Effects of Thermoforming on the Mechanical, Optical, Chemical, and Morphological Properties of PET-G: In Vitro Study

Edoardo Staderini, Giuseppe Chiusolo, Federica Guglielmi, Massimiliano Papi, Giordano Perini, Michele Tepedino*, Patrizia Gallenzi

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The effectiveness of clear aligners in correcting malocclusions is closely linked to the properties of the materials used to make them. The polymers used in the manufacture of clear aligners have well-established properties. However, the process of manufacturing clear aligners, known as thermoforming, involves thermal and mechanical shocks that may alter these properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of thermoforming on the mechanical, optical, chemical, and morphological properties of sixty PET-G specimens. The study compared the thickness, weight, absorbance, chemical structure, surface roughness, elastic modulus, yield strength, and breaking load of thirty thermoformed specimens with thirty non-thermoformed specimens. The study introduces a new approach by using standardized samples to analyze both chemical and physical properties. The results showed statistically significant differences in thickness (-15%), weight (-11%), and surface roughness (+1233% in roughness average; +1129% in RMS roughness) of the material. Additionally, a correlation was found between reduction in thickness and increase in opalescence. There was no significant change in the functionality of the aligners after thermoforming, as no significant mechanical changes were found. However, the increase in surface roughness may lead to plaque and fluid accumulation and worsen the fit of the aligners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-N/A
JournalPolymers
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • clear aligners
  • glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate
  • surface roughness
  • thermoforming process
  • thermoplastic materials

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