Effect of airborne particle abrasion and regeneration firing on the strength of 3D-printed 3Y and 5Y zirconia ceramics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


  • Tadej Mirt
  • Andraž Kocjan
  • Martin Schwentenwein
  • Aljaz Ivekovic
  • Peter Jevnikar

External Organisational units

  • University of Ljubljana
  • Department for Nanostructured Materials, Jožef Stefan Institute
  • Lithoz GmbH


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the effect of airborne particle abrasion (APA) and regeneration firing (RF) on the subsurface damage and strength distribution of 3D-printed 3Y-TZP and 5Y-PSZ zirconia parts for dental applications. Methods: Disc-shaped specimens were prepared using vat photopolymerization (VPP) technology from 3Y and 5Y zirconia ceramics, followed by thermal debinding and sintering. APA treatment with 50 µm Al 2O 3 particles and RF at 1000 °C for 15 min were applied. Microstructural analysis was conducted using FIB-SEM, and XRD analysis determined crystalline phase content. Biaxial flexural strength was measured using the ball on three balls method and analyzed with Weibull statistics. ANOVA and Tukey HSD test were employed to compare strength differences between groups. Results: APA treatment increased the flexural strength of the 3Y specimens but decreased it for the 5Y specimens. RF treatment reversed the effect, restoring the strength to as-sintered levels for both materials. APA-treated 3Y specimens exhibited characteristic strength values above 1400 MPa, attributed to phase-transformation toughening. As sintered 5Y specimens showed strength values above 600 MPa. APA treatment increased the Weibull modulus of the 5Y specimens, indicating a narrower defect size distribution. Significance: The study demonstrates that the impact of APA and RF treatments on the mechanical properties and reliability of VPP-fabricated 3Y-TZP and 5Y-PSZ ceramics is comparable to conventionally prepared zirconia. VPP technology for 3D printing provides a viable approach for future manufacturing of dental restorations with potential clinical applications.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalDental Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024