The form I have does seem to be a little hygroscopic but not to excess, that may be because it already has water of crystallisation. I have a lot more research to do yet. Also I do not have the capability to accurately assay the chemical it was manufactured in 1990 as far as I can tell, possibly before if I have miss read the label.
The brilliance is possibly due to the fact that it is a group four transition metal compound? (Titanium and Hafnium burn well!) It may be the incandescence of Zirconium oxide or more complex reactions?
I tried a 70 30 ratio with eckart and It was difficult to light, once it got going it seemed really blinding to look at.
Fine mesh magnesium seemed to be easier to light, very fast burning and equally bright. Have not tried mgal yet so that may be good. The amounts I am producing are tiny for safety reasons (a few grains by weight) so this may be detrimental to the effect.
I will continue modifying the composition with all manner of fuels and catylists to see what happens. Safety first.
Yes, very unusual chemical. The manufacturer is good old BDH. It's main use is as a precursor to other zirconium compounds in the lab.
I have 250g so plenty to experiment with. purely done for curiosity, the most noble motive!
Certainly not used in commercial fireworks. On a amateur basis it may have some potential but I feel that as the hazards are unknown this is probably best left alone for now. Also my own experience in firework manufacture is zero so for me the value is as an experimental pyrotechnic composition.
Expensive - yes, very. Not for me as I picked up a job lot of lab chemicals some years ago. I have seen prices for this around £560 for 500g.