Microscale resolution fracture toughness profiling at the zirconia-porcelain interface in dental prostheses

Alexander J.G. Lunt, Gaurav Mohanty, Tee K. Neo, Johann Michler, Alexander M. Korsunsky

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

9 Citations (SciVal)
39 Downloads (Pure)


The high failure rate of the Yttria Partially Stabilized Zirconia (YPSZ)-porcelain interface in dental prostheses is influenced by the micro-scale mechanical property variation in this region. To improve the understanding of this behavior, micro-scale fracture toughness profiling by nanoindentation micropillar splitting is reported for the first time. Sixty 5 μm diameter micropillars were machined within the first 100 μm of the interface. Berkovich nanoindentation provided estimates of the bulk fracture toughness of YPSZ and porcelain that matched the literature values closely. However, the large included tip angle prevented precise alignment of indenter with the pillar center. Cube corner indentation was performed on the remainder of the pillars and calibration between nanoindentation using different tip shapes was used to determine the associated conversion factors. YPSZ micropillars failed by gradual crack propagation and bulk values persisted to within 15 μm from the interface, beyond which scatter increased and a 10% increase in fracture toughness was observed that may be associated with grain size variation at this location. Micropillars straddling the interface displayed preferential fracture within porcelain parallel to the interface at a location where nano-voiding has previously been observed and reported. Pure porcelain micropillars exhibited highly brittle failure and a large reduction of fracture toughness (by up to ∼90%) within the first 50 μm of the interface. These new insights constitute a major advance in understanding the structure-property relationship of this important bi-material interface at the micro-scale, and will improve micromechanical modelling needed to optimize current manufacturing routes and reduce failure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems
EditorsStefano Palomba, Benjamin J. Eggleton
ISBN (Electronic)9781628418903
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
EventSPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Applications Symposium - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 6 Dec 20159 Dec 2015


ConferenceSPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Applications Symposium


  • dental prostheses
  • Fracture toughness
  • micropillar splitting
  • microscale
  • nanoindentation
  • porcelain
  • spatially resolved
  • yttria partially stabilized zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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