Flexural properties and surface finishing of acetal resin denture clasps

Jonathan W. Turner*, David R. Radford, Martyn Sherriff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study examined flexural properties of acetal resin to determine the appropriate design for an acetal resin removable partial denture clasp. The effectiveness of various acetal resin polishing procedures was also evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. Materials and Methods: Loads of up to 1,500 g were applied to cylindrical acetal resin specimen lengths of 5, 10, and 15 mm, and the degree of deflection of the specimen tip was measured. Specimens were 2 mm and 1.5 mm in diameter with a round cross-section (R2 and R1.5, respectively), as well as 2 mm in diameter and half-round in cross-section. Half-round specimens were loaded with their flat surface vertical and then horizontal (HRV and HRH, respectively). Contour plots showing load and deflection for varying lengths of resin were developed for each cross-sectional type based on specimen length, and the stiffness was calculated. Additional acetal resin specimens underwent polishing techniques including tungsten carbide burs, aluminium oxide stones, abrasive impregnated rubber points, and "Polish-D." Polished specimens were examined with scanning electron microscopy to compare surface roughness. Results: For the 5-mm-length specimens, the median stiffness values decreased in the following order: R2 > HRV > HRH > R1.5. The median stiffness values for the 10-mm and 15-mm lengths followed a similar trend. At each length, the R2 specimen was generally at least twice as stiff as other designs. Regarding polishing, the smoothest surface was seen on the specimen that was polished with the rubber point followed by "Polish-D." Conclusions: To have stiffness similar to a cast cobalt-chromium clasp 15 mm long and 1 mm in diameter, a suitable acetal resin clasp must be shorter (approximately 5 mm) with greater cross-sectional diameter (approximately 1.4 mm). To obtain a smooth surface, the acetal resin clasp should be polished with a rubber point followed by a material such as "Polish-D."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Prosthodontics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1999


  • Clasp design
  • Contour plots
  • Esthetics
  • Removable partial dentures


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