Abstract: STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The literature provides limited information regarding the performance of Ti-6Al-4V laser and plasma joints welded in prefabricated bars in dental applications.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the mechanical strength of different diameters of Ti-6Al-4V alloy welded with laser and plasma techniques.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Forty-five dumbbell-shaped rods were created from Ti-6Al-4V and divided into 9 groups (n=5): a control group with 3-mm and intact bars; groups PL2.5, PL3, PL4, and PL5 (specimens with 2.5-, 3-, 4-, and 5-mm diameters welded with plasma); and groups L2.5, L3, L4, and L5 (specimens with 2.5-, 3-, 4-, and 5-mm diameters welded with laser). The specimens were tested for ultimate tensile strength (UTS), and elongation percentages (EP) were obtained. Fractured specimens were analyzed by stereomicroscopy, and welded area percentages (WAP) were calculated. Images were made with scanning electron microscopy. In the initial analysis, the data were analyzed with a 2-way ANOVA (2×4) and the Tukey Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) test. In the second analysis, the UTS and EP data were analyzed with 1-way ANOVA, and the Dunnett test was used to compare the 4 experimental groups with the control group (α=.05). The Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficient tests were applied to correlate the study factors. Finite element models were developed in a workbench environment with boundary conditions simulating those of a tensile test.
The 2-way ANOVA showed that the factors welding type and diameter were significant for the UTS and WAP values. However, the interaction between them was not significant. The 1-way ANOVA showed statistically significant differences among the groups for UTS, WAP, and EP values. The Dunnett test showed that all the tested groups had lower UTS and EP values than the control group. The 2.5- and 3-mm diameter groups showed higher values for UTS and WAP than the other test groups. A positive correlation was found between welded area percentage and UTS and a negative correlation between these parameters and the diameters of the specimens. No statistically significant difference was found between the weld techniques.
Under the experimental conditions described, diameters of 2.5 and 3 mm resulted in higher UTS and WAP for both laser and plasma welding and appear to be the best option for joining prefabricated rods in this kind of union.
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