[mass noun] Zirconium dioxide, a white solid used in ceramic glazes and refractory coatings, and as a synthetic substitute for diamonds in jewellery.
- ‘According to Haen, zirconia is actually slightly more rigid than steel - a property that can be crucial during the machining process.’
- ‘Compounds which are used for advanced ceramics include aluminum oxide and zirconia.’
- ‘Cubic zirconia and moissanite are examples of common diamond simulants.’
- ‘Furthermore, the cost of stainless steel is approximately $2 per pound, while zirconia is between $30 and $60 per pound.’
- ‘One concept proposed by researchers at the University of Washington uses zirconia crystals and electricity to convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen, which can then be used as rocket propellant.’
Late 18th century: from zircon + -ia.