Improving fracture toughness of dental nanocomposites by interface engineering and micromechanics

K. S. Chan, Y. D. Lee, D. P. Nicolella, B. R. Furman, S. Wellinghoff, R. Rawls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The fracture toughness of dental nanocomposites fabricated by various methods of mixing, silanization, and loadings of nanoparticles had been characterized using fatigue-precracked compact-tension specimens. The fracture mechanisms near the crack tip were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The near-tip fracture processes in the nanocomposties were identified to involve several sequences of fracture events, including: (1) particle bridging, (2) debonding at the poles of particle/matrix interface, and (3) crack deflection around the particles. Analytical and finite-element methods were utilized to model the observed sequences of fracture events to identify the source of fracture toughness in the dental nanocomposites. Theoretical results indicated that silanization and nanoparticle loadings improved the fracture toughness of dental nanocomposites by a factor of 2-3 through a combination of enhanced interface toughness by silanization, crack deflection, as well as crack bridging. A further increase in the fracture toughness of the nanocomposites can be achieved by increasing the fracture toughness of the matrix, nanofilled particles, or the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1857-1871
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Dental nanocomposites
  • Fracture toughness
  • Interface engineering
  • Toughening mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving fracture toughness of dental nanocomposites by interface engineering and micromechanics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this