Objectives Recent studies of the yttria partially stabilised zirconia–porcelain interface have revealed the presence of near-interface porcelain nanovoiding which reduces toughness and leads to component failure. One potential explanation for these nanoscale features is thermal creep which is induced by the combination of the residual stresses at the interface and sintering temperatures applied during manufacture. The present study provides improved understanding of this important phenomenon. Methods Transmission electron microscopy and small angle neutron scattering were applied to a sample which was crept at 750 °C and 100 MPa (sample C), a second which was exposed to an identical heat treatment schedule in the absence of applied stress (sample H), and a reference sample in the as-machined state (sample A). Results The complementary insights provided by the two techniques were in good agreement and log-normal void size distributions were found in all samples. The void number density was found to be 1.61 μm−2, 25.4 μm−2 and 98.6 μm−2 in samples A, H and C respectively. The average void diameter in sample A (27.1 nm) was found to be more than twice as large as in samples H (10.2 nm) and C (11.6 nm). The crept data showed the highest skewness parameter (2.35), indicating stress-induced growth of larger voids and void coalescence that has not been previously observed. Significance The improved insight presented in this study can be integrated into existing models of dental prostheses in order to optimise manufacturing routes and thereby reduce the significant detrimental impact of this nanostructural phenomenon.
- Dental porcelain
- Small angle neutron scattering
- Transmission electron microscopy