Zirconia Ceramics Introduction


In this communication we do not intend to encourage any type of smoking, but seek to identify thermally stable materials for vaporization applications.Many studies have identified cigarette smoking as a prevalent cause of diseases in the body. The chemicals in cigarettes have been proven to be highly toxic to one’s health, and as an alternative, many tobacco users have turned to vape pens and E-cigarettes. These vaporizers are highly versatile and can house most botanical extract oils ranging from nicotine to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

As the vaporizer industry continues to grow, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 28.1% from 2021 to 2028, new innovation in materials technology must follow. Since the invention of the 510 thread cartridge vaporizer in 2003, metal center-posts have been the industry standard. However, metal components have been suggested to cause heavy metal leaching in vape applications as it comes in direct contact with the botanical oils. This is precisely why the vaporizer industry is in need of material innovation and exploration to replace cheap metallic components.

Ceramics have long been known for their thermal stability due to their highly stable ionic bonding making them a great candidate for material use at elevated temperatures.Zirconia based ceramics are prevalent in the medical field and are used for dental and prosthetic applications lending to their biocompatibility.

In this study we compare a common standard metallic center-post used in vaporizers and a medical grade Zirconia ceramic center-post found in Zirco™. The study will determine the thermal and structural integrity at various elevated temperatures. We then seek to identify any composition or phase changes using x-ray diffraction and Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy will then be used to study the surface morphology of the Zirconia ceramic center-post and the metal center-post.