Zirconia dioxide has dielectric and piezoelectric properties that allow its use in the fabrication of special electro-ceramics for use in a wide range of applications in the automotive, aerospace and telecommunication sectors, among many others. The most common Zirconia-based electro-ceramic is Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT, Pb[Zr(x)Ti(1-x)]O3), which has good machine- ability and can be easily formed into tubes, rings, discs, plates and other complex shapes, in sizes from microns to centimeters. Important PZT characteristics include:
- As a dielectric, PZT can store electrical charge with low electrical loss, thermal stability and resistance to interference from electromagnetic fields.
- As a piezoelectric, it has the attribute of producing an electrical charge when mechanically compressed or vibrating when an electrical charge is applied.
- As a pyroelectric material, it holds the ability to develop a voltage difference across its faces when experiencing a temperature change
- As a ferroelectric material, it can have spontaneous electric polarization that can be reversed by the action of an external electric field
PZT in a wide range of products and industries
- Microwave dielectrics.
- Radio frequency power capacitors.
- AC/DC high voltage capacitors.
- General high voltage capacitors.
- Gas furnaces and fire igniters.
- Ultrasonic transducers for agitation in cleaning tanks.
- Underwater sonars, beacons, and current meters.
- Gyroscopes, accelerometers, and level sensing devices for airplanes.
- Ultrasonic toothbrushes, jewelry cleaners, contact lens cleaners, computer hard drives, touch screen displays, integrated, and ultra-thin speakers.
- Flow and level sensors for industrial applications, ultrasonic welding, intrusion alarms, solder dispensing, and machine vibration monitoring.
- Optical switching of telecom lines, buzzers and alarms.
- Mobile phone cameras.
- Automotive power seat controls, distance and contact sensors.
- Scanning probe microscopy.
- Drill tool monitoring in oil exploration.