An Australian dental composite research group led by SDI Ltd, a leading manufacturer of specialist dental materials, has been successful in working with UOW and other universities to obtain an Australian Federal Government Cooperative Research Centres (CRC-P) grant of $3 million dollars.

SDI Ltd formed a consortium with university partners, UOW, UNSW, USyd and a sensor manufacturing company, Bestech Ltd, to look at the properties of composites used in dental repairs and how they react in dental restorations.

As mercury-based dental restoration amalgams are being phased out worldwide due to mercury toxicity, the research conducted by the group looks at how new glass fibre-reinforced composite dental restoration materials have mechanical properties that nearly match those of amalgam.

Ginu Rajan
As a part of the project, led by Dr Ginu Rajan, at UOW the group will oversee the development of a novel fibre optic instrumentation to characterise dental composites from a laboratory model to a benchtop instrumentation.

The project will transfer the amalgam alternate material, together with tools for its manufacture and testing, to Australian industry.