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Zirconium dioxide

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Zirconium dioxide
Systematic name Zirconium(IV) oxide
Other names Zirconia and Baddeleyite
Molecular formula ZrO2
Molar mass 123.218 g/mol
Appearance white powder
CAS number 1314-23-4
Density and phase 5.68 g/cm3
Solubility in water negligible
Melting point 2715°C
Boiling point 4300°C
Crystal structure Zirconium crystal structure.png
Main hazards none
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

Flash point non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions Zirconium Disulfide
Other cations Titanium dioxide and Hafnium dioxide

Zirconia, also known as Zirconium Dioxide is a well known compound in the medical field as well as our human lives. This mineral is man made and is shaped in a solid cubic crystalline form. People around the world have used this as a diamond simulant due to its flawless color and visual state.

Zirconia is a white crystalline powder(in certain forms it can be a crystalline cubic shape). Zirconia can be used for many things such as medical medicine or diamond simulants.[1]


Scientists have studied Zirconia more than any other ceramic material. Zirconium Dioxide is a cubic and monoclinic crystal structure at room temperature. Zirconia is more useful to people in its stabilized phase state. When heated Zirconium Dioxide undergoes phase changes and after many changes Zirconia becomes metastable, which means a system spends an extended time in a configuration other than the systems state of least energy.[2]

If huge amounts of metastable phase put enough stress on the Zirconia and if you magnify the stress on a crack tip the Zirconia will convert to monoclinic. The cracks on the surface of the Zirconium Dioxide can add compression to the surface of the object, stunting its growth and increasing its fracture toughness. This transformation can increase the reliability and lifetime of items made with Zirconia.


Zirconium Dioxide can occur in many dental molds

Zirconium Dioxide occurs in many different things around and in our daily lives. Zirconium is produced by calcining zirconium compounds.[3] Three different phases are known when dealing with Zirconia: Monoclinic, Tetragonal, and Cubic. Sometimes oxides containing yttrium or calcium occur to stabilize the cubic material. Zirconia is chemically nonreactive and when slowly heated with carbon can turn into Zirconium carbide.

When Zirconium Carbide is heated with more carbon as well as chlorine it ends up forming Zirconium Tetra chloride. The conversion that is the basis for purification of Zirconia metal is known as the kroll process.The Kroll process is a pyrometallurgical industrial process used to produce metallic titanium. It was invented by William J. Kroll in Luxembourg. After moving to the United States, Kroll further developed the method for the production of zirconium. The Kroll process replaced the Hunter process for almost all commercial production.[4]


Zirconia can be used as a diamond simulant

Zirconium dioxide, also known as Zirconia is mainly used in the process of making ceramics. Other uses include insulation,enamels and abrasives. Zirconia when stabled can be used for many purposes such as oxygen sensors and fuel cells . Since Zirconia has one of the highest ionic conductivity it is very useful for electroceramics which are ceramics specifically used for their electrical properties.

Zirconia is a very low conductor of thermal energy and is therefore used for thermal barrier coating as well as jet and diesel fuel. Zirconium Dioxide is used for many purposes in our daily life that we may not recognize are being used. Many medical sources use Zirconia for improve their patients desires. Specifically the field of dentistry uses Zirconium dioxide for crowns and bridges, as well as aesthetic purposes. Scientists have concluded that huge trace amounts of Zirconia is increasing the amounts of carbon monoxide on Mars. This compound is also used in the field of jewelry as a diamond simulant because of its high refraction rate. Zirconium Dioxide is as much as commonly used element in our daily lives as is many elements we already know of.


Cubic Zirconia or Zirconium Dioxide was discovered in 1892 in its natural form but was referred to as baddelyite. Because of its high melting point baddelyite was very challenging to artificially combine with other elements. In 1899 German mineralogists discovered another form of Zirconia which were microscopic. Early 1960's French scientists used intense research to create small crystals. Other scientists discovered what they were doing and by 1937 crystals were being created worldwide.[5]

By adding metal oxides into the process that formed the microscopic crystals this experiment vibrantly changed the color of the compound. By adding other compounds it changed the colors of the compound color by color. This experiment made zirconia very desirable to all those who loved colorful things.


Zirconia information video.


  1. Zirconium Dioxide Zirconium dioxide. last-modified 7 August 2015, at 8:35pm. Author Unknown.
  2. Zirconium Dioxide Zirconium dioxide. last-modified 7 August 2015, at 8:35pm. Author Unknown.
  3. Zirconium Dioxide Zirconium dioxide. last-modified 7 August 2015, at 8:35pm. Author Unknown.
  4. Kroll Process Kroll Process. last-modified 17 August 2015, at 1:47am. Author Unknown.
  5. Lab Gem Supplier. Cubic Zirconia 2 All about the history of Zirconia. last accessed January 12th, 2016