Structure and mechanical properties of Cresco-Ti laser-welded joints and stress analyses using finite element models of fixed distal extension and fixed partial prosthetic designs.J Prosthet Dent. 2005 Mar; 93(3):235-44.JP
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Cresco-Ti System uses a laser-welded process that provides an efficient technique to achieve passive fit frameworks. However, mechanical behavior of the laser-welded joint under biomechanical stress factors has not been demonstrated.
This study describes the effect of Cresco-Ti laser-welding conditions on the material properties of the welded specimen and analyzes stresses on the weld joint through 3-dimensional finite element models (3-D FEM) of implant-supported fixed dentures with cantilever extensions and fixed partial denture designs.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Twenty Grade III (ASTM B348) commercially pure titanium specimens were machine-milled to the dimensions described in the EN10002-1 tensile test standard and divided into test (n = 10) and control (n = 10) groups. The test specimens were sectioned and laser-welded. All specimens were subjected to tensile testing to determine yield strength (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS), and percent elongation (PE). The Knoop micro-indentation test was performed to determine the hardness of all specimens. On welded specimens, the hardness test was performed at the welded surface. Data were analyzed with the Mann-Whitney U test and Student's t test (alpha=.05). Fracture surfaces were examined by scanning electron microscopy to characterize the mode of fracture and identify defects due to welding. Three-dimensional FEMs were created that simulated a fixed denture with cantilever extensions supported by 5 implants (M1) and a fixed partial denture supported by 2 implants (M2), 1 of which was angled 30 degrees mesio-axially. An oblique load of 400 N with 15 degrees lingual-axial inclinations was applied to both models at various locations.
Test specimens fractured between the weld and the parent material. No porosities were observed on the fractured surfaces. Mean values for YS, UTS, PE, and Knoop hardness were 428 +/- 88 MPa, 574 +/- 113 MPa, 11.2 +/- 0.4%, 270 +/- 17 KHN, respectively, for the control group and 642 +/- 2 MPa, 772 +/- 72 MPa, 4.8 +/- 0.7%, 353 +/- 23 KHN, respectively, for the test group. The differences between the groups were significant for all mechanical properties (P <.05). For both models, the FEA revealed that maximum principal stresses were concentrated at the framework-weld junction but did not exceed the UTS of the weld joint.
Within the constraints of the finite element models, mechanical failure of the welded joint between the support and the framework may not be expected under biomechanical conditions simulated in this study.