Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Analyses of Superelastic and Nonsuperelastic Nickel-Titanium Orthodontic Wires
Format of Original
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
The purpose of this study was to determine the transformation temperatures for the austenitic, martensitic, and rhombohedral (R) structure phases in representative as-received commercial nitinol (NiTi) orthodontic wire alloys, to reconcile discrepancies among recent publications. Specimens were examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) over a temperature range from approximately −170° C to 100° C, with a scanning rate of 10° C per minute. Two different pathways, with the intermediate R structure either absent or present, were observed for the transformation from martensitic to austenitic NiTi, whereas the reverse transformation from austenitic to martensitic NiTi always included the R structure. The enthalpy (ΔH) for the transformation from martensite to austenite ranged from 0.3 to 35 calories per gram. The lowest ΔH value for the nonsuperelastic Nitinol wire is consistent with a largely work-hardened, stable, martensitic microstructure in this product. The DSC results indicate that the transformation processes are broadly similar in superelastic, body-temperature shape-memory, and nonsuperelastic NiTi wires. Differences in bending properties for the NiTi orthodontic wires at room temperature and 37° C are due to the relative proportions of the metallurgical phases in the microstructures.