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What are the advantages of zirconia alumina?

What is zirconia used for?What are the advantages of zirconia alumina (ZTA ceramic tile)?


Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide, ZrO 2) Zirconia, mainly consisting of ZrO 2, has the highest mechanical strength and fracture toughness at room temperature of all major fine ceramics. It is used to make cutting blades, scissors and knives. It is also used for pump parts due to its superior surface smoothness.


Zirconia Toughened Alumina, (ZTA) is often used in wear applications as an intermediate solution between alumina and zirconia.


The main advantage of Zirconia Toughened Alumina (ZTA) is the additional strength and toughness over alumina with a lower cost than zirconia. The combination of aluminum oxide and 10-20% zirconium oxide provides a much higher strength, toughness, hardness and wear resistance than alumina alone.


The 20-30% increase in strength often provides the design criteria needed at a much lower cost than using zirconia.


A process called transformation toughening is the phenomenon that increases the fracture toughness of ZTA. When placed under stress, the zirconia particles change their crystal structure from a tetragonal to a monoclinic structure, causing a volume expansion that compresses the surrounding crack in the alumina matrix.


ZTA should be considered for any application where structural strength is needed that exceeds the standard alumina properties.

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