Objectives. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the diffusion mechanism for water/ethanol mixtures in a diacrylate dental resin by direct observation of the absorbed liquid profiles using NMR microimaging. Methods. Frequency-swept stray-field magnetic resonance imaging (STRAFI) was used. Solutions containing 25–65% by volume ethanol remained in contact with visible light cured 54% TEGDMA: 46% modified TUDMA sheets while measurements were made. The diffusion profiles were recorded periodically for diffusion times up to 10 h, to a depth of 360 µm and with readings taken at 24 µm intervals. Results. For all liquid mixtures, diffusion was found to be Fickian with coefficients that increased progressively and smoothly with alcohol content in the diffusing mixture, from 2.4×10-13 to 150×10-13 m2 s-1. A rule of mixtures approach, as suggested by Kwei and Zupko, gave a satisfactory description of the ethanol fraction dependence of the diffusivity. Significance. Frequency-swept STRAFI offers a new and unique opportunity to produce spatially resolved measurements of the liquids in dental resins to high resolution. In this study, absorption was investigated since an understanding of its mechanism is fundamental to limiting consequent environmental degradation. STRAFI has great potential for other applications, for example drying, liquid exchange, etc. Since STRAFI can discriminate 1H in the liquid from those in softened polymer additional applications are envisaged.
- Dental materials
- Magnetic resonance