Transverse Fracture of Brittle Bilayers Relevance to Failure of All-Ceramic Dental Crowns
Jeonghwan Kim, Sanjit Bhowmick, Ilja Hermann, Brian R. Lawn
A study is made of the behavior of cracks approaching interfaces in all-ceramic crown-like bilayers. Flat specimens are fabricated by fusing porcelain veneers onto Y-TZP and alumina core ceramic plates, with veneer/core matching to minimize residual thermal expansion mismatch stresses. Vickers indentations are placed on either side of the interfaces, at systematically decreasing distances, so that the lead corner cracks approach and intersect the interfaces in a normal orientation. Cracks originating in the porcelain arrest at the boundaries and, after further diminution in indentation distance, deflect along the interface without penetration into the tough core ceramic. Cracks initiating in the core ceramic pass unimpeded into the weaker porcelain without deflection, and with abrupt increase in crack size. These latter cracks, because of their lack of containment within the core layer, are regarded as especially dangerous. Implications concerning the design of optimal dental crowns in relation to materials optimization are considered.