Scanning Microscopy


A high strength dental porcelain OPTEC, HSP™ has recently been introduced for use in the fabrication of crowns, three-unit anterior bridges with a single pontic, inlays, on lays, veneers, etc., without a metal substrate. This investigation reports the results of our research involving the characterization of the structure properties and thermally induced transformations of this porcelain. It has been found that the material possesses superior strength and other properties relative to conventional porcelains. The improved properties appear to result from the presence of a very fine and relatively dense distribution of leucite crystals. Scanning electron microscopy indicates, however, that the new product needs additional optimization to improve uniformity of crystallite distribution. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction studies also reveal well defined structural and crystallographic transformations during thermal treatment at selected temperature ranges. The primary transformation appears to be crystallization of metastable sanidine from the glass matrix. The crystallization of sanidine leads to a translucent to opaque transition. The transformations appear to follow the phase transitions expected from the phase diagrams.

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