Fracture toughness and durability of chemically or thermally tempered metal-ceramic porcelain

H H Lee, M Kon, K Asaoka
Bio-medical Materials and Engineering 1999, 9 (3): 135-43
Thermocycling and water storage effects on fracture toughness (KIC) of chemically or thermally tempered metal-ceramic disks were investigated to evaluate the durability of tempering effects with regard to oral aqueous environment. Metal-ceramic disks (phi 10 mm x 2.0 mm) consisting of opaque porcelain (0.2 mm thick), body porcelain (1.3 mm) and Ni-Cr-Be alloy (0.5 mm) were prepared and the porcelain surfaces were polished with 1-micron diamond paste. The disks were subjected to ion exchange (potassium or rubidium) or thermal tempering treatments, then with the as-polished or further annealed disks, thermocycled for 8000, 15,000, and 22,000 cycles between 5 degrees C and 60 degrees C or stored in water at 37 degrees C for 33 days. After aging, KIC values of disks were determined by a Vickers indentation technique. Statistical analyses indicated that the KIC values of ion-exchanged and annealed disks were not significantly affected by the limited number of cycles and water storage, while the thermally tempered and untreated disks revealed a significant decrease in mean KIC from even 8000 cycles and after storage. However, there was no significant difference between thermocycling and water-storage effects on mean KIC of all surface treatment groups. Results indicate that chemical tempering (ion exchange) produced more durable residual stresses than does thermal tempering for metal-ceramic restorations. A low-thermal load only was unlikely to affect the apparent fracture toughness of porcelain.

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