It has been known since the 1960s that the creep strength of metals at high temperatures (approx. >0.7 Tm) can be substantially increased by introducing finely dispersed particles of a thermodynamically stable oxide into the microstructure. This can simultaneously reduce the tendency to grain growth in the structure. The phenomenon is referred to as oxide dispersion hardening or strengthening.
The principle of this material is to make it stronger by doping the platinum-rhodium alloy with oxides of zirconia, ZrO2 - either pure or doped with yttria, Y2O3, and scandia, Sc2O3. Each of the named companies are using slightly different process and/or doping agents. The materials are marketed by the companies under following designation:
By using such doped Pt/Rh alloy, the material becomes stronger but less ductile, which means that in case of applying too high forces the material will break violently instead with conventional Pt/Rh alloy, the material will elongate until fracture.
Oxide dispersion hardening is also applied to a large variety of platinum materials. The most important materials have the compositions of chemically pure platinum, PtRh95/5, PtRh90/10, PtAu95/5 together with a wide variety of platinum-iridium, platinum-tungsten and other variants..