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Effect of Silicon Carbide Whisker-Silica Heat Treatment on the Reinforcement of Dental Resin Composites



Hockin D. Xu, Janet Quinn


The strength and fracture resistance of dental resin composites need to be improved in order to extend their use to large stress-bearing crown and multiple-unit applications. Recent studies showed that the addition of ceramic whiskers significantly reinforced resin composites. The aim of the present study was to use a silicon carbide whisker-silica particle mixture to reinforce resin composites, and to investigate the effect of heat-treatment temperature and duration of the whisker-silica mixture on composite properties. The whiskers were blended with silica particles and were thermally fused in an attempt to roughen the whiskers for improved retention in the matrix. The mixtures were heat-treated at temperatures of 500, 650, 800, 950, and 1100 C for 10 min, 30 min, and 3 h. The mixtures were then silanized, incorporated into a dental resin, and the paste was placed into 2 x 2 x 25 mm molds and heat-cured at 140 C for 30 min. A three-point flexural test was used to measure flexural strength and work-of-fracture. Two commercial indirect composites were tested as controls. Two-way ANOVA showed that there was no significant effect from temperature or time. Therefore, all the whisker-silica mixture samples were combined into one group (n = 96), and compared to composites filled with silica only or whisker only, and the two indirect control composites. The whisker-silica mixture group had a flexural strength (mean SD) of (186 24) MPa, significantly higher than (99 29) MPa for silica only , (131 22) MPa for whisker only, and (109 23) MPa and (114 18) MPa for the two indirect composites (Tukey's multiple comparison test; family confidence coefficient = 0.95). Similar results were obtained on work-of-fracture. Scanning electron microscopy revealed rough fracture surfaces for the whisker-silica composites, indicating crack deflection and bridging by whiskers as toughening mechanisms. Whisker-silica mixture minimized whisker entanglement and enhanced whisker-resin bonding, resulting in substantially stronger and tougher dental resin composites.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research


ceramic whisker, dental restorative material, heat-treatment, reinforcement, resin composite, strength


Xu, H. and Quinn, J. (2001), Effect of Silicon Carbide Whisker-Silica Heat Treatment on the Reinforcement of Dental Resin Composites, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created January 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017