Zirconia toughened alumina (ZTA) is a combination of aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide where the alumina matrix contains zirconia grains. It’s an AZ composite that features favorable mechanical properties and has a wide scope of applications. ZTA is consolidated by hot isostatic pressing and conventional sintering for increased reliability. Due to its mechanical features, technical ceramics companies use it to manufacture parts for a range of applications. Continue reading to learn more about the properties and use of zirconia toughened alumina

What are the properties and applications of zirconia toughened alumina?

ZTA typically contains 10% to 20% of zirconia, which can vary depending on the application. It features favorable properties such as fracture toughness, hardness and wear resistance:

Toughness and strength technical ceramics company

When zirconia particles are added to an alumina matrix, they undergo a phase transformation from a tetragonal to a monoclinic crystal structure when subjected to stress. This transformation generates a compressive stress on the surrounding alumina matrix, which prevents crack propagation and increases the fracture toughness of the material.

This mechanism significantly improves the strength and toughness of zirconia toughened alumina over pure alumina ceramics.

Wear resistance

Zirconia toughened alumina also features excellent wear resistance due to its high hardness and low coefficient of friction. It’s highly resistant to wear, abrasion, and erosion, making it ideal for use in applications that require high mechanical durability, such as cutting tools, ball bearings, and pump components.

Corrosion resistance 

ZTA is also highly resistant to chemical corrosion and can withstand exposure to harsh environments. This makes it ideal for use in applications such as medical implants, where it’s critical to have a material that can withstand exposure to bodily fluids and chemicals.

Thermal shock resistance

Zirconia toughened alumina exhibits good thermal shock resistance and can withstand rapid changes in temperature without cracking or breaking. The zirconia particles dispersed in the alumina matrix absorb thermal energy and create compressive stresses, which prevent cracks. 

This property makes it an excellent material for use in high-temperature applications, such as furnace components, heat exchangers, turbine engine components, and other high-temperature industrial processes, without experiencing damage or failure.


Zirconia toughened alumina has been extensively tested and found to be extremely suitable for medical implants, including dental implants, due to its excellent biocompatibility and mechanical properties. Its high fracture toughness, wear resistance, and chemical stability make it a perfect material for use in parts that require high mechanical strength and durability. It’s most commonly used in hip replacement.

Electrical insulation

ZTA features extremely favorable electrical insulation properties due to its high resistivity and low dielectric constant. This makes it useful for applications such as electrical electronic components and insulating sleeves, where it provides both mechanical and electrical insulation while maintaining other important properties such as high strength and durability.

Low thermal expansion

Zirconia toughened alumina exhibits a low coefficient of thermal expansion, which makes it favorable for use in applications that require dimensional stability, such as precision components, optical components, and electronic packages.

What is the leading technical ceramics company?

advanced ceramics companyWhen you want to learn more about how ceramic powders are made, how to test ceramic hardness, or what powder sintering process is, the reliable experts at Wunder Mold are here for you. We’ll make sure you receive all the information you need about producing the parts that strictly adhere to your requirements. 

Our team of dedicated specialists boasts a lengthy experience in ceramic manufacturing and follows the highest industry standards to deliver high-performance premium-quality parts to clients worldwide. Give us a call or reach us by email at sales@wundermold.com