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Ilie, Nicoleta (2021): Microstructural dependence of mechanical properties and their relationship in modern resin-based composite materials. In: Journal of Dentistry, Vol. 114, 103829

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Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the influence of the microstructure on the mechanical behavior of resin-based composites (RBC) with little variation in chemical composition, and to verify a possible mutual dependency. Methods: Four RBCs with similar chemical composition of fillers (Ba-Al-B-F-Si-glass, SiO2), but with different mean (0.7 mu m to 1.8 mu m) and maximum particle size values (5 mu m to 20 mu m) were selected. Fracture toughness/K-IC was evaluated in an NTP (Notchless Triangular Prism) test. Flexural strength/FS and modulus/E were measured in a 3-point-bending test. A fractographic analysis determined the fracture mode and origin. Quasistatic and viscoelastic parameters were assessed by a depth-sensing indentation test equipped with a DMAmodule. One and multiple-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) post-hoc tests (alpha = 0.05), and Weibull statistics were applied. Results: The influence of the microstructure and the chemical composition of the organic matrix is weighted differently in the measured properties. The inorganic filler amount influences highest K-IC (eta(2)(P) = 0.813), followed by FS (eta(2)(P) = 0.768) and E (eta(2)(P) = 0.611). An optimized filler distribution with a high proportion of larger fillers up to 20 mu m contributes to high FS and E data. The reliability of the material (Weibull parameter m) did not depend on the origin of fracture. Smaller inorganic fillers and the addition of 1% larger pre-polymer fillers improve the fracture toughness. Analysed RBCs were well adapted to chewing frequencies. Conclusions: The properties of RBCs can be tuned by little variation in microstructure and monomer matrix. Clinical significance: Reverse engineering of clinically successful materials can be used to better design future RBCs.

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