jim uses one on our farm to make metal art. Here's a picture of the arc plasma as it's reaching out to the metal, a fraction of a second before the metal ignites:

Here it is just after the metal ignites:

The sound for this sample is the sound of this plasma torch: The quieter sound at the start is the sound of the compressed air blowing out of the tip before the arc starts. Then it ignites and becomes much louder, and towards the end shuts off again leaving just the air sound.
Oh, wait, I guess I should explain what this has to do with hafnium! Ed found out that in the center of the electrode for just about any air-based plasma torch there is a small button of hafnium! Very strange where you find these elements. I think the ones in our torch have such a button, but they are chrome colored and it's hard to see. I went to my favorite welding shop and asked to pick out one where the dot was most prominent. This one shows a nice color contrast. I had planned to pay for the tip, but I guess he thought it was such a strange request he'd just give it to me.
Source: Claudin Welding Supply
Contributor: Claudin Welding Supply
Acquired: 24 July, 2002
Price: Donated
Size: 1"
Purity: >90%
Hafnium Himalayan sea salt

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Himalayan sea salt.
There is a list of 84 elements that seems to pop up repeatedly in the ingredient lists of "natural" mineral products, supplements, pills, and the like. Even, it turns out, in salt. Here then is the list of minerals claimed to be found in all-natural organic Himalayan sea salt:
hydrogen, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluoride, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, chloride, calcium, scandium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, gallium, germanium, arsenic, selenium, bromine, rubidium, strontium, yttrium, zirconium, niobium, molybdenum, ruthenium, rhodium palladium, silver, cadmium, indium, tin, antimony, tellurium, iodine, cesium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, hafnium, tantalum, tungsten, rhenium, osmium, iridium, platinum, gold, mercury, thallium, lead, bismuth, polonium, astatine, francium, radium, actinium, thorium, protactinium, uranium, neptunium and plutonium.
I wish someone would tell these people that, for example, neptunium and plutonium do not occur in nature at all, let alone in salt. Unless, I suppose, if you count nuclear fallout as a "natural" source of ingredients.
What bothers me most is what this says about the level of scientific literacy, both of the people selling the stuff, and the people buying it. Does no one actually read the list? Or do they read it an not realize how preposterous it is? It's enough to make you despair for the future of mankind.
Pretty salt, though.
Source: eBay seller saltwonders
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 March, 2009
Text Updated: 4 April, 2009
Price: $15
Size: 0.25"
Composition: NaClSbCsDyErEuGdHfHoInLaLuNdPrSmScThTlTeTbTmYbY
Hafnium Himalayan salt lamp

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Himalayan salt lamp.
A pretty hollow lamp made of solid rock salt from the Himalays. The composition I list is a partial list of the elements claimed to be in this type of salt (see my other Himalayan sea salt sample for a discussion of how silly this is).
Source: eBay seller saltwonders
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 March, 2009
Text Updated: 3 April, 2009
Price: $29
Size: 8"
Composition: NaClSbCsDyErEuGdHfHoInLaLuNdPrSmScThTlTeTbTmYbY
Hafnium Insane mineral capsules

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Insane mineral capsules.
These minerals capsules are called "Immune Boost 77", from Morningstar Minerals. They are either being incredibly honest, or they really don't understand what they're saying when they list what amounts to nearly the entire periodic table on the label, as the "trace minerals" they contain.

Here is the list in all its glory, typed in by my daughter in exchange for my paying for a membership in the Miley Cyrus fan club: Antimony, Barium, Beryllium, Bismuth, Boron, Bromine, Calcium, Carbon, Cerium, Cesium, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Florine, Gadolinium, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Hafnium, Holmium, Indium, Iodine, Iridium, Iron, Lanthanum, Lithium, Lutetium, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Niacin, Nickel, Niobium, Osmium, Palladium, Phosphorus, Platinum, Potassium, Praseodymium, Rhenium, Rhodium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Samarium, Scandium, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Sulfur, Tantalum, Thallium, Thorium, Tellurium, Terbium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, Zirconium.

Some of them are just silly, like thulium, which has absolutely no biological function. Others are a bit scarier, like thallium and thorium that are deadly poisons, and tellurium, which makes you smell of rotten onions for weeks.

Basically what they've done is list everything that occurs in even trace amounts in mixed monazite sand, which is kind of what the stuff inside looks like. The only reason they aren't seriously harmful (I assume) is that most of these are not actually present in any meaningful quantity.

My attention is drawn to these and other similar mineral supplements every time I decide to see if anything interesting has popped up on eBay for one or another of the obscure rare earths. Generally speaking if you search eBay for those guys you get very little of interest unless you turn on the option to search the text of the item description as well as the titles. Then you get lots of trace mineral supplements that one can only hope don't actually contain them.

Source: eBay seller grandma-adams
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 24 March, 2009
Text Updated: 29 March, 2009
Price: $15
Size: 0.75"
Composition: SbCsDyErEuGdHfHoInLaLuNdPrSmScThTlTeTbTmYbY
Hafnium Hafnon from Jensan Set

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Hafnon from Jensan Set.
This sample represents hafnium in the "The Grand Tour of the Periodic Table" mineral collection from Jensan Scientifics. Visit my page about element collecting for a general description, or see photographs of all the samples from the set in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.
Source: Jensan Scientifics
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 10 January, 2009
Text Updated: 10 January, 2009
Price: Anonymous
Size: 0.3"
Composition: (Hf,Zr)[SiO4]
Hafnium Photo Card Deck of the Elements

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Photo Card Deck of the Elements.
In late 2006 I published a photo periodic table and it's been selling well enough to encourage me to make new products. This one is a particularly neat one: A complete card deck of the elements with one big five-inch (12.7cm) square card for every element. If you like this site and all the pictures on it, you'll love this card deck. And of course if you're wondering what pays for all the pictures and the internet bandwidth to let you look at them, the answer is people buying my posters and cards decks. Hint hint.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 19 November, 2008
Text Updated: 21 November, 2008
Price: $35
Size: 5"
Composition: HHeLiBeBCNOFNeNaMg AlSiPSClArKCaScTiVCrMn FeCoNiCuZnGaGeAsSeBrKr RbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPdAg CdInSnSbTeIXeCsBaLaCePr NdPmSmEuGdTbDyHoErTm YbLuHfTaWReOsIrPtAuHgTl PbBiPoAtRnFrRaAcThPaUNp PuAmCmBkCfEsFmMdNoLrRf DbSgBhHsMtDsRgUubUutUuq UupUuhUusUuo
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!