Types, characteristics and environmental degradation of composite materials

Thuraya Abdulrahim Basudan, Ghaith Zaki Alsanad, Thamer Saud Alhur, Ahmed Abdulaziz Altamimi, Khalid Abdulrahman Alobaid, Obaid Abdulrahman Alobaid, Nasser Fayez Aldhumayri, Khalid Abdulaziz Alrafie, Turki Mamdouh Alharbi, Ali Abdullah Abuhabshah, Farah Ahmed Sindi


Research has offered many advances in the dentistry field and variable types of dental composites have been widely validated to be effectively used with many favorable outcomes. Among the differently reported composites, hybrid ones are the most commonly reported and used in clinical settings. However, the characteristics of these composites vary hugely based on the materials and the environmental factors that they might be potentially exposed to. In this literature review study, we have discussed the types and characteristics of the dental composites, elaborating the effect of different environmental factors on the degradation of the different composite materials. Our results indicate that dental composites are hugely affected by environmental factors as temperature, moisture, chemical reactions and impact blunt. Furthermore, enhancing the quality of the materials by using more flexible approaches might enhance their quality in achieving better outcomes. Moreover, research should be directed within this area to improve the functions of the dental composites and improve the quality of life for the corresponding patients. Composites based on nanotechnology seem promising. However, these are not adequately investigated, and further research is encouraged for adequate validation.


Dentistry, Composite, Restoration, Degradation, Function

Full Text:



Bowen RL. Properties of a silica-reinforced polymer for dental restorations. J Am Dental Association. 1963;66:57-64.

Kinomoto Y, Torii M, Takeshige F, Ebisu S. Comparison of polymerization contraction stresses between self- and light-curing composites. J dentistry. 1999;27(5):383-9.

Hofmann N, Hugo B, Klaiber B. Effect of irradiation type (LED or QTH) on photo-activated composite shrinkage strain kinetics, temperature rise, and hardness. Euro J oral sci. 2002;110(6):471-9.

Hervás-García A, Martínez-Lozano MA, Cabanes-Vila J, Escribano BA, Galve FP. Composite resins. A review of the materials and clinical indications. Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal. 2006;11(2):E215-20.

Ravi RK, Alla RK, Shammas M, Devarhubli A. Dental Composites-A Versatile Restorative Material: An Overview. Indian J Dental Sci. 2013;5(5).

Ghozy S, Tran L, Naveed S. Association of breastfeeding status with risk of autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review, dose-response analysis and meta-analysis. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;48:101916.

Mahmoud AR, Dahy A, Dibas M, Abbas AS, Ghozy S, El-Qushayri AE. Association between sarcoidosis and cardiovascular comorbidity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Heart Lung. 2020;49(5):512-7.

Ghozy S, Nam NH, Radwan I. Therapeutic efficacy of hepatitis B virus vaccine in treatment of chronic HBV infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Rev Med Virol. 2020;30(3):e2089.

Hashan MR, Ghozy S, El-Qushayri AE, Pial RH, Hossain MA, Al Kibria GM. Association of dengue disease severity and blood group: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Rev Med Virol. 2021;31(1):1-9.

Lutz F, Phillips RW. A classification and evaluation of composite resin systems. J prosthetic dentistry. 1983;50(4):480-8.

Cramer NB, Stansbury JW, Bowman CN. Recent advances and developments in composite dental restorative materials. J dental res. 2011;90(4):402-16.

Zimmerli B, Strub M, Jeger F, Stadler O, Lussi A. Composite materials: composition, properties and clinical applications. A literature review. Schweizer Monatsschrift fur Zahnmedizin=Revue mensuelle suisse d'odonto-stomatologie = Rivista mensile svizzera di odontologia e stomatologia. 2010;120(11):972-86.

Willems G, Lambrechts P, Braem M, Celis JP, Vanherle G. A classification of dental composites according to their morphological and mechanical characteristics. Dental materials. 1992;8(5):310-19.

Hawkins WL. Thermal and oxidative degradation of polymers. Polymer Engineering Sci. 1964;4(3):187-92.

Bolland J. Kinetics of olefin oxidation. Quarterly Reviews, Chemical Society. 1949;3(1):1-21.

Qian S, Igarashi T, Nitta K-h. Thermal degradation behavior of polypropylene in the melt state: molecular weight distribution changes and chain scission mechanism. Polymer Bulletin. 2011;67(8):1661-70.

Tsotsis T. Thermo-oxidative aging of composite materials. J Composite Materials. 1995;29(3):410-22.

Akay M, Spratt G, Meenan B. The effects of long-term exposure to high temperatures on the ILSS and impact performance of carbon fibre reinforced bismaleimide. Composites Sci Technol. 2003;63:1053-9.

Akay M, Spratt G. Evaluation of thermal ageing of a carbon fibre reinforced bismalemide. Composites Sci Technol. 2008;68:3081-6.

Wolfrum J, Eibl S, Lietch L. Rapid evaluation of long-term thermal degradation of carbon fibre epoxy composites. Composites Sci Technol. 2009;69(3):523-30.

Hutapea P, Yuan FG. The effect of thermal aging on the Mode-I interlaminar fracture behavior of a high-temperature IM7/LaRC-RP46 composite. Composites Sci Technol. 1999;59(8):1271-86.

Dao B, Hodgkin J, Krstina J, Mardel J, Tian W. Accelerated aging versus realistic aging in aerospace composite materials. I. The chemistry of thermal aging in a low‐temperature‐cure epoxy composite. J Applied Polymer Sci. 2006;102:4291-303.

Kumar BG, Singh RP, Nakamura T. Degradation of carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy composites by ultraviolet radiation and condensation. J Composite materials. 2002;36(24):2713-33.

Nakamura T, Singh R, Vaddadi P. Effects of Environmental Degradation on Flexural Failure Strength of Fiber Reinforced Composites. Experimental Mechanics. 2006;46:257-68.

Guzmán E, Cugnoni J, Gmür T. Multi-factorial models of a carbon fibre/epoxy composite subjected to accelerated environmental ageing. Composite Structures. 2014;111:179-92.

Chateauminois A, Vincent L, Chabert B, Soulier JP. Study of the interfacial degradation of a glass-epoxy composite during hygrothermal ageing using water diffusion measurements and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis. Polymer. 1994;35(22):4766-74.

Lopes Fernandes R, De Moura M, Moreira R. Effect of moisture on pure mode I and II fracture behavior of composite bonded joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives. 2016;68.

Mallick P. Failure of polymer matrix composites (PMCs) in automotive and transportation applications. In: Failure Mechanisms in Polymer Matrix Composites. Elsevier; 2012:368-92.

Spencer P, Ye Q, Park J. Adhesive/Dentin interface: the weak link in the composite restoration. Ann Biomed Eng. 2010;38(6):1989-2003.

Chatterjee A, Gillespie Jr JW. Moisture absorption behavior of epoxies and their S2 glass composites. J appl polymer sci. 2008;108(6):3942-51.

Xiao G, Shanahan M. Irreversible effects of hygrothermal aging on DGEBA/DDA epoxy resin. J Appl Polymer Sci. 1998;69(2):363-369.

Colombini D, Martinez‐Vega J, Merle G. Dynamic mechanical investigations of the effects of water sorption and physical ageing on an epoxy resin system. Polymer. 2002;43:4479-85.

Spencer P, Jonggu Park QY, Misra A. Durable bonds at the adhesive/dentin interface: an impossible mission or simply a moving target? Brazilian dental sci. 2012;15(1):4-18.

Sarikaya R, Song L, Yuca E. Bioinspired multifunctional adhesive system for next generation bio-additively designed dental restorations. J mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 2021;113:104135.

Siriruk A, Penumadu D. Degradation in fatigue behavior of carbon fiber-vinyl ester based composites due to sea environment. Composites Part B Engineering. 2014;61:94-8.

Choi H, Ahn K, Nam J-D, Chun H. Hygroscopic aspects of epoxy/carbon fiber composite laminates in aircraft environments. Composites Part A: applied science and manufacturing. 2001;32(5):709-20.

Muñoz E, Garcia-Manrique J. Water Absorption Behaviour and Its Effect on the Mechanical Properties of Flax Fibre Reinforced Bioepoxy Composites. Int J Polymer Sci. 2015;2015:1-10.

Santos C, Clarke R, Braden M, Guitián F, Davy KWM. Water absorption characteristics of dental composites incorporating hydroxyapatite filler. Biomaterials. 2002;23:1897-904.

Yap AU, Tan SH, Wee SS, Lee CW, Lim EL, Zeng KY. Chemical degradation of composite restoratives. J oral rehabilitation. 2001;28(11):1015-21.

Yap AU, Chew CL, Ong LF, Teoh SH. Environmental damage and occlusal contact area wear of composite restoratives. J oral rehabilitation. 2002;29(1):87-97.

Sugita Y, Winkelmann C, La Saponara V. Environmental and chemical degradation of carbon/epoxy lap joints for aerospace applications, and effects on their mechanical performance. Composites Sci Technol- composites sci technol. 2010;70:829-39.

Landry B, LaPlante G, LeBlanc LR. Environmental effects on mode II fatigue delamination growth in an aerospace grade carbon/epoxy composite. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 2012;43(3):475-85.

d'Almeida JRM. Effects of distilled water and saline solution on the interlaminar shear strength of an aramid/epoxy composite. Composites. 1991;22(6):448-50.

Chen H, Miao M, Ding X. Influence of moisture absorption on the interfacial strength of bamboo/vinyl ester composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 2009;40(12):2013-9.

Yap AU, Wattanapayungkul P, Chung SM. Influence of the polymerization process on composite resistance to chemical degradation by food-simulating liquids. Operative dentistry. 2003;28(6):723-7.

Yap AU, Soh MS, Han TT, Siow KS. Influence of curing lights and modes on cross-link density of dental composites. Operative dentistry. 2004;29(4):410-15.

Yu C, Abbott P. Responses of the pulp, periradicular and soft tissues following trauma to the permanent teeth. Aus Dental J. 2016;61(S1):39-58.

Betancourt DE, Baldion PA, Castellanos JE. Resin-Dentin Bonding Interface: Mechanisms of Degradation and Strategies for Stabilization of the Hybrid Layer. Int J Biomaterials. 2019;2019:5268342.