Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Effect of autoclave sterilization on the cyclic fatigue resistance of thermally treated Nickel-Titanium instruments

Cover image for Vol. 48 Issue 10 

Accepted Article (Accepted, unedited articles published online and citable. The final edited and typeset version of record will appear in future.)




To compare the cyclic fatigue resistance of HyFlex CM, Twisted Files (TF), K3XF, Race, and K3, and evaluate the effect of autoclave sterilization on the cyclic fatigue resistance of these instruments both before and after the files were cycled.


Five types of NiTi instruments with similar size 30, .06 taper were selected: HyFlex CM, TF, K3XF, Race, and K3. Files were tested in a simulated canal with a curvature of 60° and a radius of 3 mm. The number of cycles to failure of each instrument was determined to evaluate cyclic fatigue resistance. Each type of instruments was randomly divided into four experimental groups: group 1 (n = 20), unsterilized instruments; group 2 (n = 20), presterilized instruments subjected to 10 cycles of autoclave sterilization; group 3 (n = 20), instruments tested were sterilized at 25%, 50% and 75% of the mean cycles to failure as determined in group 1, and then cycled to failure; group 4 (n = 20), instruments cycled in the same manner as group 3 but without sterilization. The fracture surfaces of instruments were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).


HyFlex CM, TF, and K3XF had significantly higher cyclic fatigue resistance than Race and K3 in the unsterilized group 1 (p < 0.05). Autoclave sterilization significantly increased the MCF of HyFlex CM and K3XF (p < 0.05) both before and after the files were cycled. SEM examination revealed a typical pattern of cyclic fatigue fracture in all instruments.


HyFlex CM, TF, and K3XF instruments composed of new thermal treated alloy were more resistant to fatigue failure than Race and K3. Autoclaving extended the cyclic fatigue life of HyFlex CM and K3XF.

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