Abstract. A new ceramic material for orthopaedic applications was investigated. Therefore a gradient ceramic was prepared with a zirconia gradient within an alumina matrix by an infiltration process. This material was characterized regarding its microstructure, stress distribution inside the ceramic, zirconia phase analysis and strength. It could be shown that the flexural strength of the new ceramic is twice as high as of pure alumina ceramic. By this and the low monoclinic zirconia content this material offers a potential for its use in high load bearing implants like hip heads for joint endoprostheses.