Ceramic-on-Ceramic - Scientific Information

Science behind BIOLOX delta Material

BIOLOX delta is an aluminum oxide matrix composite ceramic consisting of approx. 82% alumina (Al2O3), 17% zirconia (ZrO2) and other trace elements (percent by volume). The pink color is due to the chromium oxide (Cr2O3).

Alumina provides the material’s hardness and wear resistance, while zirconia, together with other additives, provides improved mechanical properties. These properties are achieved, among other things, by means of the high strength, the high density of the material and the very small grain size of the alumina matrix.1

The result is a high-performance ceramic that offers the same advantages as BIOLOX forte: excellent biocompatibility, low wear, high hardness, outstanding chemical and hydrothermal stability with better mechanical properties, particularly toughness.1

Microstructure of BIOLOX delta

The Microstructure

The first toughening mechanism used in BIOLOX delta Material results from the introduction of small, homogeneously distributed yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia particles (Y-TZP) in a stable alumina matrix. The spatial separation of these zirconia particles reduces the likelihood of structural transformation and prevents the initiation or propagation of cracks.


The second toughening mechanism is achieved by the addition of strontium oxide, which forms platelet-like crystals. These platelets dissipate energy by deflecting cracks, thereby increasing material strength and toughness.



  1. Kuntz M, Validation of a New High Performance Alumina Matrix Composite for use in Total Joint Replacement, Seminarsin Arthroplasty 17, 2006, 141–5.

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