Production & properties
Zirconium oxide obtains its outstanding properties through the addition of stabilisers, such as magnesium oxide or yttrium oxide. Rauschert offers magnesium-doped ZrO2 under the name ZIRCONIA M, and yttrium-stabilised ZrO2 under the name ZIRCONIA Y.
Through sintering, a fine-crystalline structure is created, giving the material a high fracture toughness and mechanical stability, comparable to a metal.
Mould parts made of zirconium oxide are manufactured through dry pressing, ceramic injection moulding or slip casting. Zirconium oxide can be processed in 3-D precision with the new ultrasonic procedure.
An extremely smooth surface is achieved through polishing, with low friction values in comparison to metallic materials.
Because of the low friction compared with metallic materials, zirconium oxide is suitable for wire guides, especially for thin wires.
In electronics, ceramic blades made of zirconium oxide have proven their value because of their non-magnetic and insulating properties.
Cutting knives and scissors made of zirconium oxide are especially interesting if – in addition to their good wear resistance and edge strength – corrosion resistance and electrical isolation are also required.
Due to its good tribological properties compared with metals, zirconium oxide is ideal as a slide bearing material, especially at higher temperatures. The favourable thermal expansion is an advantage here in comparison to steel.
The high degree of fracture toughness and the ease with which it can be processed in 3-D precision by means of the ultrasonic procedure opens up new possibilities of substituting hard metal materials in toolmaking and machine engineering.