Physical, Mechanical and Surface Properties of Dental Resin-composites

  • Ali Alrahlah

Student thesis: Phd


Since resin composites were first presented to dentistry more than half a century ago, the composition of resin composites has developed significantly. One major change was that the reinforcing filler particles were reduced in size to generate materials of a given filler content that display better physical and mechanical properties. Resin composites may absorb water and chemicals from the surrounding environment but at the same time, composites may release constituents to their surroundings. The physical/mechanical properties of a restorative material provide an indication of how the material will function under stress in the oral environment. The aims of this research were to examine the effects of water at 37°C on the physical and mechanical properties, and the effect of food-simulating solvents of a variety of experimental and contemporary resin composites, on the surface properties. Eight representative resin composites were selected (Exp.VT, BL, NCB, TEC, GSO, XB, VDF and CXD). Due to the recent development of bulk fill materials on the market during the course of this research, the post-cure depth of cure of new bulk fill materials was also investigated. Five representative resin composites were selected: TBF, XB, FBF, VBF and SF. Water sorption and solubility were investigated at 37°C for 150 days. Sorption and solubility are affected by the degree of hydrophilicity of the resin matrix. The bulk fill materials examined showed the lowest water sorption and solubility. Laser scan micrometer (LSM) was used to investigate hygroscopic expansion. The extent of the hygroscopic expansion positively correlated with the amount of water sorption. The effect of water on fracture toughness was also examined. A self-adhesive hydrophilic resin matrix decreased in fracture toughness after 7 days of storage at 37°C. By contrast, the least water absorbed bulk fill material increased in fracture toughness over time. The effect of food-simulating solvents (distilled water, 75% ethanol/water and MEK) on surface micro-hardness, colour stability and gloss retention were investigated. The MEK solvent resulted in the lowest micro-hardness and the greatest colour change (DeltaE) for most of the examined composites, while the 75% ethanol/water solution caused the greatest loss in gloss for most of the examined composites. A highly filled nano-composite showed the best result over time, regardless of the condition of storage.Surface micro-hardness profiles were used as an indirect method to assess the depth of cure of bulk fill resin composites. The examined bulk fill resin composites can be cured to an acceptable depth (4 mm).
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Watts (Supervisor), Nicholas Grey (Supervisor) & Nick Silikas (Supervisor)


  • Micro-hardness
  • Colour
  • Food-simulating solvents
  • Gloss
  • Hygroscopic expansion
  • Water sorption
  • Resin-composites
  • Fracture toughness

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