Mechanical and Geometrical Properties Assessment of Thermoplastic Materials for Biomedical Application

  • Sandro BARONE
  • Alessandro PAOLI
  • Paolo NERI
  • Armando Viviano RAZIONALEEmail author
  • Michele GIANNESE
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Clear thermoplastic aligners are nowadays widely used in orthodontics for the correction of malocclusion or teeth misalignment defects. The treatment is virtually designed with a planning software that allows for a definition of a sequence of little movement steps from the initial tooth position to the final desired one. Every single step is transformed into a physical device, the aligner, by the use of a 3D printed model on which a thin foil of plastic material is thermoformed. Manufactured aligners could have inherent limitations such as dimensional instability, low strength, and poor wear resistance. These issues could be associated with material characteristics and/or with the manufacturing processes. The present work aims at the characterization of the manufactured orthodontic devices. Firstly, mechanical properties of different materials have been assessed through a set of tensile tests under different experimental conditions. The tests have the purpose of analyzing the effect that the forming process and the normal use of the aligner may have on mechanical properties of the material. The manufacturing process could also introduce unexpected limitations in the resulting aligners. This would be a critical element to control in order to establish resulting forces on teeth. Several studies show that resulting forces could be greatly influenced by the aligner thickness. A method to easily measure the actual thickness of the manufactured aligner is proposed. The analysis of a number of real cases shows as the thickness is far to be uniform and could vary strongly along the surface of the tooth.


3D Human Modeling Virtual Design Clear Aligner Thermoforming Process Mechanical Properties Assessment Optical 3D Scanner 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandro BARONE
    • 1
  • Alessandro PAOLI
    • 1
  • Paolo NERI
    • 1
  • Armando Viviano RAZIONALE
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michele GIANNESE
    • 1
  1. 1.DICI—Department of Civil and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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