Stress induced phase transformation of a cesium stabilized leucite porcelain and associated properties

  • Rasmussen S
  • Groh C
  • O'Brien W
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Objectives. The addition of Cs2O to dental porcelains might provide a means for controlling the thermal expansion and toughness of feldspathic porcelains. The purpose of this investigation was to determine for a leucite porcelain the effect of Cs2O content upon its coefficient of thermal expansion (α), toughness, hardness, and content of low (tetragonal) leucite and high (cubic) leucite. Methods. In order to determine the amount of low leucite in the specimens, an x-ray calibration curve for low leucite and an internal standard of copper was obtained using quantitative x-ray diffraction techniques. Utilizing a stress induced phase transformation between low and high leucite, an x-ray intensity conversion ratio (r) was determined for high leucite so that the calibration curve for low leucite could be used to determine the amount of high leucite present in the experimental porcelains. Specimens were prepared with various amounts of Cs2O (0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 mol%) so that, except for the as-received porcelain (A), all had the same thermal history. Specimens were tested for content of low and high leucite, hardness (Vickers), toughness (indentation-strength method), and coefficient of thermal expansion (α) over two temperature ranges (30-500°C and 30-640°C). Fractured surfaces were examined with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). For each property, specimen groups were compared for statistical differences. These comparisons were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Fisher's protected least significant differences (PLSD). Results. Quantitative x-ray examination of abraded and heat-treated specimens demonstrated that a stress induced phase transformation occurred which could be reversed by heat treatment. The conversion ratio was determined as r = 1.93 ± 0.29. The addition of Cs2O lowered the wt% of low leucite from 63 ± 6% to 0% and increased the amount of high leucite from 0% to 62 ± 5%. ANOVA showed that the addition of Cs2O had a significant effect on α (p < 0.0001), hardness (p < 0.005), and toughness (p < 0.0001). Cs2O significantly (PLSD) lowered the α (p < 0.0001), hardness (p < 0.01), and toughness (p < 0.0001) of a high-content leucite porcelain. Significance. A stress induced phase transformation of high leucite to low leucite was demonstrated and, as a consequence, suggested the potential for phase transformation toughening. The α of a leucite porcelain could be controlled by stabilizing high (cubic) leucite to room temperature with the fraction of high leucite dependent upon the amount of Cs2O added. A method was developed to determine the amount of high leucite present in a porcelain. © 1998 Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

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  • Stephen T. Rasmussen

  • Carole L. Groh

  • William J. O'Brien

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