Fracture toughness and tear strength of hydroxyapatite (HAP)-filled poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) with increasing HAP concentration were studied. The toughness was assessed in terms of essential work of fracture (EWF). Adhesive strength between HAP and PCL interfaces was evaluated using T-peel testing. The adhesion between the two components was found to be relatively strong. Double edge notched tension (DENT) and trousers test specimens were used for the EWF tests. The effect of HAP phase in PCL on the fracture and tearing toughness was investigated. The results obtained from the EWF tests for the HAP-filled PCL complied with the validity criteria of the EWF concept, namely, (1) geometric similarity for all ligament lengths; (2) fully yielded ligament and (3) plane-stress fracture condition. Values for specific essential work of fracture (w ( e )) and specific plastic work of fracture (betaw ( p )) were found to decrease with increase in HAP concentration. The testing procedure showed promise in quantifying the tearing resistance and rising R-curve behavior common in natural materials and it can be extended to other biomaterials that exhibit post-yield deformation. A quantitative assessment based on fracture mechanics of the adhesive strength between the bioactive interfaces plays an important role for continued development of tissue replacement and tissue regeneration materials.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shing-chung_wong/54/