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Strength determination of brittle materials as curved monolithic structures.

Journal of dental research (2014-02-12)
P Hooi, O Addison, G J P Fleming
ABSTRACT

The dental literature is replete with "crunch the crown" monotonic load-to-failure studies of all-ceramic materials despite fracture behavior being dominated by the indenter contact surface. Load-to-failure data provide no information on stress patterns, and comparisons among studies are impossible owing to variable testing protocols. We investigated the influence of nonplanar geometries on the maximum principal stress of curved discs tested in biaxial flexure in the absence of analytical solutions. Radii of curvature analogous to elements of complex dental geometries and a finite element analysis method were integrated with experimental testing as a surrogate solution to calculate the maximum principal stress at failure. We employed soda-lime glass discs, a planar control (group P, n = 20), with curvature applied to the remaining discs by slump forming to different radii of curvature (30, 20, 15, and 10 mm; groups R30-R10). The mean deflection (group P) and radii of curvature obtained on slumping (groups R30-R10) were determined by profilometry before and after annealing and surface treatment protocols. Finite element analysis used the biaxial flexure load-to-failure data to determine the maximum principal stress at failure. Mean maximum principal stresses and load to failure were analyzed with one-way analyses of variance and post hoc Tukey tests (α = 0.05). The measured radii of curvature differed significantly among groups, and the radii of curvature were not influenced by annealing. Significant increases in the mean load to failure were observed as the radius of curvature was reduced. The maximum principal stress did not demonstrate sensitivity to radius of curvature. The findings highlight the sensitivity of failure load to specimen shape. The data also support the synergistic use of bespoke computational analysis with conventional mechanical testing and highlight a solution to complications with complex specimen geometries.

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