Zirconium Oxide: Properties, Uses And Manufacturing Process

The grinding time required for its machining is about fifty percent more than any other element. The post-grinding surface finish is considerably improved than a comparable feature in any other material.

Zirconium has symbol “Zr” and atomic number 40. It is a metal extracted from the oxide mineral baddeleyite and Zirconium silicate. Zirconium is the nineteenth most abundant element in the earth’s crust, it is more plentiful than lead and copper. It has a good tendency to form metallic salts with good electrical conductivity. Due to these properties, it is used in various structural components of nuclear reactors.                                                                     

It was discovered in 1789 by a German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth. Its metallic powder was made in 1824 by a Swedish Chemist, Jons J. Berzelius. In 1925, the method   to purify useable quantities of metal was developed by two Dutch chemists J.H. de Boer and Anton E van Arkel. They also invented a thermal iodide process to thermally decompose Zirconium tetraiodide.

Fundamental properties of Zirconium Oxide:

Zirconia is a highly refractory material. It offers great chemical and corrosion inertness.

  • High density.
  • Chemical inertness.
  • Low thermal conductivity.
  • Ionic electrical conduction.
  • Resistance to molten metals.
  • High hardness.
  • Wear resistance.
  • Use temperatures up to 2400º C.
  • High fracture toughness.

Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) commonly known as Zirconia, is a natural  occurring metal with a monoclinic crystalline structure. It has same features and design as that of alumina, but gives better finish after surface grinding as compared to alumina. Machining Zirconia is much easier than machining alumina  in comparison to alumina, its threads, big holes Etc. are easily produced. There are three basic principles that should be followed when machining Zirconia: high feed rates, slow speeds and a flood coolant system using a water soluble oil lubricant.

Manufacturing of Zirconium Oxide:

  • Absolutely pure products must be used for the production of high quality ceramics, advanced synthesis methods have been developed for high purity of Zirconia.
  • Raw material used for manufacturing of Zirconia is the mineral Zircon silicate. ZrO2 can be obtained on a large scale by melting coke and lime.
  • Its manufacturing methods include  - reactions in the gas phase, molten salt baths, hydrothermal powder synthesis and sol-gel methods.
  • The Zirconia powder of particle sizes 0.01 to 0.10µm can be obtained by gas phase manufacturing.  The powder obtained by this method is further mixed with additives and then green bodies are manufactured by tape casting, dry pressing and slip casting.
  • After that, the sintering additives remain in the ceramic but the auxiliary substances which are volatile organic compounds are removed from the moulding before the sintering process.
  • The green body is transmuted into a raw product by sintering method, later polished & grounded as per the application.
  • The mouldings are endued their actual properties in the sintering process. The ceramic powder contracts by reducing to their specific shape. This is obtained by temperature-dependent diffusion process.
  • The speed of solid body diffusion can be increased by appropriate selection of sintering additives. If solid body diffusion occurs too slowly, sintering should be done with a liquid phase or under specific pressure.

The sintering process done under high temperatures and pressure increases the production costs of ceramic components. 

Typical uses of Zirconium Oxide:

  • Thread and wire guides.
  • Hot metal extrusion dies.
  • Powder compacting dies.
  • In mill grinding industries.
  • Used in Oxygen sensors.
  • Fuel cell membranes.
  • Precision ball valve and seats.
  • High temperature induction furnace susceptors.
  • Rollers and guides for metal tube forming.
  • Marine pump seals and shaft guides.
  • Deep well down-hole valve seats.

Machining Zirconia is done through conventional methods as being chemically unreactive element  requires unique high technology tools to produce the best quality products.

Similar Articles

How Technology is Shaping the Oil Industry

Whether you’re a business owner, a supplier, a client, or just an admirer of the oil industry, there’s one thing you have to admit - this industry is among the most interesting ones in the world, and it’s getting more and more interesting every single year

Laser Engraver Vs. Laser Cutting

Although the terms "laser engraver" and "laser cutter" are often used in the same context, there are a few differences between them. People have a huge misconception regarding the functions of both terms. In the present world scenario, laser machines can cut as well as engrave single-handedly.

Manufacturing Companies: Popular Data Science Use Cases

The manufacturing industry, much like a lot of other industries worldwide, has been subjected to a whole lot of changes over the past few years. The cause? Lots of them but primarily the rapid evolution of technology.

Modern Metalworking Machinery

The metal industry implies a diverse range of processes, skills and tools to manufacture parts, objects and even large scale structures. With the emergence of modern metalworking tools, a product receives a high level of uniformity and specificity.

aerospace fasteners

In this modern world, all new types of technologies are invented for the benefit of human beings. There are many new things that are used in both commercial and military purposes, and one of the examples is aerospace fasteners. The use of this technology has increased with the invention of the fasteners.

4 Benefits of Warehouse Automation System

The concept of automating a warehouse has been in place for several years. There is an increased demand for an automated warehouse in recent years due to various reasons. The costs of land and labor have gone up, companies are handling huge deliveries, and consumer expectations are high.

Role Of Forklift Charger Manufacturers In The Selection Of An Electric Forklift Battery Charger

To stay competitive in today’s world, you need to develop technologies that cause less environmental damage. Leading forklift charger manufacturers are then launching a larger number of environmentally-friendly trucks that provide the same efficiency to fulfill their customer’s requirements.

Common Test Applications of Bending Strength Machines

Bend test machines are normally worldwide testing machines particularly arranged to examine bend strength, material ductility, fracture power, and toughness to fracture. Bend tests incline to be related to yielding metal and metals products. Bend test device and test methods are the same as flexure test gear.

Reverse Osmosis System

Have you ever asked what’s in your drinking water? I bet you have, many times. Environmental protection agencies anywhere in the world have most recently released bulletins urging people to be aware of the fact that no matter where you are, there is always the likelihood that some toxic substance is in your groundwater.