Influence of multiwall carbon nanotube functionality and loading on mechanical properties of PMMA/MWCNT bone cements

  • Ross Ormsby
  • Tony McNally
  • Christina Mitchell
  • Nicholas Dunne


Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement—multi walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) nanocomposites with weight loadings ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 wt% were prepared. The MWCNTs investigated were unfunctionalised, carboxyl and amine functionalised MWCNTs. Mechanical properties of the resultant nanocomposite cements were characterised as per international standards for acrylic resin cements. These mechanical properties were influenced by the type and wt% loading of MWCNT used. The morphology and degree of dispersion of the MWCNTs in the PMMA matrix at different length scales were examined using field emission scanning electron microscopy. Improvements in mechanical properties were attributed to the MWCNTs arresting/retarding crack propagation through the cement by providing a bridging effect and hindering crack propagation. MWCNTs agglomerations were evident within the cement microstructure, the degree of these agglomerations was dependent on the weight fraction and functionality of MWCNTs incorporated into the cement.


Compressive Strength Fracture Toughness PMMA Bone Cement Compressive Modulus 
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List of symbols


Critical stress intensity factor (Pa-m1/2).


Maximum load at failure (N).


Minimum value of the normalised stress intensity factor coefficient, which depends only on the geometry of the test specimen


Diameter of specimen (m)


Length of specimen (m)



The authors acknowledge the support from Nanocyl S.A., Belgium, Lucite International Ltd., UK, and the Department of Education and Learning NI (DEL) for funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross Ormsby
    • 1
  • Tony McNally
    • 1
  • Christina Mitchell
    • 2
  • Nicholas Dunne
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringQueen’s University of BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical SciencesQueen’s University of BelfastBelfastUK

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