The tensile and tear properties of highly extensible latex are sensitive to specimen shape. Three specimen shapes (ASTM D412 Die C dumbbell tensile specimen, rectangular tensile specimen with 1.74 mm hole, and ASTM D624 Die C tear specimen) were evaluated for proposed ANSI/ADA specification #90 for dental dams. Fresh and aged dental dams from two manufacturers (Aseptico and Hygenic) in three weights (thin, medium, and heavy) and from two other manufacturers (Ivory and Ivoclar) in one weight (medium) were tested. Means and standard deviations of 10 specimens for tensile strength (MPa), elongation (%), and tear strength (kN/m) are included herein. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance. Means were compared by a Tukey-Kramer interval calculated at the 0.05 significance level. The use of the dumbbell and tear specimens for the evaluation of dental dam should be reconsidered. The rectangular specimen with a hole is recommended for use in the proposed specification because of its sensitivity to condition (fresh versus aged) and manufacturer.
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