Russia's first plant for the production of zirconium dioxide billets
In view of increasing demand for cutting-edge innovative technologies, dental clinics do their best to actively offer patients implantation and dental prosthetics services using zirconium dioxide, the most advanced dental material with unique properties.
But they are encountered by a number of problems. The first one is substantial cost of zirconium dioxide workpieces offered by various wholesale sellers at the present-day market and the fact that Russia completely lacks its own production of zirconium dioxide workpieces for dental restoration materials. The second problem of the aesthetic dentistry market is illegal import. According to the data of the Vademecum analytical center, more than a half of these materials are used in the Russian dentistry illegally, without registration certificates issued by the Ministry of Health or the Federal Service for the Supervision of Public Health and Social Development. Besides, active positioning of Chinese manufacturers in the Russian market in spite of the fact that their products often do not meet the requirements for raw material quality and end product safety discredits substantially the very idea of using zirconium dioxide for dental restorations.
Therefore, as we organized our production the principal task we set ourselves was to create in Russia a certified production facilities whose quality characteristics would be up to European requirements and which will be able to fully satisfy the needs of Russian market for a modern biocompatible dental material that would fully meet European and world standards.
Thereby, we would solve import substitution problems in the healthcare industry by organizing manufacture of zirconium dioxide workpieces in a "full production cycle" mode and reducing dependence of Russian dental companies on supplies of imported consumable materials that depend on foreign policy situation and fluctuations of currency exchange rates. The start of production of our own workpieces and manufacturing end products from them will allow to bring down the consumer price of dental restoration services rendered using state-of-the-art technologies and to make these services affordable for the mass consumer.
LLC Zircon Ceramics General Director
The raw material for our products is yttrium-stabilized
zirconium dioxide powder made by one of the largest
international manufacturers: TOSOH concern (Japan).
Top-quality nanodisperse powders produced by these
concern are used by virtually all global manufacturers of similar
The product made by our company is a regularly shaped round disc
having 98.5 and 95.0 mm in diameter and varying thickness, manufactured
by axial and isostatic pressing of TOSOH brand zirconium dioxide powder with
subsequent presinterization carried out on state-of-the-art Bavarian equipment.
The workpieces made by foreign companies using such a sequence of pressing have
a premium index and cost a quarter higher. For our products, it is standard production. To perform a full production cycle, we have acquired German (85%) and Swiss (15%) equipment made to our specifications and having no comparable counterparts in Europe. It implements all state-of-the-art engineering concepts and takes into account work experience of such advanced European specialized enterprises as Dental Direkt, Zirkonzahn, Iso Ceram, DeguDent, Metoxit AG.
Our products are marked with a registered trade mark ZICERAM: the LLC Zircon Ceramics have successfully completed the procedure of trade mark registration in conformity with the Russian legislation.
It got a Medical Product Registration Certificate No. РЗН 2018/6961.
Our production facility and the quality system used there are certified: our products were successfully tested at the test center of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology and we obtained a certificate for their serial production. The Eurasian Certification Center issued appropriate certificates for an integrated management system in application to the manufacture and realization of products and using the Federal Quality System conformity mark.
The starting material for the production of workpieces is yttrium-stabilized nanodisperse zirconium dioxide powder made by TOSOH company (Japan).
At the first stage, the powder in a standard package is brought to the powder preparation area where it is weighed on an analytical scale and put into special containers for feeding into the axial press measuring hoppers.
On this area, various types of powders are mixed in order to obtain the standard 16 shades in workpieces. Mixing is carried out on a programmable bench according to a technology developed on the basic of the TOSOH company's recommendations.
Then the powder undergoes axial pressing on a special axial press according to a program developed for this kind of powder mixture. The obtained workpieces are moved semi-automatically by a linear manipulator to the preliminary control workplace.
At the preliminary control stage, the workpieces undergo weight parameters measurement and visual control for absence of crack and mechanical damages. Non-defective items are vacuumed in a special film, put on special pallet and moved on stacker carts to the isostatic pressing area.
After isostatic pressing, the workpieces undergo presinterization in special programmable ceramic ovens. Presinterized workpieces are machined on a CNC turning and milling center.
Then the workpieces are brought to the final control area where comprehensive control of output parameters is performed using special optical equipment and those parameters are recorded for every individual batch. It takes into account the type, grade and batch of the starting material, the mixture composition and preparation method, presinterization temperature and other parameters that are recorded in an inspection certificate that is stored in a digital form and on a hardcopy for 15 years, the useful life of the final product (a dental restoration).
The workpieces that passed the final control are marked on a special printer that applies in solvent ink the manufacturer's logotype, the workpiece physical dimensions and type, the source material batch number and the manufacture date, as well as a special parameter: material volumetric shrinkage coefficient that must be taken into account during subsequent milling of dental restoration according to the CAD/CAM technology. The volumetric shrinkage coefficient is calculated on the grounds of the results of processing the linear parameters of a reference sample having a special shape that is cut out of one workpiece of every batch. The workpiece undergoes a burning cycle up to the tetragonal form of the zirconium dioxide powder sintering in a special laboratory oven according to a preset program and then it is measured with a micrometer.
The marked workpieces are packed in special individual and group packages and handed over to the storage area. Then they are shipped to the consumers through the order picking area.