Zirconium oxide, commonly known as Zirconia (ZrO2), is a white crystalline oxide of zirconium which is majorly used in the production of advanced and technical ceramics. Zirconium oxide offers good chemical and corrosion inertness at very high temperatures along with very high mechanical strength and wear resistance. Due to such physical, chemical and mechanical properties, it is used as an important refractory material. It is also used in insulation, enamels and in the manufacture of abrasives.
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Zirconium oxide possess good ionic conductivity and low electronic conductivity, which makes it very useful for the manufacture of electro-ceramics and electrochromic devices. Zirconium oxide finds its significant utilization as a dental ceramic for the crowning of teeth owing to its biocompatibility, strength and appearance. Due to its various uses across different end-use industries, especially in the ceramic industry, global zirconium oxide market is expected to register a high CAGR over the forecast period of 2016-2026.
Over the last couple of years, the global ceramic industry has seen a significant change in terms of product offerings; aestheticism along with good strength has become an important factor affecting customers’ buying behavior. Zirconium oxide provide excellent properties of strength, wear resistance and hardness in ceramic materials. Due to high chemical inertness of zirconium oxide, the ceramics can withstand attack from various acids, bases and organic solvents, which makes it an ideal choice for the manufacture of different kind of ceramics such as advanced technical ceramics, decorative ceramics, conductive ceramics etc. Besides, zirconium oxide is increasingly being utilized for its newer applications such as in high performance knives, scissors and other various industrial applications.
Cubic zirconium oxide possess very good optical properties due to which it is also used as a diamond simulant in jewelries. With a vast and growing application portfolio, the global zirconium oxide market is expected to expand at a high CAGR over the forecast period.
Zirconium oxide exists in three different crystal phases at different temperatures. During the crystal phase change at varied temperatures, it loses some of its mechanical properties. The crystal structure of zirconium oxide is stabilized by introducing some effective dopants such as magnesium oxide, yttrium oxide etc. in order to sustain its high strength and other mechanical properties. Proper doping, along with maintaining continuous supply of raw materials, is one of the significant challenges faced by the market players in the global zirconium oxide market.
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Global zirconium oxide market is segmented on the basis its end-use applications and regions. On the basis of application, the market is segmented as the following:
- Ceramic Colors and Pigments
- Diamond Simulant
- Solid Electrolytes
- Optical Fiber
Geographically, global zirconium oxide market is segmented into seven main regions, which are North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ), Middle East & Africa and Japan. APEJ is the prime region in the global zirconium oxide market with China leading the APEJ market. Additionally, Asia-pacific is expected to be one the fastest growing region in the global zirconium oxide market over the period of 2016-2026.
High demand from ceramic industry is expected to drive the zirconium oxide market in China through 2026.
Key players reported across the value chain of global zirconium oxide market include SAINT-GOBAIN, Astron Limited, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Cristal Mining, Luxfer Holdings PLC, Foskor Zirconia (Pty) Ltd., Molycorp, Inc. and others.