Mixing of experimental composites
The ability to prepare experimental materials is mandatory for a research and test institute of dental materials. Using experimental materials assures that all the components of the material will be carefully controlled and experiments can be set up with variations only in the desired substance(s). This allows for the study of the effects of the different components on the material properties in a controlled manner. However, mixing experimental composite materials by hand is a time-consuming and difficult process. In addition, hand-mixing may often lead to non-homogenous distribution of the filler particles into the resin matrix. In the next step, when studying either physical or chemical properties of the material, the results may be influenced by this inhomogeneity, giving unstable or incorrect values. On the other hand, using large-scale mixers consumes too much material in the initial testing phase of a new product.
NIOM has acquired a mixing machine for preparing experimental materials for testing and research purposes. The mixing machine is a SpeedMixer™ from Synergy Devices Ltd, model DAC 150.1 FVZ-K. This machine allows us to mix composites, and other materials, in small amounts for research and testing purposes. It mixes well amounts down to 10 grams, which may be useful for initial try-outs of new experimental materials. For more comprehensive studies, material mixes of up to 100 grams may be prepared, and series of different experiments may thus be performed on the same batch of material. Tests have shown that the machine gives excellent mixes of composites with both low and high filler content.
NIOM offers testing of experimental materials, prepared under controlled and repeatable mixing conditions. In combination with our laboratory and test facilities for physical, chemical and biological analyses of biomaterials and our in-house knowledge and experience, we are now capable of performing a complete evaluation of experimental materials.