The fabrication and properties of aesthetic FRP wires for use in orthodontics

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Transparent or translucent fibre-reinforced polymeric wires have been produced in an attempt to reproduce the mechanical properties of the metallic wires in current use in orthodontics. Two methods were employed: mould polymerization, and hot-drawing. Both methods produced wires of 0.5 mm diameter. Two polymers were investigated, poly(methyl methacrylate) and epoxy resin, and these were filled with either long silane-coated alumina fibres or fibres made from CPSA glass. Whilst mould-polymerized wires showed a linear increase in Young's modulus with fibre content, they did not obey the rule of mixtures. However, the hot-drawn wires did, and they also demonstrated the rigidity, strength and good elastic recovery needed for use in orthodontics.

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