The essential work of fracture of thermoplastic orthodontic retainer materials

Albert L. Pascual, Cynthia S. Beeman, E. Preston Hicks, Heather M. Bush, Richard J. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate whether oral cleansing agents affect the essential work of fracture (EWF) and plastic work of fracture (PWF) for two types of orthodontic thermoplastic retainer materials. Materials and Methods: Polyethylene-terephthalate-glycol (PETG; Tru-Tain Splint) and polypropylene/ ethylene-propylene rubber (PP-EPR) blend (Essix-C+) sheets were compared. For each material, six sets of 25 sheets were thermoformed into double-edge-notched- tension specimens; subsets of five specimens were formed with internotch distances (L) equal to 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 mm, respectively. Sets were stored (160 hours, 25°C) in air (DRY), distilled water (DW), Original Listerine (LIS), mint Crest ProHealth (CPH), 3% hydrogen peroxide (HP), or Polident solution (POL). Specimens were fractured in tension at 2.54 mm/min. Areas under load-elongation curves were measured to determine total work of fracture (W f). Linear regressions (Wfvs L [n 5 25]) yielded intercepts (EWF) and slopes (PWF). Ninety-five percent confidence intervals were used to evaluate differences in EWF and PWF estimates. Results: PP-EPR blends showed higher EWFs after storage in HP vs storage in DW. PP-EPR blend showed higher EWFs after storage in CPH vs PETG. After HP storage, PP-EPR exhibited lower PWFs than with any other storage conditions. PP-EPR exhibited higher PWFs than PETG after storage in DRY, DW, and LIS. Conclusions: Compared with DW, none of the cleansers decreased the energy to initiate fracture. With one exception, no cleanser decreased the energy to continue plastic fracture extension. In PP-EPR blend, increased resistance to fracture initiation was observed with CPH and HP, yet, surprisingly, HP decreased resistance to plastic fracture growth. (Angle Orthod. 2010;80:554-561.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-561
Number of pages8
JournalAngle Orthodontist
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Essential
  • Fracture
  • Orthodontic
  • Retainer
  • Thermoplastic
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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