A study of polymerization shrinkage kinetics using digital image correlation

Andrew Lau, Jianying Li, Young Cheul Heo, Alex Fok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective To investigate the polymerization shrinkage kinetics of dental resin composites by measuring in real time the full-field shrinkage strain using a novel technique based on digital image correlation (DIC). Methods Polymerization shrinkage in resin composite specimens (Filtek LS and Z100) was measured as a function of time and position. The main experimental setup included a CCD camera and an external shutter inversely synchronized to that of the camera. The specimens (2 mm × 4 mm × 5 mm) were irradiated for 40 s at 1200 mW/cm2, while alternating image acquisition and obstruction of the curing light occurred at 15 fps. The acquired images were processed using proprietary software to obtain the full-field strain maps as a function of time. Results Z100 showed a higher final shrinkage value and rate of development than LS. The final volumetric shrinkage for Z100 and LS were 1.99% and 1.19%, respectively. The shrinkage behavior followed an established shrinkage strain kinetics model. The corresponding characteristic time and reaction order exponent for LS and Z100 were calculated to be approximately 23 s and 0.84, and 14 s and 0.7, respectively, at a distance of 1.0 mm from the irradiated surface, the position where maximum shrinkage strain occurred. Thermal expansion from the exothermic reaction could have affected the accuracy of these parameters. Significance The new DIC method using an inversely synchronized shutter provided realtime, full-field results that could aid in assessing the shrinkage strain kinetics of dental resin composites as a function of specimen depth. It could also help determine the optimal curing modes for dental resin composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalDental Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Academy of Dental Materials.


  • Digital image correlation (DIC)
  • Inversely synchronized shutter
  • Polymerization shrinkage kinetics
  • Real-time measurement
  • Resin composite


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