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Development status and trends of zirconia industry

Since the Australian scholar K.C.Ganvil first proposed the use of the volume effect produced by the phase transition of zirconia ZrO2 to achieve a new concept of toughening ceramics in 1975, the research on zirconia began to be extremely active. Especially Tosoh's first successful industrialization of nano-composite zirconia in 1983. Due to its excellent physical and chemical properties, various countries have increased their investment in the research and development of nano-composite zirconia products, and their applications have gradually expanded to structural materials. , Functional materials and other fields, are currently being widely used in various industries.

   (1) Development status and trends of the global zirconium industry

    Zircon sand is mainly produced in Australia, South Africa, the United States and other places, and zircon sand is also produced in Hainan Province, Guangdong Province and other places in China. According to the 2009 International Zirconium Industry Conference, Australia and South Africa accounted for 91% of global exports of zircon sand. In terms of demand, China is the largest consumer.

    From 2003 to 2008, the annual growth rate of the global zirconium industry reached 9.3%. In 2009, due to the financial crisis, the market demand for the zirconium oxide industry shrank sharply. However, it is expected that after the economic recovery until 2020, the average annual growth rate is expected to stabilize at around 4.4%. 

   (2) Development status and trends of China's zirconium industry

    Since the beginning of the 21st century, the demand for infrastructure construction, real estate and home decoration industries has continued to be strong, leading to a sharp increase in the use of zirconium products in the ceramic industry. The main upstream materials consumed by the ceramic industry are zirconium oxychloride and zirconium silicate. In addition, with the acceleration of the consumption upgrade of Chinese residents, zirconium-containing special ceramics occupy an important position in the application of materials in high-tech fields such as fuel cells, advanced special ceramics, optical communication devices, and oxidation sensors. At the same time, zirconia structural ceramics The superior physical properties have now been vigorously promoted in civilian fields such as knives, watches, etc. In addition, as an important new material in the industrial field, it has been widely used in the production of valves, oil drilling cylinder liners and other parts. .

    (3) Strong demand for emerging zirconia tile products and higher profit margins

    Emerging zirconia products include composite zirconia and zirconia structural ceramics. Zirconia structural ceramics refers to ceramic materials with zirconia as the main component. It not only has the advantages of high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and high strength, but also has excellent thermal and electrical properties. The decisive factor for the performance of zirconia structural ceramics lies in its raw material-composite zirconia.

The stability of composite zirconia has been improved, and the application has been greatly expanded. The demand for composite zirconia is growing rapidly. High-performance composite zirconia powder is widely used in special ceramics and new material industries such as optical communication devices, sensitive ceramics, solid fuel cells, cutting tools, and advanced refractory materials. Emerging zirconia products have a short development history, strong demand and high profit margins.

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