Wettability, water sorption and water solubility of seven silicone elastomers used for maxillofacial prostheses
The wettability, water sorption and solubility of silicone elastomers used for maxillofacial prostheses were studied. The hypothesis was, that a material that has absorbed water would show an increase in the wettability and thus also the surface free energy of the material.
Seven silicone elastomers, both addition- and condensation type polymers, were included. Five specimens of each material were subjected to treatment according to ISO standards 1567:1999 and 10477: 2004 for water sorption and solubility. The volumes of the specimens were measured according to Archimedes principle. The contact angle was measured with a contact angle goniometer at various stages of the sorption/solubility test.
Wettability changed over the test period, but not according to theory. The addition type silicones showed little or no sorption and solubility, but two of the condensation type polymers tested had a significant sorption and solubility. This study showed that condensation type polymers may show too large volumetric changes when exposed to fluids, and therefore should no longer be used in prosthetic devices. The results of this study also suggests that it might be of interest to test sorption and solubility of materials that are to be implanted, since most of the materials had some solubility.
KeywordsContact Angle Wettability Surface Free Energy Water Sorption Dynamic Contact Angle
The authors thank Torbjørn Knarvang, NIOM- Scandinavian Institute of Dental Materials, for his invaluable assistance in carrying out the contact angle measurements and the measurements in the sorption and solubility tests.
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