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What is Zirconium Oxide used for?

Good mechanical properties and stability at elevated temperatures

Zirconium Oxide (or Zirconia) products demonstrate good mechanical properties and stability at elevated temperatures. Zirconium oxides also have excellent chemical inertness and resistant to corrosion. All of these properties make zirconium oxide ideal for use in refractory products, ceramics materials and electronic applications.

Zirconium Oxide is also a highly versatile material when combined with other elements. Addition of yttrium oxide unlocks the tetragonal polymorph and further enhances the mechanical properties and form materials suitable for advanced ceramic applications. These include cutting tools, abrasives, milling media and even medical implants including dental prosthetics.  Further addition of yttrium oxide yields the cubic polymorph and can lead to function ceramics which can conduct oxygen ions. Applications include materials for fuel cells, used in oxygen sensors and cubic zirconia for jewellery. PZT, Glass, bone cement.

Zirconium Oxide doped with magnesium oxide can produce partially stabilized materials which offer thermal resistance and tough materials, ideal for use in refractories.

Zirconium Oxide for electronic applications typically combine zirconia with other metal oxides such as Lead and Titanium oxide to form Lead Zirconium Titanate (PZT). PZT’s are used in ultrasound devices, guidance systems and sensors. Zirconium oxide can also be used in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells either as zirconia or in yttria stabilized form.

Refractories

Zirconium Oxides excellent thermal resistance and mechanical properties at elevated temperatures make it the perfect material for refractory applications.

Advanced ceramics

Yttrium doped zirconium oxide provides ehnanced mechnical properties for use in cutting tools, abbrasives and milling media due to its high wear resistance.

Medical products

Zirconium oxide can be used as a radiopacifier in surgical cements due to its low solubility and biocompatability. Dental implants can also be manufactured from Zirconium Oxide by carefully controling the level of yttria added to fine tune mechanical strength vs. optical properties.

Glass ceramics

Cubic zirconia is a fully stabalized Zirconium oxide and can be use for jewellery, however, due to zirconia’s excellent refractive index, it can be used in optical glass formulations to improve its properties.

Electronics

Zirconium Oxide, whether on its own or combined with dopants, find themselves in electronic applications, such as PZT’s and fuel cells.

Luxfer MEL Technologies offers a wide range of Zirconium Oxides and Yttria Stabilized Zirconium Oxides.

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