Aim: Various alternatives to metal orthodontic archwires have produced varied successes over the years. This study sought to evaluate the bending properties of fiber-reinforced polymeric composite (FRC) archwires compared with similarly sized nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) archwires. Methods: Two different 0.018-inch translucent FRC orthodontic wires (Translucent Archwire I and Translucent Archwire II) were tested against 0.014-, 0.016-, and 0.018-inch nonsuperelastic nickel titanium orthodontic wires. The wires in each group (n = 10) were evaluated with three-point bending using a universal testing machine. Wire segments were deflected at midspan to 3.1 mm at a rate of 2 mm/min. Loading and unloading slope and modulus were calculated, as were force values during activation and deactivation and elastic recovery. Results: It was found that the 0.018-inch Ni-Ti archwire demonstrated the highest force values at different deflection distances followed by Translucent Archwire II, 0.016-inch Ni-Ti, Translucent Archwire I, and finally 0.014-inch Ni-Ti. 0.016-inch Ni-Ti exhibited the highest modulus value, followed by 0.018-inch Ni-Ti, 0.014-inch Ni-Ti, Translucent Archwire II, and finally Translucent Archwire I. During deactivation, the elastic recovery of 0.014-inch Ni-Ti and 0.016-inch Ni-Ti was significantly greater than Translucent Archwire II. Conclusion: The bending properties of BioMer’s FRC archwires were found to be comparable to Ni-Ti, as advertised by the manufacturer. ORTHODONTICS (CHIC) 2012;13:46–51.
Key words: archwire properties, composite archwires, three-point bending tests