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Dent Mater. 2008 Feb;24(2):267-73. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Investigations of subcritical crack propagation of the Empress 2 all-ceramic system.

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Clinic for Prosthetic Dentistry and Dental Materials Science, University of Saarland, Kierbergerstrasse 1, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.



The mechanical properties and slow crack propapagation of the all-porcelain system Empress 2 (Ivoclar Vivadent, Schaan, Liechtenstein) with its framework compound Empress 2 and the veneering compounds "Empress 2 and Eris were examined.


For all materials, the fracture strength, Weibull parameter and elastic moduli were experimentally determined in a four-point-bending test. For the components of the Empress 2 system, the fracture toughness K(IC) was determined, and the crack propagation parameters n and A were determined in a dynamic fatigue method. Using these data, life data analysis was performed and lifetime diagrams were produced. The development of strength under static fatigue conditions was calculated for a period of 5 years.


The newly developed veneering ceramic Eris showed a higher fracture strength (sigma(0)=66.1 MPa) at a failure probability of P(F)=63.2%, and crack growth parameters (n=12.9) compared to the veneering ceramic Empress 2 (sigma(0)=60.3 MPa). For Empress 2 veneer the crack propagation parameter n could only be estimated (n=9.5). This is reflected in the prognosis of long-term resistance presented in the SPT diagrams. For all materials investigated, the Weibull parameter m values (Empress 2 framework m=4.6; Empress 2 veneer m=7.9; Eris m=6.9) were much lower than the minimum demanded by the literature (m=15).


The initial fracture strength value alone is not sufficient to characterize the mechanical resistance of ceramic materials, since their stressability is time-dependent. Knowledge about the crack propagation parameters n and A are of great importance when preclinically predicting the clinical suitability of dental ceramic materials. The use of SPT diagrams for lifetime calculation of ceramic materials is a valuable method for comparing different ceramics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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