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Zirconia (Zirconium Dioxide, ZrO2)

Zirconia is an oxide-based engineering ceramic. It can have a moderately high tensile strength among oxide-based engineering ceramics. In addition, it can have a fairly high density and a moderately low heat capacity.

The properties of zirconia include three common variations. This page shows summary ranges across all of them. For more specific values, follow the links immediately below. The graph bars on the material properties cards further below compare zirconia to other oxide-based engineering ceramics (top) and the entire database (bottom). A full bar means this is the highest value in the relevant set. A half-full bar means it's 50% of the highest, and so on.

Mechanical Properties

Compressive (Crushing) Strength

1260 to 3080 MPa 180 to 450 x 103 psi

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

190 to 200 GPa 28 to 29 x 106 psi

Flexural Strength

630 to 970 MPa 91 to 140 x 103 psi

Fracture Toughness

8.0 to 11 MPa-m1/2 7.3 to 9.9 x 103 psi-in1/2

Knoop Hardness

1210 to 1300

Poisson's Ratio

0.25 to 0.29

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

410 to 450 MPa 60 to 65 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Maximum Temperature: Mechanical

500 to 1330 °C 930 to 2430 °F

Maximum Thermal Shock

300 to 350 °C 570 to 660 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

400 to 510 J/kg-K 0.1 to 0.12 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

2.2 to 4.3 W/m-K 1.2 to 2.5 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

8.8 to 9.5 µm/m-K

Other Material Properties


5.7 to 6.0 g/cm3 350 to 370 lb/ft3

Dielectric Constant (Relative Permittivity) At 1 MHz


Dielectric Strength (Breakdown Potential)

7.7 to 9.0 kV/mm 0.3 to 0.35 V/mil

Electrical Resistivity Order of Magnitude

4.5 to 11 10x Ω-m

Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

19 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

33 to 34 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

19 to 22 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

21 to 23 points

Thermal Diffusivity

0.73 to 1.8 mm2/s

Thermal Shock Resistance

15 to 19 points

Followup Questions

Further Reading

Ceramic and Glass Materials: Structure, Properties and Processing, James F. Shackelford and Robert H. Doremus (editors), 2008

Ceramics and Composites: Processing Methods, Narottam P. Bansal and Aldo R. Boccaccini (editors), 2012

Springer Handbook of Condensed Matter and Materials Data, W. Martienssen and H. Warlimont (editors), 2005