Objectives. Photopolymerized composites are used in a broad range of applications with their performance largely directed by reaction kinetics and contraction accompanying polymerization. The present study was to demonstrate an instrument capable of simultaneously collecting multiple kinetics parameters for a wide range of photopolymerizable systems: degree of conversion (DC), reaction exotherm, and polymerization stress (PS). Methods. Our system consisted of a cantilever beam-based instrument (tensometer) that has been optimized to capture a large range of stress generated by lightly-filled to highly-filled composites. The sample configuration allows the tensometer to be coupled to a fast near infrared (NIR) spectrometer collecting spectra in transmission mode. Results. Using our instrument design, simultaneous measurements of PS and DC are performed, for the first time, on a commercial composite with ≈80% (by mass) silica particle fillers. The in situ NIR spectrometer collects more than 10 spectra per second, allowing for thorough characterization of reaction kinetics. With increased instrument sensitivity coupled with the ability to collect real time reaction kinetics information, we show that the external constraint imposed by the cantilever beam during polymerization could affect the rate of cure and final degree of polymerization. Significance. The present simultaneous measurement technique is expected to provide new insights into kinetics and property relationships for photopolymerized composites with high filler content such as dental restorative composites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials