Zirconia

Zirconium dioxide, more commonly known as zirconia (ZrO2), is the toughest of the technical ceramics. Conventional zirconia ceramics are often limited in their capabilities by poor thermal performance, despite their high strength and practically unmatched hardness characteristics. Complex zirconia and stabilising additive combinations offer enhanced thermal stability, enabling manufacturers to exploit the outstanding mechanical characteristics of zirconia in more demanding high temperature environments.


International Syalons is a specialist supplier of advanced engineering materials for a wide range of market segments. We offer a range of oxide and non-oxide ceramics for extremely challenging application areas. Among our core line is a choice of magnesia- and yttria-stabilised zirconia grades which have a negligible propensity for phase transitioning at high operating temperatures. We can subsequently supply hard-wearing zirconia ceramics for temperature-critical applications. Key performance indicators of our zirconia range include:

  • Unprecedented fracture toughness (15 MPa m½)
  • High modulus of rupture (1200 MPa)
  • Excellent compressive strength (1600 MPa)
  • Exceptional hardness (91 HRA)

Preventing zirconia from undergoing temperature-induced phase transitions is vital to success in high-temperature applications. By carefully controlling the alloying composition with stabilising additives, we can impart enhanced thermodynamic properties that maximise the performance and lifetime of hard-wearing parts.

Browse a selection of our zirconia ceramic grades below to find out more about their applicability and properties. Or, contact a member of the International Syalons team today if you have any design queries.


Zircalon 5

Zircalon 5 is an yttria stabilised zirconia (YSZ) and has very good strength and toughness. The table below lists typical mechanical, thermal and electrical property data for Zircalon 5.

Physical property data for Zircalon 5

Property Value Units
Composition YSZ -
Density 6.13 g/cc
Porosity 0 %
3 point Modulus of Rupture 20°C
(Specimen 3 × 3 × 50mm, span 19.05mm)
1000 MPa
Weibull Modulus 15 -
Compressive Strength >2000 MPa
Young's Modulus of Elasticity 205 GPa
Poisson's Ratio 0.30 -
Hardness (HRA) 91 -
Hardness (Vickers Hv50) 13.24 (1350) GPa (Kg/mm2)
Fracture Toughness K1C 8.0 MPa m½
Thermal Expansion Coefficient (0-1200°C) 10.0X10-6 K-1
Thermal Conductivity 2.0 W/(mK)
Thermal Shock Resistance 250 ΔT°C quenched in cold water
Maximum Use Temperature 1000 °C
RT Electrical Resistivity 1011 ohm cm


Typical physical property data obtained under test conditions. All properties have been measured by independent testing authorities. The values given only apply to the test bodies on which they were determined, and therefore can only be recommended values. See our disclaimer.

Download the Zircalon 5 Property Data Sheet PDF (0.19 Mb).


Zircalon 10

Zircalon 10 is an yttria stabilised zirconia (YSZ) and has higher strength and toughness than Zircalon 5. The table below lists typical mechanical, thermal and electrical property data for Zircalon 10.

Physical property data for Zircalon 10

Property Value Units
Composition YSZ -
Density 6.05 g/cc
Porosity 0 %
3 point Modulus of Rupture 20°C
(Specimen 3 × 3 × 50mm, span 19.05mm)
1200 MPa
Weibull Modulus 15 -
Compressive Strength >2000 MPa
Young's Modulus of Elasticity 205 GPa
Poisson's Ratio 0.30 -
Hardness (HRA) 91 -
Hardness (Vickers Hv50) 13.24 (1350) GPa (Kg/mm2)
Fracture Toughness K1C 10.0 MPa m½
Thermal Expansion Coefficient (0-1200°C) 10.0X10-6 K-1
Thermal Conductivity 2.0 W/m/K
Thermal Shock Resistance 250 ΔT°C quenched in cold water
Maximum Use Temperature 1000 °C
RT Electrical Resistivity 1011 ohm cm


Typical physical property data obtained under test conditions. All properties have been measured by independent testing authorities. The values given only apply to the test bodies on which they were determined, and therefore can only be recommended values. See our disclaimer.

Download the Zircalon 10 Property Data Sheet PDF (0.19 Mb).


Zircalon 20

Zircalon 20 is a magnesia stabilised zirconia (MSZ) and has better thermal shock resistance than either Zircalon 5 or Zircalon 10. The table below lists typical mechanical, thermal and electrical property data for Zircalon 20.

Physical property data for Zircalon 20

Property Value Units
Composition MSZ -
Density 5.7 g/cc
Porosity 0 %
3 point Modulus of Rupture 20°C
(Specimen 3 × 3 × 50mm, span 19.05mm)
500 MPa
Weibull Modulus 15 -
Compressive Strength >1600 MPa
Young's Modulus of Elasticity 210 GPa
Poisson's Ratio 0.30 -
Hardness (HRA) 90 -
Hardness (Vickers Hv50) 11.77 (1200) GPa (Kg/mm2)
Fracture Toughness K1C 7.0 MPa m½
Thermal Expansion Coefficient (0-1200°C) 11.0X10-6 K-1
Thermal Conductivity 2.5 W/m/K
Thermal Shock Resistance 350 ΔT°C quenched in cold water
Maximum Use Temperature 1000 °C
RT Electrical Resistivity 1011 ohm cm


Typical physical property data obtained under test conditions. All properties have been measured by independent testing authorities. The values given only apply to the test bodies on which they were determined, and therefore can only be recommended values. See our disclaimer.

Download the Zircalon 20 Property Data Sheet PDF (0.09 Mb).


Zircalon 30

Zircalon 30 is a co-stabilised zirconia-based ceramic with an alumina (Al2O3) matrix, which is reinforced by self-grown alumina-based platelets. Zircalon 30 has a better fracture toughness and thermal shock resistance than Zircalon 10, whilst still offering excellent mechanical strength and hardness properties. The table below lists typical mechanical, thermal and electrical property data for Zircalon 30.

Physical property data for Zircalon 30

Property Value Units
Composition ZrO2-Al2O3 -
Density >5.62 g/cc
Porosity 0 %
3 point Modulus of Rupture 20°C 1000 MPa
Weibull Modulus 14 -
Compressive Strength >2000 MPa
Young's Modulus of Elasticity - GPa
Poisson's Ratio 0.295 -
Hardness (HRA) 89 -
Hardness (Vickers HV50­) 12.13 GPa
Fracture Toughness K1C 14-15 MPa m½
Thermal Expansion Coefficient (0-1200°C) 10.1 x 10-6 K-1
Thermal Conductivity 3.5 W/m/K
Thermal Shock Resistance 250 ΔT°C quenched in cold water
Maximum Use Temperature 1000 °C
RT Electrical Resistivity 1013 ohm cm

Typical physical property data obtained under test conditions. All properties have been measured by independent testing authorities. The values given only apply to the test bodies on which they were determined, and therefore can only be recommended values. See our disclaimer.

Download the Zircalon 30 Property Data Sheet (0.09 Mb).


Zircalon Corrosion Behaviour

In addition to this outstanding property data, Zircalon also has excellent resistance to corrosion, often required for applications in the chemical and process industries.

The table below show the corrosion resistant behaviour of Zircalon in various acids and alkalis.

Zircalon corrosion behaviour in acids and alkalis.

Acid/Alkali Conc. % Temp. Exposure time / hrs Reaction
Acetic Acid 100 Boiling 100 None
Benzoic Acid 100 Boiling 100 None
Formic Acid 100 Boiling 100 None
Hydrochloric Acid 33 Boiling 100 Weak
Hydrofluric Acid 100 Boiling 100 Strong
Nitric Acid 69 Boiling 100 Weak
Phosphoric Acid 100 Boiling 100 Weak
Sulphuric Acid 98 Boiling 100 Weak
Ammonium Chloride 98 Boiling 100 None
Potassium Chloride 100 Boiling 100 None
Sodium Chloride 100 Boiling 100 None
Sodium hydroxide 50 Boiling 100 None

Typical corrosion data obtained under test conditions. The values given only apply to the test bodies on which they were determined, and therfore can only be recommended values. See our disclaimer.

The successful integration of advanced technical ceramics into engineering systems requires close collaboration between you, the end-user, and ourselves, the material suppliers. Please contact our Technical Department to discuss your requirments in detail and assist in exploiting the significant advantages which our advanced ceramics offer.

In addition, see our resources section for guides on designing with ceramics and more property data comparing Zircalon with other engineering ceramics.

Zirconia