Australian orthodontic journal vol:22 issue:1 pages:11-19
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frictional behaviour of orthodontic archwires in dry and wet conditions in-vitro. METHODS: Two types of archwire materials were investigated: stainless steel and NiTi. A fretting wear tribometer fitted with an alumina ball was operated at 23 degrees C in three different environments: ambient air with 50 per cent relative humidity, 0.9 wt. per cent sodium chloride solution, and deionised water. RESULTS: NiTi archwires sliding against alumina exhibited high coefficients of friction (about 0.6) in the three environments. Stainless steel archwires sliding against alumina had relatively low coefficients of friction (0.3) in the solutions, but high coefficients (0.8) in air. CONCLUSION: The low frictional forces of the stainless steel wires sliding against alumina in the solutions were due to a lubricating effect of the solutions and corrosion-wear debris. The high frictional forces between the NiTi wires and alumina are attributed to an abrasive interfacial transfer film between the wires and alumina.