Previously we’ve talked about Polyurethane resins being a strong polymer backbone for Zendura and why it’s an ideal choice compared to commonly used resins such as PETG, PP and others.
We heard people wanted specifics about how materials are rated for properties like “Crack Resistance” or “Stain Resistance”, so we brought some data! Read on to see how Zendura is torture-tested to ensure it can take a bite out of the competition but patients with Zendura retainers can't take a bite out of it!
Impact Strength (Crack Resistance)
Impact Strength is defined as “The ability of a plastic to absorb mechanical energy in the process of deformation and fracture under impact loading.” Or more colloquially: “How hard can I whack this thing without it fracturing, deformation or breaking?”
To scientifically measure the impact strength, we use the ASTM D 5420 (GC) test method using a Gardner Impact Tester, equipped with 0.64 inch Die and 0.625 inch punch. Falling Weight Impact, also known as Gardner Impact, is a common method for evaluating the impact strength or toughness of a plastic. A weight is dropped from a measured height and the Impact Energy needed to cause failure via crack initiation and crack propagation is determined. The higher the weight is lifted, the higher the impact energy transferred to the material under test.
Zendura was evaluated for its “impact strength” alongside with other orthodontic materials:
Dental appliances are frequently exposed to staining agents in patient’s mouth, in the form of liquids or mouthwash causing the plastic to yellow or even structurally deteriorate.
One test we performed to determine resistance to staining was to immerse the parts in mustard (a strong staining agent) and placed in an oven at 37C for 24 hours. Raising the temperature during soaking accelerates almost all processes governed by molecular kinetics – in other words diffusion or staining will happen much faster at 37C than at room temperature.
To accurately measure the color of the part itself both before and after the staining procedure, a colorimeter was used. Specifically The CIELAB Color model allowed us to accurately measure and quantify changes in “yellow-ness” (b*) that resulted from a 24 hour mustard soak. The color change was measured using a Byk-Gardner Color-guide and yellow index (b*) and is plotted before and after the mustard immersion.
At the end of the mustard soak, Zendura showed little change in level of yellow:
Test results like these make us confident that Zendura is the best material available for many kinds of dental appliances, and we hope it helps dentists, orthodontists, and dental labs confident that it is worth their valuable time to try it out!
In short, Zendura is harder to break under applied stress, and more chemically resistant to common staining agents such as oil, coffee, toothpaste, mustard, etc. than other materials.