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Comparative Study
. 2012 Aug;108(2):84-95.
doi: 10.1016/S0022-3913(12)60112-7.

Flexural Strength and the Probability of Failure of Cold Isostatic Pressed Zirconia Core Ceramics

Comparative Study

Flexural Strength and the Probability of Failure of Cold Isostatic Pressed Zirconia Core Ceramics

Eleni Siarampi et al. J Prosthet Dent. .


Statement of problem: The flexural strength of zirconia core ceramics must predictably withstand the high stresses developed during oral function. The in-depth interpretation of strength parameters and the probability of failure during clinical performance could assist the clinician in selecting the optimum materials while planning treatment.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the flexural strength based on survival probability and Weibull statistical analysis of 2 zirconia cores for ceramic restorations.

Material and methods: Twenty bar-shaped specimens were milled from 2 core ceramics, IPS e.max ZirCAD and Wieland ZENO Zr, and were loaded until fracture according to ISO 6872 (3-point bending test). An independent samples t test was used to assess significant differences of fracture strength (α=.05). Weibull statistical analysis of the flexural strength data provided 2 parameter estimates: Weibull modulus (m) and characteristic strength (σ(0)). The fractured surfaces of the specimens were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The investigation of the crystallographic state of the materials was performed with x-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy.

Results: Higher mean flexural strength (P<.001) and σ(0) were recorded for WZ ceramics. However IZ ceramics presented a higher m value and a microstructure with fewer voids and pores. The fractured surfaces presented similar fractographic properties (mirror regions followed by hackle lines zones). Both groups primarily sustained the tetragonal phase of zirconia and a negligible amount of the monoclinic phase.

Conclusions: Although both zirconia ceramics presented similar fractographic and crystallographic properties, the higher flexural strength of WZ ceramics was associated with a lower m and more voids in their microstructure. These findings suggest a greater scattering of strength values and a flaw distribution that are expected to increase failure probability.

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