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Morphology of Z-Tech Plasma Processed Zirconias
What is Zirconia?
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Over the years, several different processes have been developed to extract the zirconia from zircon sand. These processes can be grouped in four basic types, capable of producing zirconia granules & powders ranging from 75% to >99% in purity.

Fused Process
Zircon and carbon is heated in an electric arc furnace to around 2000°C. Here the SiO2 is reduced to SiO where it evaporates off leaving behind zirconia. With further treatment, as an option, a zirconia containing > 0.2% SiO2 can be formed.
Alkaline Process
Zircon is heated (600-1000°C) with either sodium hydroxide or calcium oxide (lime) to form a silicate. Subsequent leaching to remove the silicate, then either drying or calcining, will produce zirconias at ~ 0.10 % SiO2.
Plasma Process
Zircon is continuously fed through a very high temperature (15,000°C) plasma arc reactor wherein it is dissociated into the zirconia (ZrO2) and silica (SiO2) constituents. Chemical processing is then used to remove the silica yielding a zirconia in grades down to < 0.10 % SiO2.
Chemically Precipitated Process
Zircon is thermo-chemically dissolved & taken into solution. A number of zirconium compounds can then be precipitated out of solution, such as zirconium oxychloride or zirconium hydroxide. These, in turn, can be calcined to form zirconias with purity levels up to 99.9 %.


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