ZrO2 powder is a chemical material, also known as zirconia, which is made from the mineral zirconium dioxide. This white crystalline oxide is the main source of artificial diamonds.
Zirconia is a refractory material and can be used in high-temperature and oxidation-resistant applications. The most common structure of this oxide is monoclinic. At higher temperature, the structure changes to a cubic crystal. These characteristics make it suitable for use in a variety of ceramic materials.
Zirconia can be divided into three types. One type is the polycrystalline refractory fiber. This material has a very low thermal expansion coefficient. It can be used for a long time in a high-temperature oxidation atmosphere.
Zirconia is used in several different industries. For instance, it is an additive in composite electrodes. It is also used as an electrolyte material for solid-oxide fuel cells. In addition, it is used in special dispersions to polish semiconductors.
Depending on the phase, ZrO2 has a band gap ranging from 5-7 eV. It has a high melting point and is odorless. Besides, it has high refractive index, so it can be used as a ceramic sunscreen. Other properties include good mechanical strength and resistance to chemicals.
Zirconia is the most studied ceramic material. Research has led to the development of a range of products. For example, hip head prostheses, which are made from the material, are used in orthopedics. Besides, the material is also used in oxygen sensors and fuel cell membranes.