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Dent Mater. 2013 Apr;29(4):419-26. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Mechanical properties of polymer-infiltrated-ceramic-network materials.

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Department of Oral Sciences, School of Dentistry, Dunedin 9001, New Zealand.



To determine and identify correlations between flexural strength, strain at failure, elastic modulus and hardness versus ceramic network densities of a range of novel polymer-infiltrated-ceramic-network (PICN) materials.


Four ceramic network densities ranging from 59% to 72% of theoretical density, resin infiltrated PICN as well as pure polymer and dense ceramic cross-sections were subjected to Vickers Indentations (HV 5) for hardness evaluation. The flexural strength and elastic modulus were measured using three-point-bending. The fracture response of PICNs was determined for cracks induced by Vickers-indentation. Optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to observe the indented areas.


Depending on the density of the porous ceramic the flexural strength of PICNs ranged from 131 to 160MPa, the hardness values ranged between 1.05 and 2.10GPa and the elastic modulus between 16.4 and 28.1GPa. SEM observations of the indentation induced cracks indicate that the polymer network causes greater crack deflection than the dense ceramic material. The results were compared with simple analytical expressions for property variation of two phase composite materials.


This study points out the correlation between ceramic network density, elastic modulus and hardness of PICNs. These materials are considered to more closely imitate natural tooth properties compared with existing dental restorative materials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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