Comparison of fracture tests of denture base materials

Gianluca Zappini, Axel Kammann, Wolfgang Wachter
Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry 2003, 90 (6): 578-85

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: Clinical studies have shown midline fracture to be a common problem in dentures. In order to evaluate the resistance of denture base resins against fracture, not only impact strength measurements but also fracture toughness tests should be performed.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine the fracture toughness of denture base resins and to compare the results with impact strength measurements.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seven heat-polymerized denture base resins were chosen for the study: 5 high impact (GC Luxon, Injectall IPF HI-I, Ivocap Plus, Lucitone 199, and Trevalon HI) and 2 conventional (Major Base 2 and Probase Hot). Three series of 12 specimens were used for the Charpy impact test (specimen dimensions: 80 x 10 x 4 mm, notch depth: 2 mm) and 2 Izod impact tests (specimen dimensions: 50 x 6 x 4 mm; notch depth: 1.2 mm for the first series, 3.4 mm for the second series). The maximum stress intensity factor (K(I,max)) (MPa.m(1/2)) and the work of fracture (WOF) (kJ/m2) were measured for 8 specimens in a fracture toughness test (specimen dimensions: 40 x 8 x 4; notch depth: 3.2 to 3.3 mm). A 1-way ANOVA with a post-hoc Tukey-Kramer test (alpha=.05) was used to compare the data.

RESULTS: The results achieved by the different materials and the rankings varied, depending on which parameter was considered. For example, the 1.2-mm Izod impact strength of Ivocap Plus (2.49 +/- 0.24 kJ/m2) was not significantly different from GC Luxon (2.64 +/- 0.15 kJ/m2) and significantly higher than Major Base 2 (1.99 +/- 0.23 kJ/m2) and Probase Hot (1.79 +/- 0.20 kJ/m2) (P<.001). On the other hand, the Charpy impact strength of Ivocap Plus (1.47 +/- 0.16 kJ/m2) was almost half the value of GC Luxon (2.85 +/- 0.05 kJ/m2) and not significantly different from Major Base 2 (1.36 +/- 0.03 kJ/m2) and Probase Hot (1.36 +/- 0.09 kJ/m2). In the fracture toughness test, the K(I,max) values of GC Luxon (2.63 +/- 0.09 MPa.m(1/2)), Lucitone 199 (2.53 +/- 0.08 MPa.m(1/2)), Trevalon HI (2.56 +/- 0.13 MPa.m(1/2)), and Ivocap Plus (2.41 +/- 0.04 MPa.m(1/2)) were not significantly different. Among all parameters, the WOF value appeared to be the test that allowed a clear differentiation between the products, placing Probase Hot (0.27 +/- 0.03 kJ/m2) and Major Base 2 (0.38 +/- 0.03 kJ/m2) on a low level, Injectall IPF HI-I (0.63 +/- 0.17 kJ/m2) on an intermediate level, Ivocap Plus (1.12 +/- 0.06 kJ/m2) on a medium-high level, and Lucitone 199 (1.41 +/- 0.06 kJ/m2), GC Luxon (1.50 +/- 0.17 kJ/m2), and Trevalon HI (1.58 +/- 0.07 kJ/m2) on a high level.

CONCLUSION: Specimen geometry and testing configuration influenced the impact strength measurements. The fracture toughness method seems to be more suitable than impact strength measurements to demonstrate the effects of resin modifications. The differences between conventional and so-called "high-impact" denture base resins are more clearly demonstrated with fracture toughness measurements.

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