Zirconia is one of the most studied ceramic materials. Zirconium dioxide (in its most naturally occurring form) is the mineral baddeleyite. Zirconia begins its life following a thermal treatment process (calcining) of the zirconium dioxide. This zirconia is further processed into different forms, including powder. Ceramco’s zirconia formulations utilize a “ready to press” type of zirconia powder for its near-net shaping manufacturing process.
With a melting point of 2715°C and a boiling point of 4300°C, pure zirconia is extremely tough. However, when heated, phase changes in its physical characteristics reveal a weakness. In its tetragonal phase the expansion of a pure zirconia part results in internal stresses, leading to cracks. This inherent weakness is corrected with the addition of a stabilizer, such as yttria (Yttrium oxide, Y2O3), producing YTZP, a yttria partially stabilized zirconia.
A part made of YTZP zirconia remains stable as is moves from its monoclinic (room temperature) phase to its tetragonal (heated) phase and back again, resulting in lessened expansion, and minimal crack propagation. These changes are referred to as Transformation Toughening.
Ceramco manufactures custom ceramic parts of YTZP zirconia for various markets with equally different environments. However, the common threads found making YTZP zirconia the material of choice often includes:
- Resistance to high abrasion
- Chemical stability
- Coefficient of thermal expansion similar to steel
Environments in which YTZP may not be suitable include long term water emersion and temperatures of 500° C (and above) in which case electrical conductivity must be avoided. As with all Ceramco custom ceramic part orders, we work closely with the customer to arrive at a ceramic formulation that not only meets the spec, but also avoids such undesirable circumstances.
More than “ Plain Vanilla”
Zirconia comes in many different flavors. YTZP is available in a variety of aesthetic appealing colors that can be polished to high luster. Depending upon the elements and additives used (yttria, MgO, ceria, alumina, etc.) zirconia's technical functionality can be adjusted for its use as an oxygen sensor or in composites like ZTA (zirconia toughened alumina).
People Making it Happen
In our 30+ years of manufacturing custom ceramic parts, Ceramco also has transformed and toughened in the process. Although we now serve customers around the world, producing orders in excess of 50,000 pieces or more annually, our highly skilled staff remains sensitive to your needs regardless of the size of your company, or your order. Ceramco is ready to transform you into another satisfied customer.
Ready to Make it Happen for You
Do you need a quotation on your print for a custom ceramic part? Contact Ceramco. You'll be greeted by a courteous customer service specialist ready to provide immediate, personal assistance. Ceramco specializes in manufacturing custom ceramic parts with complex geometries, matching the appropriate forming process to your order's specifications and quantity: