Zirconia Toughened Alumina (ZTA)

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For over 60 years we have been a precision machining and polishing fabricator of parts from all technical ceramics, sapphire, glass and quartz. We machine these materials to very precise tolerances (many times measured in millionths of an inch) for dimension, flatness, wedge and roundness or cylindricity. Our customers typically have a critical application that requires extremely tight tolerances in ultra-hard materials. We also have the capability to grind and polish spherical radius parts in a variety of hard materials, both inside and outside diameters, to optical requirements.

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Alumina (Al2O3) is one of the most widely specified, general-purpose technical ceramics. All aluminas are very hard and wear resistant, with high compressive strength even against extreme temperatures and corrosive environments. Aluminas are also excellent electrical insulators and are gas tight.

Blends of zirconia with alumina such as ZTA have a performance combination that is tougher than alumina alone, but with improved hardness, strength and thermal properties compared to these other materials, especially at elevated temperature.

Alumina is produced by firing a tightly packed powder form of Al2O3 which includes some binder material. Commercially available grades range from 90% up to 99.95% with the higher purity generating somewhat higher hardness. It is possible to machine alumina using diamond grinding techniques. Polishing is also possible, with the degree attainable affected by alumina grain size and production technique, whether pressed or extruded. Alumina 90%-97% is best suited for metalizing (metal deposition which allows brazing) because of large grain structure. 98%-99.95% is the common range for isostatically pressed grades, with extruded shapes also available at low cost.

As-fired tolerances are generally only possible within a few percent of dimension. Extremely tight tolerances are attainable, but only by precision machining the fired part using diamond grinding techniques. This adds considerable cost, but tolerances to millionths of an inch are possible, and are often cost effective due to the extraordinary stability and durability of the finished piece.

See Also : Sialon (Si3N4-Al2O3)

Chemical Formula


4.1 - 4.38 gm/cc

1750-2100 Knoop

Modulus of Elasticity

45 - 49 x 106 psi

Flexural Strength
100 - 145 kpsi
Poisson's Ratio
Fracture Toughness
5 - 7 MPa m<sup>½</sup>
Dielectric Constant
10.6 (@ 1 MHz)
Volume Resistivity

> 1013 ohm-cm

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion

8.0 - 8.1 x 10-6/°C

Thermal Conductivity
20.0 - 21.0 W/mK
Shock Resistance
325 °C Diff.
Maximum Working Temperature
1650 °C

All properties are at room temperature unless otherwise noted.

Engineering data are representative, and are not intended as absolute nor warrantable. Manufacturer’s Data shown is blended from multiple sources and therefore illustrates the marketplace.

*Click on a Property to see a comparison of up to 10 materials