The study determines the stability and durability of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and a carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) with 30% short carbon fibers, a dental composite based on Bis-GMA and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) under the influence of different pH-values of the oral environment in vitro
. Nanomechanical properties were investigated by nanoindentation and nanoscratch tests before and after incubation of the specimens at 37 °C for 30 days in artificial saliva with pH-values of 3, 7 and 10, respectively. Nanoindentation and nanoscratching tests were performed using the Hysitron TI950 TriboIndenter to evaluate the reduced elastic moduli, nanohardness, viscoelasticity, friction coefficient and residual scratch profiles. After treatment, the nanomechanical properties of unfilled PEEK did not change. The reduced elastic moduli and nanohardness of the carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK increased significantly. The reduced elastic moduli and nanohardness of CHARISMA decreased. The plasticity of all materials except that of the unfilled PEEK increased. This indicates that different pH-values of the artificial saliva solutions had no obvious influences on the nanomechanical properties of the PEEK matrix. Therefore, the aging resistance of the unfilled PEEK was higher than those of other materials. It can be deduced that the PEEK matrix without filler was more stable than with filler in the nanoscale.
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