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Effects of Fiber Length and Volume Fraction on the Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cement



Hockin D. Xu, F Eichmiller, P R. Barndt


A self-setting calcium phosphate cement (CPC) transforms into solid hydroxyapatite during setting at body temperature, and has been used in a number of medical and dental procedures. However, the inferior mechanical properties of CPC prohibits its use in unsupported defects, stress-bearing locations or reconstruction of thin bones. The aim of the present study was to strengthen CPC with fiber reinforcement, to examine effect of fiber length and volume fraction, and to investigate the reinforcement mechanisms. Previous studies employed either short fiber for random distributions, or continuous fibers that were as long as the specimen size with preferred orientations such as unidirectional alignment. In the present study, a novel methodology was developed in which fibers several times longer than the specimen mold size were randomly mixed with the CPC paste to approximate the isotropy associated with short fibers, and at the same time achieve the high reinforcement efficacy associated with continuous fibers. Carbon fibers of 8 m diameter were used with fiber lengths ranging from 3 mm to 200 mm, and fiber volume fraction from 1.9% to 9.5%. A three-point flexural test was used to fracture the specimens. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine crack-fiber interactions and specimen fracture surfaces. The composite containing fiber of 75 mm in length at a volume fraction of 5.7% achieved a flexural strength about 4 times, and work-of-fracture 100 times, greater than the unreinforced CPC. It is concluded that randomly mixing the CPC paste with carbon fibers that were several times longer than the specimen mold size resulted in substantial improvements in strength and fracture resistance; the reinforcement mechanisms were crack bridging and fiber pullout; and fiber length and volume fraction were key microstructural parameters that determined the cement properties.
Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Medicine


calcium phosphate cement, fiber lengths, filler level, fracture resistance, reinforcement mechanisms


Xu, H. , Eichmiller, F. and Barndt, P. (2001), Effects of Fiber Length and Volume Fraction on the Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cement, Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Medicine (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017