Advanced and Partially Stabilized Zirconia (PSZ) Ceramic Material Properties and Applications

17 October 2019

Having been identified as one of the most formidable ceramics known to man, the adoption of Zirconia as an industry-supported refractory material was inevitable. This is a material that negates substance-corrosive effects. Whether advanced Zirconia products face an attack from corrosive chemicals or high-temperature environments, they keep right on working. As for Partially Stabilized Zirconia, unimpaired by adverse industrial conditions, this magnesium-bonded ceramic is built to outlast conventional materials.

What is Partially Stabilized Zirconia?

Geology journals describe pure Zirconia as a fracture-tough mineral. It’s so hard that dentists use zirconium oxide to make crowns. So far so good, then, this is a hard-wearing mineral. With a little chemical processing, engineering types have made an even stronger form of the refractive substance. Known as PSZ, as Partially Stabilized Zirconia, a small amount of Yttria or Magnesium Oxide transforms the already wear-resistant mineral structure. Now, equipped with a cubic microcrystalline grain, the refractive ceramic material delivers more strength, plus more chemical and heat resistance.

Assuring Ultimate Component Toughness

It’s not just that this ceramic family is hard, the material also provides a whole wealth of environment-defeating features. Parts made from the substance won’t corrode, not even when assaulted by high-temperature fluid streams. If that liquid or gaseous flow happens to be a strong acid or alkali, it won’t matter. The ceramic is entirely chemically inert. Just to put these features into perspective, imagine a family of components that tip the high end of the flexural stress scale. If that’s not enough, add compressive and tensile strength to the features list as well.

Built To Satisfy Hardwearing Product Families

So, where does a PSZ product belong? Pretty much wherever a similarly specced metal part can’t operate. And since the material can be machined into some fairly intricate shapes, there’s really no limit to the applications these advanced ceramic materials can find themselves taking over. For usage domain examples, include pump seals, those that impel caustic chemicals. Hot engine components, friction-stressed roller bearings, ceramic bush linings, gas and oil industry seals, and much more besides, the number of applications can only increase as more hostile equipment lines come online within some of our industries’ harshest environmental settings.

Is there room for growth? Are there more advanced types of Zirconia in the manufacturing pipeline? PSZ ceramics are built to satisfy the majority of possible applications, but there are instances where even these refractive substances find themselves under pressure. Thermal shock issues can overload the finest available refractive materials, so engineers are looking for advanced Zirconia grades, which use even more exotic stabilizing agents. Capable of handling over 400°C of heat shock, these level II Zirconia ceramics won’t fracture when attacked by excessive amounts of transient heat.

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