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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2018 Aug 31;29(9):148. doi: 10.1007/s10856-018-6157-y.

Thermo-Mechanical Properties of Glass Fiber Reinforced Shape Memory Polyurethane for Orthodontic Application.

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Key Laboratory of E&M, Ministry of Education & Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University of Technology, 310014, Hangzhou, China.
Key Laboratory of E&M, Ministry of Education & Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University of Technology, 310014, Hangzhou, China.
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Institute, Ningbo Polytechnic, 315800, Ningbo, China.
College of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, 310014, Hangzhou, China.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, 46202, USA.



Glass fiber reinforced shape memory polyurethane (GFRSMPU) has great potential to be an alternative kind of material for orthodontic archwires for overcoming the disadvantages of metal wires in terms of esthetic and allergy and deficiency of pure shape memory polyurethane (SMPU) wires in mechanical properties. The objective of this study was to investigate the thermo-mechanical properties and shape recovery functions of GFRSMPU and evaluate the feasibility of using this composite for orthodontic archwires.


GFRSMPU were made from short cut glass fibers and SMPU by mixing extrusion. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were performed to investigate the distribution of glass fibers in the mixture and glass transition temperature (Tg). Then the thermo-mechanical properties, including tensile modulus, flexural modulus and stress relaxation effects, were measured. Furthermore, shape recovery functions of GFRSMPU characterized by the shape recovery ratio and force were investigated through shape recovery tests, typodont models and finite element analysis (FEA).


SEM images indicated that an excellent dispersity of glass fibers was obtained after double-extrusion. DSC experiments showed Tg was not enormously affected with the existence of glass fibers, but the mechanical properties of GFRSMPU were greatly improved. Shape recovery tests showed reduction of shape recovery ratio of the GFRSMPU material with the addition of glass fibers, but dentition aligning time was reduced by 50% in the simulation performed on identical typodont models with GFRSMPU archwires filled with 30 wt.% glass fibers. The FEA results illustrated that the reacting forces of GFRSMPU archwires with 30 wt.% glass fiber was increased by 96.36% compared with pure SMPU archwires.


The mechanical properties of GFRSMPU can be considerably improved by adding glass fibers, and the shape memory function would be well preserved too. Enhanced SMPU owns a good application prospect in orthodontics for dentation aligning on the preliminary stage, as well as other medical fields.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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