For thousands of years, humans have produced ceramics by simply combining specific minerals with water or other solvents to create ceramic slurries that cure at room temperature and become some of the hardest known materials. In more recent times, zirconia-based ceramics have been useful for an array of applications ranging from dental implants and artificial joints to jet engine parts.
Researchers from the Colorado School of Mines have been using multiple supercomputers – Comet at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), Stampede2 at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and Bridges at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) – to study certain characteristics of zirconia. The team recently published their findings in the Journal of the European Ceramic Society.
According to corresponding author Mohsen Asle Zaeem, a mechanical engineering professor at the Colorado School of Mines, the study focused on creating supercomputer simulations that show zirconia-based ceramic’s ability to withstand harsh conditions as well as the extreme limits of fracture and fatigue.
This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, (DE-SC0019279).