Evaluation of welded titanium joints used with cantilevered implant-supported prostheses Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: Early failure of laser-welded titanium implant frameworks in clinical practice has prompted an investigation of the strength and durability of welded cantilevered titanium sections. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect that the use of filler wire in laser welding of titanium cantilever frameworks had on the flexural strength and fatigue resistance of the welded joints. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty titanium implant-supported frameworks with 12-mm cantilevers were fabricated in 4 groups (n=15), using 3 different laser welding protocols with 0, 1, and 2 weld passes with filler wire, and 1 conventional tungsten inert gas welding method. The volume of filler wire used (mean volumes 0, 1.7, 3.4, and 8.3 mm(3)) was determined by measurement of the length of wire before and after welding each joint. Ten frameworks from each group were tested for ultimate flexural strength by loading the cantilevers 10 mm from the abutment. The remaining 5 frameworks from each group were similarly tested under a simulated masticatory load of 200 N until failure, or to 1 million cycles. A 2-way analysis of variance was used to examine the flexural strengths, and log-rank statistics were applied to cyclic test data (alpha=.05). RESULTS: There were significant differences between the 4 groups for ultimate flexural strength (P<.001) and resistance to cyclic loading (P=.002). The volume of filler wire added was a significant predictor of ultimate flexural strength (P=.03), and was a borderline determinant of the number of cycles to failure at 200 N (P=.05). Each laser weld pass with filler wire roughly doubled the ultimate flexural strength and fatigue resistance of the joint relative to the previous weld. Tungsten inert gas welding with efficient argon shielding deposited the most filler wire and produced the strongest and most fatigue-resistant joints. CONCLUSION: The ultimate flexural strength and fatigue resistance of cantilevered joints in laser-welded titanium prostheses are improved by the use of filler wire. Tungsten inert gas welding with efficient argon shielding can be used in situations when a high-strength joint is required.

publication date

  • July 2006