ADM guidance—Ceramics: fracture toughness testing and method selection

Paulo Francisco Cesar*, Alvaro Della Bona, Susanne S. Scherrer, Michael Tholey, Richard van Noort, Alessandro Vichi, Robert Kelly, Ulrich Lohbauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The objective is within the scope of the Academy of Dental Materials Guidance Project, which is to provide dental materials researchers with a critical analysis of fracture toughness (FT) tests such that the assessment of the FT of dental ceramics is conducted in a reliable, repeatable and reproducible way. 

Methods: Fracture mechanics theory and FT methodologies were critically reviewed to introduce basic fracture principles and determine the main advantages and disadvantages of existing FT methods from the standpoint of the dental researcher. 

Results: The recommended methods for FT determination of dental ceramics were the Single Edge “V” Notch Beam (SEVNB), Single Edge Precracked Beam (SEPB), Chevron Notch Beam (CNB), and Surface Crack in Flexure (SCF). SEVNB's main advantage is the ease of producing the notch via a cutting disk, SEPB allows for production of an atomically sharp crack generated by a specific precracking device, CNB is technically difficult, but based on solid fracture mechanics solutions, and SCF involves fracture from a clinically sized precrack. The IF test should be avoided due to heavy criticism that has arisen in the engineering field regarding the empirical nature of the calculations used for FT determination. 

Significance: Dental researchers interested in FT measurement of dental ceramics should start with a broad review of fracture mechanics theory to understand the underlying principles involved in fast fracture of ceramics. The choice of FT methodology should be based on the pros and cons of each test, as described in this literature review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalDental Materials
Issue number6
Early online date6 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • dental ceramics
  • fractography
  • fracture toughness
  • mechanical properties


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