Scanning Microscopy


The plane strain fracture toughness (K1C) at 23°C and the fractography of zinc phosphate and zinc polycarboxylate cements, buffered glass ionomer liner, amalgam alloy admixed glass ionomer build-up material, and glass ionomer, microfilled and conventionally filled bis-GMA resin composite filling materials were analyzed by elastic-plastic short-rod and scanning electron microscopy methodologies. Results indicated that significant differences occurred in their K1C' s from the lowest to the highest in the following groups of materials, (i) buffered glass ionomer, (ii) zinc phosphate, glass ionomer, zinc polycarboxylate, and alloy mixed glass ionomer, (iii) microfilled resin, and (iv) conventionally filled resin. All materials except the microfilled resin, which fractured via crack jumping, fractured via smooth crack advance. Filler debonding without any crack inhibiting process was related to materials with low K1C values. The incorporation of either buffering compounds or alloy particles into glass ionomer had no beneficial effect upon fracture toughness. This was in contrast to microfilled and conventionally filled resins where either crack blunting or crack pinning processes, respectively, were likely involved with their increased K1C's. For microfilled resin, distinct radial zones positioned around the chevron apex and characterized by plastically deformed deposited material were related to distinct crack jumps that occurred in the load versus displacement behavior. Finally, for the two remaining materials of zinc phosphate and polycarboxylate, particle cleavage and matrix debonding for the former and shear yielding for the latter occurred.

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