In the earlier post, we talked about how Polyurethane plays a fundamental role in achieving the superior strength and toughness properties in Zendura material; this time we’ll focus on another “much asked” feature of Zendura material—the matte surface on one side of the sheet.
Many customers asked about the “hazy appearance” of the Zendura material and are concerned it will not be clear enough when put into patients’ mouth.
However, you don’t have to worry about that because the matte texture will disappear after the material is properly thermoformed. Remember also that it is our objective to deliver a solution that will result in the “best optical transmission” properties when the appliance is complete.
Zendura is manufactured with two different surface finishes. One side is very smooth and has a “gloss finish”. The other side has a very fine texture and is referred to as “matte finish”. It is the matte finish that gives Zendura its characteristic appearance and provides several benefits during manufacturing and thermoforming.
During manufacturing process, a matte finish prevents the material surface from sticking to another layer, thus facilitating production and packaging operation. When Zendura is properly thermoformed, the matte finish will heat up until the texture features of the surface “melt” and go completely clear. This provides an additional quality check on the forming process.
During the thermoforming process the heated and softened Zendura sheet is pressed against the mold by pressurized air and conforms to the details of the mold, resulting in a completely clear final product. Some molds, for example those produced by 3D printers, will have “build lines” or other surface features that will be replicated in the final part. Molds produced by casting plaster, on the other hand, do not have “build lines” (layers) and will produce smoother parts.
Finally, as a small tip, we suggest that the matte surface is used as the inner side of the appliance (pressed against the mold) so that it goes against the teeth to give the most balanced optical transmission. However, this is not a very small quality difference, so no need to worry if you forget about it, or don’t distinguish gloss from matte when thermoforming.
Either way, thanks to its inherent properties, Zendura will provide great optical properties and long term durability for you and your patients!