Fracture resistance curves and toughening mechanisms in polymer based dental composites

J.A. De Souza, Stergios Goutianos, M. Skovgaard, Bent F. Sørensen

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    The fracture resistance (R-curve behaviour) of two commercial dental composites (Filtek Z350® and Concept Advanced®) were studied using Double Cantilever Beam sandwich specimens loaded with pure bending moments to obtain stable crack growth. The experiments were conducted in an environmental scanning electron microscope to (a) accurately measure the applied energy-release rate for crack initiation, (b) measure the early (rising) part of the R-curve, and (c) provide direct microscopic evidence of the toughening mechanisms ahead of and/or in the wake of the crack tip. The two tested composites displayed distinctly different R-curve behaviours. The difference was related to different toughening mechanisms as the two composites had markedly different microstructures. Contrary to common experience, the composite with the finer microstructure (smaller particles), the Concept Advanced®, showed significantly higher fracture resistance than the composite with the coarser microstructure. The fracture properties were related to the flexural strength of the dental composites. The method, thus, can provide useful insight into how the microstructure enhances toughness, which is necessary for the future development of such materials.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)558-571
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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