Polymerization stress of resin composites as a function of system compliance

Flavia Gonçalves, Carmem S.C. Pfeifer, Josete B.C. Meira, Rafael Y. Ballester, Raul G. Lima, Roberto R. Braga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives: Evaluate the effect of testing system compliance on polymerization stress and stress distribution of composites. Methods: Composites tested were Filtek Z250 (FZ), Herculite (HL), Tetric Ceram (TC), Helio Fill-AP (HF) and Heliomolar (HM). Stress was determined in 1-mm thick specimens, inserted between two rods of either poly(methyl methacrylate), PMMA, or glass. Experimental nominal stress (σexp) was calculated by dividing the maximum force recorded 5 min after photoactivation by the cross-sectional area of the rod. Composites' elastic modulus (E) was obtained by three-point bending. Data were submitted to one-way ANOVA/Tukey's test (α = 0.05). Stress distribution on longitudinal (σy) and transverse (σx) axes of models representing the composites with the highest and lowest E (FZ and HM, respectively) were evaluated by finite element analysis (FEA). Results: σexp ranged from 5.5 to 8.8 MPa in glass and from 2.6 to 3.4 MPa in PMMA. Composite ranking was not identical in both substrates, since FZ showed σexp statistically higher than HM in glass, while in PMMA FZ showed values similar to the other composites. A strong correlation was found between stress reduction (%) from glass to PMMA and composite's E (r2 = 0.946). FEA revealed that system compliance was influenced by the composite (FZ led to higher compliance than HM). σx distribution was similar in both substrates, while σy distribution showed larger areas of compressive stresses in specimens built on PMMA. Significance: σexp determined in PMMA was 53-68% lower than in glass. Composite ranking varied slightly due to differences in substrates' longitudinal and transverse deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-652
Number of pages8
JournalDental Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Finite element analysis
  • Polymerization stress
  • Resin composite
  • Three-point bending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Dentistry
  • Mechanics of Materials


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