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Dent Mater. 1995 Mar;11(2):126-31.

Three-dimensional finite element analysis of the shear bond test.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA.



The purpose of this study was to use finite element analyses to model the planar shear bond test and to evaluate the effects of modulus values, bonding agent thickness, and loading conditions on the stress distribution in the dentin adjacent to the bonding agent-dentin interface.


All calculations were performed with the ANSYS finite element program. The planar shear bond test was modeled as a cylinder of resin-based composite bonded to a cylindrical dentin substrate. The effects of material, geometry and loading variables were determined primarily by use of a three-dimensional structural element. Several runs were also made using an axisymmetric element with harmonic loading and a plane strain element to determine whether two-dimensional analyses yield valid results.


Stress calculations using three-dimensional finite element analyses confirmed the presence of large stress concentration effects for all stress components at the bonding agent-dentin interface near the application of the load. The maximum vertical shear stress generally occurs approximately 0.3 mm below the loading site and then decreases sharply in all directions. The stresses reach relatively uniform conditions within about 0.5 mm of the loading site and then increase again as the lower region of the interface is approached. Calculations using various loading conditions indicated that a wire-loop method of loading leads to smaller stress concentration effects, but a shear bond strength determined by dividing a failure load by the cross-sectional area grossly underestimates the true interfacial bond strength.


Most dental researchers are using tensile and shear bond tests to predict the effects of process and material variables on the clinical performance of bonding systems but no evidence has yet shown that bond strength is relevant to clinical performance. A critical factor in assessing the usefulness of bond tests is a thorough understanding of the stress states that cause failure in the bond test and then to assess whether these stress states also exist in the clinical situation. Finite element analyses can help to answer this question but much additional work is needed to identify the failure modes in service and to relate these failures to particular loading conditions. The present study represents only a first step in understanding the stress states in the planar shear bond test.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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