Physico-mechanical characteristics of commercially available bulk-fill composites

Julian G. Leprince, William M. Palin, Julie Vanacker, Joseph Sabbagh, Jacques Devaux, Gaetane Leloup

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194 Citations (Scopus)
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Bulk-fill composites have emerged, arguably, as a new “class” of resin-based composites, which are claimed to enable restoration in thick layers, up to 4 mm. The objective of this work was to compare, under optimal curing conditions, the physico-mechanical properties of most currently available bulk-fill composites to those of two conventional composite materials chosen as references, one highly filled and one flowable “nano-hybrid” composite.
Tetric EvoCeram Bulk Fill (Ivoclar-Vivadent), Venus Bulk Fill (Heraeus-Kulzer), SDR (Dentsply), X-tra Fil (VOCO), X-tra Base (VOCO), Sonic Fill (Kerr), Filtek Bulk Fill (3M-Espe), Xenius (GC) were compared to the two reference materials. The materials were light-cured for 40 s in a 2 mm × 2 mm × 25 mm Teflon mould. Degree of conversion was measured by Raman spectroscopy, Elastic modulus and flexural strength were evaluated by three point bending, surface hardness using Vickers microindentation before and after 24 h ethanol storage, and filler weight content by thermogravimetric analysis. The ratio of surface hardness before and after ethanol storage was considered as an evaluation of polymer softening. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and post hoc Tukey's test (p = 0.05).
The mechanical properties of the bulk-fill composites were mostly lower compared with the conventional high viscosity material, and, at best, comparable to the conventional flowable composite. Linear correlations of the mechanical properties investigated were poor with degree of conversion (0.09 < R < 0.41) and good with filler content (R > 0.8). Softening in ethanol revealed differences in polymer network density between material types.
The reduction of time and improvement of convenience associated with bulk-fill materials is a clear advantage of this particular material class. However, a compromise with mechanical properties compared with more conventional commercially-available nano-hybrid materials was demonstrated by the present work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1000
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue number8
Early online date27 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


  • Bulk-fill
  • Dental composite
  • Degree of conversion
  • Elastic modulus
  • Flexural strength
  • Microhardness
  • Polymer network density


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