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A mouthguard is a piece of equipment worn in sports worldwide to greatly reduce the chance of orodental injuries. This work uses a newly developed method for testing and analysing mouthguards subjected to high impact energies of up to 100 J. This method allows investigation and comparison between the use of additive manufacturing, and current best mouthguard manufacturing technology of thermoforming with Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). The impact experiments are conducted using a drop tower and high-speed images are captured for the further analysis. Important physical parameters such as peak force, impulse and dissipated energy in the mouthguard are determined. The results revealed that the additively manufactured mouthguards made from Arnitel® ID 2045 lead to a peak force and impulse of impact that is on average 10% and 25% lower, respectively, than that experienced when using the EVA mouthguard. A lower peak force and impulse is preferred as it reduces the chance of an orodental injury occurring. The research shows that previously mouthguards have been tested at impact energies far lower than those experienced in impact prone sports such as field hockey. When using impacts with higher energies, the findings show that additive manufacturing provides a viable technology for manufacturing mouthguards, which offers many new benefits.

Original publication




Journal article


Materials and Design

Publication Date