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INTRODUCTION

In dentistry, metals represent one of the three major classes of materials used for
the reconstruction of damaged or missing oral tissues. Although metals are readily
distinguished from ceramics and polymers.

The wide varieties of complex dental alloy compositions consist of the following:

1. Dental amalgams containing the major elements mercury, silver, tin, and
copper.
2. Noble metal alloys in which the major elements are some combination of
gold, palladium, silver and important secondary elements including copper,
platinum, tin, indium and gallium.
3. Base metal alloys with a major element of nickel, cobalt, iron or titanium and
many secondary elements that are found in the alloy compositions.

HISTORY OF METALS IN DENTISTRY

Dentistry as a specialty is believed to have begun about 3000 BC. Gold bands
and wires were used by the Phoenicians after 2500 BC.
Modern dentistry began in 1728 when Fauchard published different treatment
modalities describing many types of dental restorations, including a method for the
construction of artificial dentures made from ivory. Gold shell crowns were described
by Mouton in 1746 but they were not patented until in 1873 by Beers. In 1885
Logan patented porcelain fused to platinum post replacing the unsatisfactory wooden
post previously used to build up intra-radicular areas of teeth. In 1907 a detached post
crown was introduced which was more easily adjustable.

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Year Event

1907 Introduction of Lost-Wax Technique

1933 Replacement of Co-Cr for Gold in Removable Partial Dentures

1950 Development of Resin Veneers for Gold Alloys

1959 Introduction of the Porcelain Fused-to-Metal Technique

1968 Palladium-Based Alloys as Alternatives to Gold Alloy

1971 Nickel-Based Alloys as Alternatives to Gold Alloys

1980s Introduction of All-Ceramic Technologies

1999 Gold Alloys as Alternatives to Palladium-Based Alloys

1971 The Gold Standard:


The United States abandoned the gold standard in 1971. Gold then became a
commodity freely traded on the open markets. As a result, the price of gold increased
steadily over the next nine years. In response to the increasing price of gold, new
dental alloys were introduced through the following changes:
1. In some alloys, gold was replaced with palladium.
2. In other alloys, palladium eliminated gold entirely.
3. Base metal alloys with nickel as the major element eliminated the exclusive
need for noble metals.

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KEY TERMS

Grain A microscopic single crystal in the microstructure of a metallic material.

Metal An element or alloy whose atomic structure readily loses electrons to form
positively charged ions, and which exhibits metallic bonding (through a spatial
extension of valence electrons), opacity, good light reflectance from a polished
surface and high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Noble metal which are highly resistant to oxidation and dissolution in inorganic
acids. Gold and platinum group metals (Platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium,
iridium and osmium).

Base metal A metal that readily oxidizes or dissolves to release ions.

Alloy A crystalline substance with metallic properties that is composed of two or


more
chemical elements, at least one of which is metal.

Solid solution (metallic) A solid crystalline phase containing two or more


elements, at least one of which is a metal, that are intimately combined at the atomic
level.

Liquidus temperature Temperature at which an alloy begins to freeze on cooling


or at which the metal is completely molten on heating.

Solidus temperature Temperature at which an alloy becomes solid on cooling or at


which the metal begins to melt on heating.

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PERIODIC TABLE
Of the 115 elements currently listed in most recent versions of the periodic
tables of the elements, about 81 can be classified as metals. (Additional elements that
have been created with nuclear reactors have short half-lives.) It is of scientific
interest that the metallic elements can be grouped according to density, ductility,
melting point and nobility. This indicates that the properties of metals are closely
related to their valence electron configuration. The groupings of pure metal elements
can be seen in the periodic chart of the elements. Several metals of importance for
dental alloys are transition elements, in which the outermost electron subshells are
occupied before the interior subshells are completely filled.

INTERATOMIC PRIMARY BONDS:


The forces that hold atoms together are called cohesive forces. These
interatomic bonds may be classified as primary or secondary. The strength of these
bonds and their ability to reform after breakage determine the physical properties of a
material. Primary atomic bonds may be of three different types.
1. Ionic
2. Covalent
3. Metallic

1. IONIC BOND FORMATION:-


Characterized by electron transfer from one element (positive) to another
(negative).

2. COVALENT BOND FORMATION:-


Characterized by electron sharing and very precise bond orientations.

3. METALLIC BOND FORMATION:-


Since the outer-shell valence electrons can be removed easily from atoms in
metals, the nuclei containing the balance of the bound electrons form positively
charged ionic cores. The unbound or free valence electrons form a cloud or gas,
resulting in electrostatic attraction between the free electron cloud and the positively
charged ionic cores. Closed-shell repulsion from the outer electrons of the ionic cores
balances this attractive force at the equilibrium interatomic spacing for the metal.

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The free electrons act as conductors of both thermal energy and electricity.
They transfer energy by moving readily from areas of higher energy to those of lower
energy, under the influence of either a thermal gradient or an electrical field (potential
gradient). Metallic bonding is also responsible for the luster or mirror-reflecting
property, of polished metals and their typical capability of undergoing significant
permanent deformation (associated with the properties of ductility and malleability) at
sufficiently high mechanical stresses. These characteristics are not found in ceramic
and polymeric materials in which the atomic bonding occurs through a combination of
the covalent and ionic modes.

INTERATOMIC SECONDARY BONDS:


In contrast with primary bonds, secondary bonds do not share electrons.
Instead, charge variations among molecules or atomic groups induce polar forces that
attract the molecules.

VAN DER WAALS FORCES:


Fluctuating dipole that binds inert gas molecules together. The arrows show
how the fields may fluctuate so that the charges become momentarily positive and
negative.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

Stress
When a force is applied to a material there is a resistance in the material to the
external force. The force is distributed over an area and the ratio of the force to the
area is called stress.
STESS= F/A

Strain
The change in length or deformation per unit length when a material is
subjected to a force is defined as strain.

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Stress vs. Strain Curve
If one plots stress vs. strain on a graph, a stress-strain curve will result. The
properties of various dental materials, such as alloys, can be compared by analysis of
their respective stress-strain curves.

P = Elastic modulus
or Proportional Limit
Y-X curve = Yield Strength
X = Ultimate Strength

Strength
It is the maximal stress required to fracture a structure.
Types of Strength:
- Compressive
- Tensile
- Shearing

Toughness
It is defined as the energy
required to fracture a material. It is a property of the material which describes how
difficult the material would be to break.

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Ductility
It is the ability of a material to withstand permanent deformation under a
tensile load without rupture. A metal may be drawn readily into a wire and is said to
be ductile. Ductility is dependent on tensile strength.

Malleability
It is the ability of the material to withstand rupture under compression, as in
hammering or rolling into a sheet. It is not dependent on strength as is ductility.

Hardness
In mineralogy the hardness is described on the basis of the material to resist
scratching. In metallurgy and in most other fields, the amounts of the resistance of
indentation is taken as the measure of hardness for the respective material).

Brinell hardness number ( BHN )


Rockwell hardness number ( RHN )
Vickers hardness test (VHN )
Knoop hardness test ( KHN )

Coefficient Of Thermal Expansion (Linear Coefficient Of Expansion )

Change in length per unit of original length of a material when its temperature
is raised 1

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TARNISH AND CORROSION
High-noble alloys used in dentistry are so stable chemically that they do not
undergo significant corrosion in the oral environment; the major components of these
alloys are gold, palladium and platinum. (Iridium, osmium, rhodium and ruthenium
are also classified as noble metals.) Silver is not considered noble by dental standards,
since it will react with air, water and sulfur to form silver sulfide, a dark discoloration
product.

Gold resists chemical attack very well. Thus it was natural that this most noble
metal was employed early in modern dental history for the construction of dental
appliances.

Tarnish is observable as a surface discoloration on a metal, or as a slight loss or


alteration of the surface finish or luster. In the oral environment, tarnish often occurs
from the formation of hard and soft deposits on the surface of the restoration.
Calculus is the principal hard deposit, and its color varies from light yellow to brown.
The soft deposits are plaques and films composed mainly of microorganisms and
mucin. Stain or discoloration arises from pigment-producing bacteria, drugs
containing such chemicals as iron or mercury and adsorbed food debris.

Corrosion is not merely a surface deposit. It is a process in which deterioration of a


metal is caused by reaction with its environment. Frequently, the rate of corrosion
attack may actually increase over time, especially with surfaces subjected to stress,
with intergranular impurities in the metal or with corrosion products that do not
completely cover the metal surface.

Sulfur is probably the most significant factor causing surface tarnish on casting
alloys that contain silver, although chloride has also been identified as a contributor.

1. Chemical or Dry Corrosion


2. Electrochemical or Wet Corrosion
1 Galvanic corrosion
2 Heterogeneous Surface Composition

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3 Stress Corrosion
4 Concentration Cell Corrosion or Crevice Corrosion
Pitting type
Cervical type

Protection Against Corrosion


i. Passivation
ii. Increase noble metal content
iii. Polishing restorations
iv. Avoid dissimilar metal restorations

Certain metals readily form strong adherent oxide film on their surface, which
protects them from corrosion. Such a metal is said to be passive. Chromium, titanium
and aluminium are examples of such metals. Since this film is passive to oxidative
chemical attack, their formation is called passivation.

If more than 12% Cr is added to iron or cobalt, we get stainless steel or cobalt
chromium alloys, which are lightly corrosion resistant and therefore suitable for
dental use.

Noble metals resist corrosion because their electromotive force is positive with
regard to any of the common reduction reactions found in the oral
environment. In order to corrode a noble metal under such conditions, an
external current (over potential) is required.
At least half the atoms should be noble metals (gold, platinum, and palladium)
to ensure against corrosion. Palladium has been found to be effective in
reducing the susceptibility to sulfide tarnishing for alloys containing silver.
Chromium provides this corrosion resistance by forming a very thin, adherent
surface oxide that prevents the diffusion of oxygen or other corroding species
to the underlying bulk metal.

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SOLIDIFICATION OF METALS

The temperature decreases steadily from point A to point B. An increase in


temperature then occurs from point B to point B, at which time the temperature
remains constant until the time indicated at point C is reached. Subsequently, the
temperature of the metal decreases steadily to room temperature.

The temperature Tf, as indicated by the straight or plateau portion of the


curve at BC, is the freezing point, or solidification temperature of the pure metal. This
is also the melting point, or fusion temperature. During melting, the temperature
remains constant. During freezing or solidification, heat is released as the metal
changes from the higher-energy liquid state to the lower-energy solid state.

The initial cooling of the liquid metal from Tf to point B is termed super
cooling. During the super cooling process, crystallization begins for the pure metal.
Once the crystals begin to form, release of the latent heat of fusion causes the
temperature to rise to Tf where it remains until crystallization is completed at point
C.

CRYSTALLIZATION OF METALS
Characteristically, a pure metal crystallizes from nuclei in a pattern that often
resembles the branches of a tree, yielding elongated crystals that are called Dendrites.
In three dimensions, their general appearance is similar to that of the two dimensional
frost crystals that form on a window pane in the winters.
Extensions or elevated areas (termed protuberances) form spontaneously on
the advancing front of the solidifying metal and grow into regions of negative
temperature gradient. Secondary and tertiary protuberances result in a three
dimensional dendritic structure.
Although dental base metal casting alloys typically solidify with a dendritic
micro-structure, most nobel metal casting alloys solidify with an Equiaxed
polycrystalline microstructure. The microstructural features in this figure are called
grains, and the term Equiaxed means that the three dimensions of each grain are
similar, in contrast to the elongated morphology of the dendrites.

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NOBLE METALS
The noble metals have been the basis of inlays, crowns and bridges because of
their resistance to corrosion in the oral cavity.

Gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, osmium, and silver are
the eight noble metals. However, in the oral cavity, silver is more reactive and
therefore is not considered as a noble metal.

Of the eight noble metals, four are of major importance in dental casting alloys,
i.e., gold, platinum, palladium and silver. All four have a face-centered cubic crystal
structure and all are white coloured except for gold.

Gold
Pure gold is a soft and ductile metal with a yellow Gold hue. It has a density
of 19.3 gms/cm3 , melting point of 1063oC, boiling point of 2970 oC and CTE of
14.210-6/C. Gold has a good luster and takes up a high polish. It has good chemical
stability and does not tarnish and corrode.

Gold content:
Traditionally the gold content of dental casting alloys have been referred to in
terms of:
1. Karat
2. Fineness

Karat:
It is the parts of pure gold in 24 parts of alloys.
For Eg: a) 24 Karat gold is pure gold
b) 22 Karat gold is 22 parts of pure gold and remaining 2 parts of
other metal.
The term Karat is rarely used to describe gold content in current alloys.

Fineness:
Fineness of a gold alloy is the parts per thousand of pure gold. Pure gold is
1000 fine. Thus, if of the gold alloy is pure gold, it is said to be 750 fine.

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Silver
It is sometimes described as the Whitest of all metals. It has the lowest
density 10.4gms/cm3 and melting point of 961oC, boiling point of 2216 oC among the
four precious metals used in dental casting alloys. Its CTE is 19.710-6/oC , which is
comparatively high.

Palladium
It has a density of 12.02gms/cm3. Palladium has a higher melting point of
1552oC, boiling point of 3980 oC and lower CTE which is 11.810-6/oC, when
compared to gold.

Platinum
It has the highest density of 21.45 gms/cm3 , highest melting point of 1769oC,
boiling point of 4530 oC and the lowest CTE 8.910-6/oC among the four precious
metals used in dental casting alloys.

Carbon:
Carbon content is most critical. Small amounts may have a pronounced effect
on strength, hardness and ductility. Carbon forms carbides with any of the metallic
constituents which is an important factor in strengthening the alloy. However when in
excess it increases brittleness. Thus, control of carbon content in the alloy is
important.

Boron:
Deoxidizer and hardner, but reduces ductility.
Copper:
It is the principal hardner. It reduces the melting point and density of gold. If
present in sufficient quantity, it gives the alloy a reddish colour. It also helps to age
harden gold alloys. In greater amounts it reduces resistance to tarnish and corrosion of
the gold alloy. Therefore, the maximum content should not exceed 16%.

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Silver:
It whitens the alloy, thus helping to counteract the reddish colour of copper.
To a slight extent it increases strength and hardness. In large amounts however, it
reduces tarnish resistance.

Platinum:
It increases the strength and corrosion resistance. It also increases the melting
point and has a whitening effect on the alloy. It helps to reduce the grain size.

Palladium:
It is similar to platinum in its effect. It hardens as well as whitens the alloy. It
also raises the fusion temperature and provides tarnish resistance. It is less expensive
than platinum, thus reducing cost of alloy.

Zinc:
It acts as a scavenger for oxygen. Without zinc the silver in the alloy causes
absorption of oxygen during melting. Later during solidification, the oxygen is
rejected producing gas porosities in the casting.

Indium, Tin and Iron:


They help to harden the metal ceramic gold - palladium alloys, iron being the
most effective.

Gallium:
It is added to compensate for the decreased coefficient of thermal expansion
that results when the alloy is made silver free. The elimination of silver reduces the
tendency for green stain at the margin of the metal-porcelain interface.

Iridium, Ruthenium, Rhenium:


They help to decrease the grain size. They are added in very small quantities
(about 100 to 150 ppm).

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Crystals in alloys:
All modern noble metal alloys are fine grained. Smaller the grain size of the
metal, the more ductile and stronger it is. It also produces a more homogenous casting
and improves the tarnish resistance. A large grain size reduces the strength and
increases the brittleness of the metal. Factors controlling the grain size are the rate of
cooling, shape of the mold, and composition of the alloy.

NOBLE METALS
The noble metals have been the basis of inlays, crowns and bridges because of
their resistance to corrosion in the oral cavity.

Gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, osmium, and silver are
the eight noble metals. However, in the oral cavity, silver is more reactive and
therefore is not considered as a noble metal.

Of the eight noble metals, four are of major importance in dental casting alloys,
i.e., gold, platinum, palladium and silver. All four have a face-centered cubic crystal
structure and all are white coloured except for gold.

Gold
Pure gold is a soft and ductile metal with a yellow Gold hue. It has a density
of 19.3 gms/cm3 , melting point of 1063oC, boiling point of 2970 oC and CTE of
14.210-6/C. Gold has a good luster and takes up a high polish. It has good chemical
stability and does not tarnish and corrode.

Gold content:
Traditionally the gold content of dental casting alloys have been referred to in
terms of:
3. Karat
4. Fineness

Karat:
It is the parts of pure gold in 24 parts of alloys.

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For Eg: a) 24 Karat gold is pure gold
b) 22 Karat gold is 22 parts of pure gold and remaining 2 parts of
other metal.
The term Karat is rarely used to describe gold content in current alloys.

Fineness:
Fineness of a gold alloy is the parts per thousand of pure gold. Pure gold is
1000 fine. Thus, if of the gold alloy is pure gold, it is said to be 750 fine.
Silver
It is sometimes described as the Whitest of all metals. It has the lowest
density 10.4gms/cm3 and melting point of 961oC, boiling point of 2216 oC among the
four precious metals used in dental casting alloys. Its CTE is 19.710-6/oC , which is
comparatively high.

Palladium
It has a density of 12.02gms/cm3. Palladium has a higher melting point of
1552oC, boiling point of 3980 oC and lower CTE which is 11.810-6/oC, when
compared to gold.

Platinum
It has the highest density of 21.45 gms/cm3 , highest melting point of 1769oC,
boiling point of 4530 oC and the lowest CTE 8.910-6/oC among the four precious
metals used in dental casting alloys.

Carbon:
Carbon content is most critical. Small amounts may have a pronounced effect
on strength, hardness and ductility. Carbon forms carbides with any of the metallic
constituents which is an important factor in strengthening the alloy. However when in
excess it increases brittleness. Thus, control of carbon content in the alloy is
important.

Boron:
Deoxidizer and hardner, but reduces ductility.

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Copper:
It is the principal hardner. It reduces the melting point and density of gold. If
present in sufficient quantity, it gives the alloy a reddish colour. It also helps to age
harden gold alloys. In greater amounts it reduces resistance to tarnish and corrosion of
the gold alloy. Therefore, the maximum content should not exceed 16%.

Silver:
It whitens the alloy, thus helping to counteract the reddish colour of copper.
To a slight extent it increases strength and hardness. In large amounts however, it
reduces tarnish resistance.

Platinum:
It increases the strength and corrosion resistance. It also increases the melting
point and has a whitening effect on the alloy. It helps to reduce the grain size.

Palladium:
It is similar to platinum in its effect. It hardens as well as whitens the alloy. It
also raises the fusion temperature and provides tarnish resistance. It is less expensive
than platinum, thus reducing cost of alloy.

Iron, Copper, Beryllium


They are hardeners. In addition, beryllium reduces fusion temperature and
refines grain structure . IRON has melting point of 1527C , boiling point of 3000 C
, density of 7.87 gm/cm3 and CTE 12.3 10-6/oC . where as COPPER has melting
point of 1083C , boiling point of 2595 C , density of 8.96 gm/cm3 and CTE 16.5
10-6/oC .

Manganese and Silicon:


Primarily oxide scavengers to prevent oxidation of other elements during
melting. They are also hardeners. MANGANESE has melting point of 650C ,
boiling point of 1107 C , density of 1.74 gm/cm3 and CTE 25.2 10-6/oC , where as

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SILICON has melting point of 1410C , boiling point of 2480 C , density of 2.33
gm/cm3 and CTE 7.3 10-6/oC .

ALLOYS
The use of pure metals is quite limited in dentistry. To optimize properties,
most metals commonly used in engineering and dental applications are mixtures of
two or more metallic elements or in some cases one or more metals and/or nonmetals.
They are generally prepared by fusion of the elements above their melting points. A
solid material formed by combining a metal with one or more other metals or
nonmetals is called an alloy.
For example, a small amount of carbon is added to iron to form steel. A
certain amount of chromium is added to iron, carbon, and other elements to form
stainless steel, an alloy that is highly resistant to corrosion. Noted chromium is also
used to impart corrosion resistance to nickel or cobalt alloys, which comprise two of
the major groups of base metal alloys used in dentistry.
At least four factors determine the extent of solid solubility of metals; atom
size, valence, chemical affinity and chemical structure.

Atom Size:
If the sizes of two metallic atoms differ by less than approximately 15% (first
noted by Hume-Rothery), they possess a favorable size factor for solid solubility.

Valence:
Metals of the same valence and size are more likely to form extensive solid
solutions than are metals of different valences.

Chemical Affinity:
When two metals exhibit a high degree of chemical affinity, they tend to form
an intermetallic compound upon solidification rather than a solid solution.

Crystal structure:
Only metals with the same type of crystal structure can form a complete series
of solid solutions.

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The simplest alloy is a solid solution, in which atoms of two metals are located
in the same crystal structure such as face-centered cubic (fcc), body-centered cubic
(bcc) and hexagonal close-packed (hcp).

Liquidus and Solidus temperature


Liquidus temperature Temperature at which an alloy begins to freeze on
cooling or at which the metal is completely molten on heating.
Solidus temperature Temperature at which an alloy becomes solid on
cooling or at which the metal begins to melt on heating.

Coring
In the coring process the last liquid to solidify is metal with lower solidus
temperature and solidifies between the dendrites. Thus under rapid freezing
conditions, the alloy has a core structure. The core consists of the dendrites
composed of compositions with higher solidus temperature, and the matrix is the
portion of the micro-structure between the dendrites that contains compositions with
lower solidus temperatures.

Homogenization
For homogenization heat treatment, the cast alloy is held at a temperature near
its solidus to achieve the maximum amount of diffusion without melting. (This
process required 6 hr. for the alloy). Little or no grain growth occurs when a casting
receives this type of heat treatment eg. Annealing done mainly for wrought alloys .
The ductility of an alloy usually increases after homogenization heat treatment . Gold
alloys are heat treated by softening (solution heat treat) or hardening (age hardening
heat treat)

Eutectic alloys:
Many binary alloy systems do not exhibit complete solubility in both the liquid
and the solid states. The eutectic system is an example of an alloy for which the
component metals have limited solid solubility. Two metals, A and B, which are
completely insoluble in each other in the solid state, provide the simplest illustration
of a eutectic alloy. In this case, some grains are composed solely of metal A and the
remaining grains are composed of metal B. The salt and water molecules intermingle

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randomly in solution, the result upon freezing is a mixture of salt crystals and ice
crystals that form independently of each other.

Silver-copper system
The phase diagram for this system is presented in where 3 phases are found:
1. A liquid phase (L)
2. A silver-rich substitutional solid solution phase () containing a small amount
of copper atoms.
3. A copper-rich substitutional solid solution phase () containing a small
amount of silver atoms. The and phases are sometimes referred to as
terminal solid solutions because of their locations at the left and right sides of
the phase diagram.

This composition (72% silver and 28% copper) is known as the eutectic
composition or simply the eutectic. The following characteristics of this special
composition should be noted.

1. The temperature at which the eutectic composition melts (779oC or


1435oF) is lower than the fusion temperature of silver or copper (eutectic
literally means lowest melting).
2. There is no solidification range for composition E.
3. The eutectic reaction is sometimes written schematically as follows.

Liquid solid solution + solid solution

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DENTAL CASTING ALLOYS

CLASSIFICATION:

1. Alloy types by functions:


In 1927, the Bureau of Standard established gold casting alloys, type I to type
IV according to dental function with hardness increasing from type I to type IV.

Type I (Soft) :
It is used for fabrication of small inlays, class III and class V restorations
which are not subjected to great stress . These alloys are easily burnishable.

Type -II (Medium):


These are used for fabrication of inlays subjected to moderate stress, thick 3/4
crowns, abutments, pontics, full crowns and soft saddles.
Type I and II are usually referred to as inlay gold.

Type -III (Hard):


It is used for fabrication of inlays subjected to high stress, thin 3/4 crowns,
thin cast backing abutments, pontics, full crowns, denture bases and short strength
FPDs . Type III alloys can be age hardened.

Type-IV (Extra hard):


It is used for fabrication of inlays subjected to high stress, denture bases, bars
and clasps, partial denture frameworks and long span FPDs. These alloys can be age
hardened by heat treatment.

Type III and Type IV gold alloys are generally called "Crown and Bridge
Alloys", although type IV alloy is used for high stress applications such as RPD
framework.
Later, in 1960, metal ceramic alloys were introduced and removable partial
denture alloys were added in this classification.

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Metal ceramic alloys (hard and extra hard):
It is suitable for veneering with dental porcelain, copings, thin walled crowns,
short span FPDs and long span FPDs. These alloy vary greatly in composition and
may be gold, palladium, nickel or cobalt based.
Removable partial denture alloys :
It is used for removable partial denture frameworks. Now a days, light weight, strong
and less expensive nickel or cobalt based have replaced type IV alloys .

2. Alloy types by description:


By description, these alloys are classified into;
A) Crown and bridge alloys:
This category of alloys include both noble and base metal alloys that have
been or potentially could be used in the fabrication of full metal or partial veneers.
1. Noble metal alloys:
i) Gold based alloy - type III and type IV gold alloys , low gold alloys
ii) Non-gold based alloy-Silver -palladium alloy
2. Base metal alloys:
i) Nickel-based alloys
ii) Cobalt based alloys
3. Other alloys:
i) Copper-zinc with Indium and nickel
ii) Silver-indium with palladium

B) Metal ceramic alloy:


1. Noble metal alloys for porcelain bonding:
i) Gold-platinum -palladium alloy
ii) Gold-palladium-silver alloy
iii) Gold-palladium alloy
iv) Palladium silver alloy
v) High palladium alloy
2. Base metal alloys for porcelain bonding:
i) Nickel -chromium alloy
ii) Cobalt-chromium alloy

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C) Removable partial denture alloy:
Although type-IV noble metal alloy may be used, majority of removable
partial framework are made from base metal alloys:
1. Cobalt-chromium alloy
2. Nickel-chromium alloy
3. Cobalt-chromium-nickel alloy
4. Silver-palladium alloy
5. Aluminum -bronze alloy

3. Alloy type by nobility:


High noble, noble, and predominantly base metal.
Alloy Classification of the American Dental Association (1984)
Alloy type Total noble metal content
High noble metal Contains > 40 wt% Au and > 60 wt% of the noble
metal elements (Au + Ir + Os + Pd + Pt + Rh + Ru)
Noble metal Contains > 25 wt % of the noble metal elements
Predominantly base metal Contains < 25 wt % of the noble metal elements

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Classification of alloys for All-Metal restorations, metal ceramic restorations,
and frameworks for removable partial dentures.
Alloy type All-metal Metal-ceramic Removable
partial dentures
High noble Au-Ag-Cu-Pd Au-Pt-Pd Au-Ag-Cu-Pd
Metal ceramic alloys Au-Pd-Ag (5-12wt% Ag)
Au-Pd-Ag (>12wt%Ag)
Au-Pd (no Ag)

Noble Ag-Pd-Au-Cu Pd-Au (no Ag) Ag-Pd-Au-Cu


Ag-Pd Pd-Au-Ag Ag-Pd
Metal-ceramic alloys Pd-Ag
Pd-Cu
Pd-Co
Pd-Ga-Ag

Base Metal Pure Ti Pure Ti Pure Ti


Ti-Al-V Ti-Al-V Ti-Al-V
Ni-Cr-Mo-Be Ni-Cr-Mo-Be Ni-Cr-Mo-Be
Ni-Cr-Mo Ni-Cr-Mo Ni-Cr-Mo
Co-Cr-Mo Co-Cr-Mo Co-Cr-Mo
Co-Cr-W Co-Cr-W Co-Cr-W
Al bronze

4. Alloy Type By Major Elements:


Gold-based, palladium-based, silver-based, nickel-based, cobalt-based and
titanium-based .

5. Alloy Type By Principal Three Elements:


Such as Au-Pd-Ag, Pd-Ag-Sn, Ni-Cr-Be, Co-Cr-Mo, Ti-Al-V and Fe-Ni-Cr.

6. Alloy Type By Dominant Phase System:


Single phase [isomorphous], eutectic, peritectic and intermetallic.

23
If two metals are present, a binary alloy is formed; if three or four metals are
present, ternary and quaternary alloys, respectively, are produced and so on.

DESIRABLE PROPERTIES OF DENTAL CASTING ALLOYS


1. Biocompatibility
2. Ease of melting
3. Ease of casting
4. Ease of brazing (soldering)
5. Ease of polishing
6. Little solidification shrinkage
7. Minimal reactivity with the mold material
8. Good wear resistance
9. High strength
10. Excellent corrosion resistance
11. Porcelain Bonding
To achieve a sound chemical bond to ceramic veneering materials, a substrate
metal must be able to form a thin, adherent oxide, preferably one that is light in color
so that it does not interfere with the aesthetic potential of the ceramic. The metal must
have a thermal expansion/contraction coefficient that is closely matched to that of the
porcelain.

24
Gold alloys:

ADA specification No.5 classify dental gold casting alloys as:

1. High Gold Alloys Type I


Inlay Gold
Type II

Type III
Crown & Bridge Alloy
Type IV

2. Low Gold Alloys

3. White Gold Alloys

High gold alloy:


These alloys contain 70% by weight or more of gold palladium and platinium.
ADA specification No.5 divides this into four depending upon mechanical properties.

Type I (Soft)
They are weak, soft and highly ductile, useful only in areas of low occlusal
stress designed for simple inlays such as used in class I, III & V cavities.
These alloys have a high ductility so they can be burnished easily. Such a
characteristic is important since these alloys are designed to be used in conjunction
with a direct wax pattern technique. Since such a technique occasionally results in
margins that are less than ideal it is necessary to use a metal that can be burnished. At
present, these are used very rarely.

Properties:-
1. Hardness VHN (50 90)
2. Tensile Strength Quite Low
276 MPa or 40,000 PSi
3. Yield Strength 180 MPa or 26,000 PSi

25
4. Linear Casting Shrinkage 1.56% (according to Anusavice)
5. Elongation or ductility 46% - William O Brien
18% - Anusavice
Composition:

Au Ag Cu Pt Pd Zn & Ga
83% 10% 6% - 0.5% balance

Type II (Medium)
These are used for conventional inlay or onlay restorations subject to moderate
stress, thick three quarter crowns, pontics and full crowns. These are harder and have
good strength.
Ductility is almost same as that of type I alloy however, yield strength is
higher. Since burnishability is a function of ductility and yield strength, greater effort
is required to deform the alloy. They are less yellow in color due to less gold.

Properties:
1. Hardness VHN (90-120)
2. Tensile Strength 345 MPa
3. Yield Strength 300 MPa
4. Linear Casting Shrinkage 1.37%
5. Elongation 40.5% - William O Brien
10% - Anusavice

Composition:-
Au Ag Cu Pt Pd Zn &Ga
77% 14% 7% - 1% balance

26
Type III (Hard):
Inlays subject to high stress and for crown and bridge in contrast to type I and
type II, this type can be age hardened. The type III alloy, burnishing is less important
than strength.

Properties:
1. Hardness VHN (120 150)
2. Tensile Strength 360 MPa
3. Yield Strength 331 MPa
4. Linear Casting Shrinkage 1.42%
5. Elongation or ductility 39.4% - William O Brien
5% - Anusavice
Composition:
Au Ag Cu Pt Pd Zn & Ga
75% 11% 9% - 3.5% balance

Type IV (Extra Hard):


These are used in areas of very high stress, crowns and long span bridges. It has
lowest gold content of all four type (Less than 70%) but has the highest percentage of
silver, copper, platinum and Palladium. It is most responsive to heat treatment and
yield strength but lowers ductility.

Properties:
1. Hardness VHN (150-200)
2. Tensile Strength 462 MPa
3. Yield Strength 703 MPa
4. Linear Casting Shrinkage 2.30%
5. Elongation or ductility 17% - William O Brien
3% - Anusavice

27
Composition:
Au Ag Cu Pt Pd Zn & Ga
56% 25% 14% - 4% balance
Type Hardness Proportional limit Strength Ductility Corrosion
resistance
I
II INCREASES DECREASES
III
IV

Composition Range (weight percent) of traditional type I to IV alloys and four


metal -ceramic alloys
Alloy type Main elements Au Cu Ag Pd Sn, In, Fe, Zn, Ga
I High noble (Au base) 83 6 10 0.5 Balance
II High noble (Au base) 77 7 14 1 Balance
III High noble (Au base) 75 9 11 3.5 Balance
III Noble (Au base) 46 8 39 6 Balance
III Noble (Ag base) 70 25 Balance
IV High noble (Au base) 56 14 25 4 Balance
IV Noble (Ag base) 15 14 45 25 Balance
Metal-ceramic High noble (Au base) 52 38 Balance
Metal-ceramic Noble (Pd base) 30 60 Balance
Metal-ceramic High noble (Au base) 88 1 7 (+4Pt) Balance
Metal-ceramic Noble (Pd base) 0-6 0-15 0-10 74-88 Balance

Linear solidification shrinkage of casting alloys


Alloy Casting shrinkage (%)
Type I, gold base 1.56
Type II, gold base 1.37
Type III, gold base 1.42
Ni-Cr-Mo-Be 2.3
Co-Cr-Mo 2.3

28
Heat treatment of gold alloys:
Heat treatment of alloys is done in order to alter its mechanical properties.
Gold alloys can be heat treated if it contains sufficient amount of copper.
Only type III and type IV gold alloys can be heat-treated.
There are two types of heat treatment.
1. Softening Heat Treatment (Solution heat treatment)
2. Hardening Heat Treatment (Age hardening)

Softening Heat Temperature:


Softening heat treatment increased ductility, but reduces tensile strength,
proportional limit, and hardness.

Indications: It is indicated for appliances that are to be grounded, shaped, or


otherwise cold worked in or outside the mouth.

Method:
The casting is placed in an electric furnace for 10 minutes at a temperature of
700oC and then it is quenched in water. During this period, all intermediate phases are
presumably changed to a disordered solid solution, and the rapid quenching prevents
ordering from occurring during cooling.
Each alloy has its optimum temperature. The manufacturer should specify the
most favorable temperature and time.

Hardening Heat Treatment:


Hardening heat treatment increases strength, proportional limit, and hardness,
but decreases ductility. It is the copper present in gold alloys, which helps in the age
hardening process.

Indications:
It is indicated for metallic partial dentures, saddles, bridges and other similar
structures. It is not employed for smaller structures such as inlays.

29
Method:
It is done by soaking or ageing the casting at a specific temperature for a
definite time, usually 15 to 30 minutes. It is then water quenched or cooled slowly.
The aging temperature depends on the alloy composition but is generally between
200oC and 450oC. During this period, the intermediate phases are changed to an
ordered solid solution.
The proper time and temperature for age hardening an alloy are specified by the
manufacturer.
Ideally, before age hardening an alloy, it should first be subjected to a
softening heat treatment to relieve all strain hardening & to start the hardening
treatment when the alloy is in a disordered solid solution. This allows better control of
the hardening process.

30
METAL CERAMIC ALLOYS
The main function of metal-ceramic alloys is to reinforce porcelain, thus
increasing its resistance to fracture.

Requirements:
1. They should be able to bond with porcelain.
2. Its coefficient of thermal expansion should be compatible with that of
porcelain.
3. Its melting temperature should be higher than the porcelain firing temperature.
It should be able to resist creep or sag at these temperatures.
4. It should not stain or discolor porcelain.
The alloys used for metal-ceramic purposes are grouped under two categories:
i) Noble metal alloys
ii) Base metal alloys.

In case of noble metal alloys for porcelain bonding , addition of 1% base metals
(iron, indium, tin etc.) increases porcelain-metal bond strength, which is due to
formation of an oxide film on its surface. It also increases strength and proportional
limit.

Properties:

Modules of elasticity:
The base metal alloys have a modulus of elasticity approximately twice that of
gold alloys. Thus it is suited for long span bridges. Similarly, thinner castings are
possible.

Hardness:
The hardness of base metal alloys ranges from 175 to 360 VHN. Thus, they are
generally harder than noble metal alloys. Thus, cutting, grinding and polishing
requires high;- speed and other equipment.

31
Ductility:
It ranges from 10 to 28% for base metal alloys. Noble metal alloys have an
elongation of 5 to 10%.

Density:
The density of base metal alloys are less, which is approximately 8.0 gms/cm3 as
compared to 18.39 gms/cm3 for noble metal alloys.

Sag Resistance:
Base metal alloys resist creep better than gold alloy when heated to high
temperatures during firing.

Bond Strength: Varies according to composition.

Technique Sensitivity: Base metals are more technique sensitive than high noble
metal-ceramic alloys.

The Gold-Platinum-Palladium (Au-Pt-Pd) System:


This is one of the oldest metal ceramic alloy system. But these alloys are not
used widely today because they are very expensive.

Composition:
Gold 75% to 88%
Palladium Upto 11%
Platinum Upto 8%
Silver 5%
Trace elements like Indium, Iron and Tin for porcelain bonding.

32
Advantages Disadvantages
1. Excellent castability 1. High cost
2. Excellent porcelain bonding 2. Poor sag resistance so not suited for
3. Easy to adjust and finish long span fixed partial dentures.
4. High nobility level 3. Low hardness (Greater wear)
5. Excellent corrosion and tarnish 4. High density (fewer casting per
resistance. ounce)
6. Bio compatible
7. Some are yellow in color
8. Not Technique Sensitive
9. Burnish able

Gold-Palladium-Silver (Au-Pd-Ag) System:


These alloys were developed in an attempt to overcome the major limitations in
the gold-platinum-palladium system.
Poor sag resistance, low hardness & high cost, two variations on the basic
combination of gold, palladium and silver were created and are identified as the either
the high-silver.

Composition (High Silver Group):


Gold 39% to 53%
Silver 12% to 22%
Palladium 25% to 35%
Force amounts of oxidizable elements are added for porcelain bonding.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Less expensive than Au-Pt-Pd alloys 1. High silver content creates potential
2. Improved rigidity and sag resistance. for porcelain discoloration.
3. High mobility. 2. High Cost.
3. High coefficient of thermal expansion.
4. Tarnish and corrosion resistant.
Composition (Low Silver Group):
Gold 52% to 77%
Silver- 5% to 12%

33
Palladium 10% to 33%
Trace amounts of oxidizable elements for porcelain bonding.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Less expensive than the Au-Pt-Pd alloys 1. Silver creates potential for porcelain
discoloration (but less than high
silver group)
2. Improved sag resistance 2. High cost.
3. High noble metal content 3. High coefficient of thermal
expansion.
4. Tarnish and corrosive resistant

Gold-Palladium (Au-Pd) System:


This particular system was developed in an attempt to overcome the major
limitations in the gold-platinum-silver system and Pd-Ag alloys.
-Porcelain discoloration.
-Too high a coefficient of thermal expansion & contraction.

Composition:
Gold 44% to 55%
Gallium 5%
Palladium 35% to 45%
Indium & Tin 8% to 12%
Indium, Gallium and Tin are the oxidizable elements responsible for porcelain
bonding.
Advantages Disadvantages
1. Excellent castability 1. Not thermally compatible with high
expansion dental porcelain.
2. Good bond strength 2. High cost
3. Corrosion and tarnish resistance
4. Improved hardness
5. Improved strength ( sag resistance)
6. Lower density

34
Palladium-Silver (Pd-Ag) System:
This was the first gold free system to be introduced in the United States (1974)
that still contained a noble metal (palladium). It was offered as an economical
alternative to the more expensive gold-platinum-silver and gold-palladium-silver
(gold based) metals.

Composition:
1. Palladium 55% to 60% Silver 25% to 30%
Indium and Tin
2. Palladium 50% to 55% Silver 35% to 40%
Tin (Little or no Indium)

Trace elements of other oxidizable base elements are also present.


1. Low Cost 1. Discoloration (yellow, brown or green) may
occur with some dental porcelains.
2. Low density 2. Some castibility problems reported (with
induction casing)
3. Good castibility (when torch 3. Pd and Ag prone to absorb gases.
casting) 4. Require regular purging of the porcelain
4. Good porcelain bonding, furnace.
5. Burnishability 5. May form internal oxides (yet porcelain
6. Low hardness bonding does not appear to be a problem)
7. Excellent sag resistance 6. Should not be cast in a carbon crucible.
8. Moderate nobility level 7. Non-carbon phosphate bonded investments
9. Good tarnish and corrosion recommended.
resistance. 8. High coefficient of thermal expansion.
10. Suitable for long-span fired
partial dentures.

High Palladium System:


Several types of high palladium were originally introduced (Tuccillo, 1987).
More popular composition, group containing cobalt and the other containing copper.
Copper appears to be more popular.

35
Composition (Palladium-Cobalt) alloy:
Palladium 78% to 88% Cobalt 4% to 10%
(Some high palladium-cobalt alloys may contain 2% gold)
Trace amounts of oxidizable elements (such as gallium and indium) are added for
porcelain bonding.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Low cost 1. More compatible with higher expansion
2. Reportedly good sag resistance porcelains.
3. Low density means more casting 2. Are more prone to over-heating than
per ounce (then gold based alloys) high Pd-Cu.
4. Some melt and cast easily 3. Produces a thick, dark oxide
5. Good polishability (Supposed 4. Colored oxide layer may cause bluing of to
be similar to Au-Pd alloys) porcelain.
6. Reportedly easier to presolder 5. Prone to gas absorption
than Pd-Cu alloys. 6. Little information on long-term clinical
success.

Composition (Palladium-Copper alloys):


Palladium 70% to 80% Copper 9% to 15%
Gold 1% to 2% Platinum 1%
Some, but not all, high palladium-copper alloys contain small quantities ( 1% to
2%) of gold and/or platinum. Trace amounts of the oxidizable elements gallium,
indium and tin are added for porcelain bonding.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Good castability 1. Produces dark, thick oxides
2. Lower cost (than gold based alloys) 2. May discolor (gray) some dental 3. 3.
3. Low density means more casings porcelains.
Per ounce 3. Must visually evaluate oxide color to
4. Tarnish and corrosion resistance determine if proper adherent oxide was
5. Compatible with many dental formed.

36
Porcelains. 4. Should not be cast in carbon crucibles
6. Some are available in 1- dwt ingots. (electric casting machines)
5. Prone to gaseous absorption.
6. Subject to thermal creep (marginal
bonding)
7. May not be suitable for long span fixed
partial dentures.
8. Little information on long term clinical
success.
9. May be difficult to polish
10. Resoldering may be a problem
11. High hardness.

37
BASE METAL ALLOYS:
- Nickel based
- Cobalt based
Alloys in both systems contain chromium as the second largest constituent.

A classification of base metal casting alloys

Co-Cr

Removable Co-Cr-Ni
Partial denture
Ni-Cr

Base metal Surgical Co-Cr-Mo


Casting alloy Implant
Ni-Cr-Co
Be Cont.
(Class-II
Fixed Ni-Cr
Partial denture No Be
(Class-I)
Co-Cr
(Class-III)

Nickel-chromium (Ni-Cr) System:


These metal-ceramic alloy offer such economy that they are also used for
complete crown and all metal fixed partial dentures (Bertolotti, 1984).
The major constituents are nickel and chromium, with a wide array of minor
alloying elements.
The system contains two major groups, those that contain
- Beryllium
- Beryllium free

38
Of the two, Ni-Cr-Beryllium alloy are generally regarded as possessing superior
properties and have been more popular (Tuccillo and Cascone,1983).

Nickel-Chromium-Beryllium alloy:
Composition:
Nickel 62% to 82% Chromium 11% to 20%
Beryllium 2.0%
Numerous minor alloying elements include aluminum, carbon, gallium, iron,
manganese, molybdenum, silicon, titanium and /or vanadium.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Low cost 1. Cannot use with nickel sensitive patients
2. Low density, permits more 2. Beryllium exposure may be potentially
casing per ounce. harmful to technicians and patients.
3. High sag resistance 3. Proper melting and casting is a learned skill.
4. Can produce thin casting 4. bond failure more common in the oxide layer.
5. Poor thermal conductor 5. High hardness (May wear opposing teeth)
6. Can be etched. 6. Difficult to solder
7. Ingots do not pool
8. Difficult to cut through cemented castings

Nickel-Chromium Beryllium free alloys:


Composition:
Nickel 62% to 77% Chromium 11% to 22%
Boron (some), iron, molybdenum, Niobium (or columbium) and/or tantalum.

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Do not contain beryllium 1. Cannot use with Nickel sensitive patients.
2. Low cost 2. Cannot be etched.
3. Low density means more casting 3. May not cast as well as Ni-Cr-Be alloys
per ounce (Cr doesnt dissolve in acids)
4. Produces more oxide than Ni-Cr-Be

39
alloys.

Comparative properties of Ni / Cr alloys and type III casting gold alloys for
small cast restorations

Property Ni/Cr Type III gold Comments


(Units) alloy
Density (g/cm3) 8 15 More difficult to produce defect free casting for
Ni/Cr alloys.
Fusion as high as Normally lower Ni/Cr alloys require electrical induction furnace
temperature 1350C than 1000C or oxyacetylene equipment.
Casting 2 1.4 Mostly compensated for by correct choice of
shrinkage (%) investment
Tensile strength 600 540 Both adequate for the applications being
(MPa) considered.
Proportional 230 290 Both high enough to prevent distortion for
limit (MPa) applications being considered; not that values
are lower than for partial denture alloys
Modulus of 220 85 Higher modulus of Ni/Cr is an advantage for
elasticity (GPa) large restoration e.g. bridges and for porcelain
bonded restoration.
Hardness 300 150 Ni/Cr more difficult to polish but retains polish
(Vickers) during service
Ductility (% upto 30% 20 (as cast) Relatively large values suggest that burnishing is
elongation) 10 (hardened) possible; however, large proportional limit value
suggests higher forces would be require.

RECYCLING NOBLE METAL CASTING ALLOY:


The alloy scrap should be recycled because of the high value of the precious
metals. It can be collected and sent back to the manufacturer of it can be recast. These
alloys are stable so it can be recast two or three times without much change in its
composition. However, the more volatile base metals like zinc, indium, tin and iron
may be lost. To compensate for this equal amount of new alloy should be added to the
scrap during recasting. They should be carefully cleaned before reuse.

40
Alloys of different types and manufacturers should not be mixed as it may change its
composition and properties.

COBALT CHROMIUM ALLOYS:


Cobalt chromium alloys have been available since the 1920s. They possess
high strength. Their excellent corrosion resistance especially at high temperatures
makes them useful for a number of applications.
These alloys are also known as satellite because they maintained their shiny,
star-like appearance under different conditions.
They have bright lustrous, hard, strong and non-tarnishing qualities.

APPLICATIONS:
1. Denture base
2. Cast removable partial denture framework.
3. Surgical implants.
4. Car spark plugs and turbine blades.

COMPOSITION:
Cobalt - 55 to 65%
Chromium - 23 to 30%
Nickel - 0 to 20%
Molybdenum - 0 to 7%
Iron - 0 to 5%
Carbon - upto 0.4%
Tungsten, Manganese, Silicon and Platinum in traces.

According to A.D.A specification No. 14 a minimum of 85% by weight of


chromium, cobalt, and nickel is required. Thus the iron base corrosion resistant alloys
are excluded.

PROPERTIES:
The Cobalt-Chromium alloys have replaced Type IV gold alloys because of
their lower cost and adequate mechanical properties. Chromium is added for tarnish
resistance since chromium oxide forms an adherent and resistant surface layer.

41
1. Physical Properties:

Density: The density is half that of gold alloys, so they are lighter in weight.
8 to9gms/cm2.

Fusion temperature: The casting temperature of this alloy is considerably higher


than that of gold alloys. 1250oC to 1480oC.
A.D.A. specification No. 14 divides it into two types, based on fusion
temperature, which is defined as the liquidus temperature.
Type-I (High fusing) liquidus temperature greater than 1300oC
Type-II (Low fusing) liquidus temperature not greater than 1300oC

2. Mechanical Properties:
Yield strength: It is higher than that of gold alloys. 710Mpa (103,000psi).

Elongation: Their ductility is lower than that of gold alloys. Depending on the
composition, rate of cooling, and the fusion and mold temperature employed, it ranges
from 1 to 12%.
These alloys work harden very easily, so care must be taken while adjusting the
clasp arms of the partial denture.

Modulus of elasticity: They are twice as stiff as gold alloys. Thus, casting can be
made more thinner, thus decreasing the weight of the R.P.D. Adjustment of clasp is
not easy. 225103Mpa.

Hardness: These alloys are 50% harder than gold alloys. Thus, cutting, grinding and
finishing is difficult. 432 VHN.

3. Tarnish and corrosion resistance: Formation of a layer of chromium oxide on the


surface of these alloys prevents tarnish and corrosion in the oral cavity. This is called
passive effect.

42
Solutions of hypochlorite and other containing compounds that are present in
some denture-cleaning agents will cause corrosion in such base metal alloys. Even the
oxygenating denture cleansers will stain such alloys. Therefore, these solutions hould
not be used for cleaning chromium base alloys.

4. Casting Shrinkage: The casting shrinkage is much greater than that of gold alloys,
so limited use in crown & bridge. 2.3%
The high shrinkage is due to their high fusion temperature.

5. Porosity: As in gold alloys, porosity is due to shrinkage and release of


dissolved gases. Porosity is affected by the composition of the alloys and its
manipulations.

43
Comparative properties of Co / Cr alloys and type IV casting gold alloys for
partial denture

Property (Units) Co/Cr Type IV gold Comments


alloy
Density (g/cm3) 8 15 More difficult to produce defect
free casting for Co/Cr alloys but
denture frameworks are lighter
Fusion temperature as high as Normally Co/Cr alloys require electrical
1500C lower than induction furnace or oxyacetylene
1000C equipment.
Can not use gypsum bonded
investments for Co/Cr alloys
Casting shrinkage 2.3 1.4 Mostly compensated for by correct
(%) choice of investment
Tensile strength 850 750 Both acceptable
(MPa)
Proportional limit 700 500 Both acceptable; can resist stresses
(MPa) without deformation
Modulus of 220 100 Co/Cr more rigid for equivalent
elasticity (GPa) thickness; advantage for
connectors; disadvantage for
clasps
Hardness (Vickers) 420 250 Co/Cr more difficult to polish but
retains polish during service
Ductility (% 2 15 (as cast) Co/Cr clasps may fractured if
elongation) 8 (hardened) adjustments are attempted.

44
Summary of base metal alloy properties

Property Ni-Cr without Be Ni-Cr with Be Co-Cr


Strength (MPa) 255-550 480-830 415-550
Ultimate tensile strength 550-900 760-1380 550-900
(MPa)
% elongation 5-35 3-25 3-10
4 4
Modulus of elasticity 13.8-207 x 10 17.2-20.7 x 10 17.2-20.7x104
(MPa)
Vickers hardness 175-350 300-350 300-500
Casting temperature (C) 1430-1570 1370-1480 1430-1590

TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS:
The high casting temperature prevents the use of gypsum bonded investments.
Phosphate-bonded or silica-bonded investments are used during the casting of these
alloys.
A slow burnout is done at a temperature of 732oC to 982oC. It is done two hours
after investing.
The high fusion temperature also prevents the use of gas-air torches for melting
these alloys. Oxygen-acetylene torches are usually employed. Electrical sources of
melting such as carbon arcs, argon arcs, high frequency induction, or silicon-carbide
resistance-furnaces, may also be used.
These alloys are difficult to cut, grind, or finish. Special hard, high-speed finishing
tools are necessary.

DISADVANTAGES OF ETCHING BASE METAL ALLOYS:


Etching of the base metal alloys is done to improve the retention of resin-
bonded retainers (Maryland Bridge).
Nickel may produce allergic reactions in some individuals. It is also a potential
carcinogen.

45
Beryllium which is present in many base metal alloys is a potentially toxic
substance. Inhalation of beryllium containing dust or fumes is the main route of
exposure. It causes a condition know as berylliosis. It is characterized by flu-like
symptoms and granulomas of the lungs.
Adequate precautions must be taken while working with base metal alloys.
Fumes from melting and dust from grinding beryllium-containing alloys should be
avoided. The work area should be well ventilated.

46
TITANIUM AND TITANIUM ALLOYS:
Titanium is called material of choice in dentistry. This is attributed to the
oxide formation property which forms basis for corrosion resistance and
biocompatibility of this material. The term 'titanium' is used for all types of pure and
alloyed titanium.

Properties of titanium:
1. Resistance to electrochemical degradation
2. Begins biological response
3. Relatively light weight
4. Low density (4.5 g/cm3)
5. Low modulus (100 GPa)
6. High strength (yield strength = 170-480 MPa; ultimate strength = 240-550
MPa)
7. Passivity
8. Low coefficient of thermal expansion (8.5 x 106/C)
9. Melting & boiling point of 1668C & 3260C

Uses:
Commercially pure titanium is used for dental implants, surface coatings,
crowns, partial dentures, complete dentures and orthodontic wires.

Commercially Pure Titanium (CP Ti):


It is available in four grades (according to American Society for Testing and
Materials ASTM) which vary according to the oxygen (0.18-0.40 wt.%), iron (0.20-
0.50 wt%) and other impurities. It has got an alpha phase structure at room
temperature and converts to beta phase structure at 883C which is stronger but
brittle.

Titanium alloys:
Alloying elements are added to stabilize alpha or the beta phase by changing
beta transformation temperature e.g. in Ti-6Al-4V, Aluminum is an alpha stabilizer
whereas vanadium as well as copper and palladium are beta stabilizer. Alpha titanium

47
is weld able but difficult to work with at room temperature. Beta titanium is malleable
at room temperature and is used in orthodontics, but is difficult to weld.
Pure titanium is used to cast crowns, partial denture, and complete denture.

Cast titanium:
Cast titanium has been used for more than 50 years, and it has been recently
that precision casting can be obtained from it. The two most important factors in
casting titanium based materials are its high melting point (1668C) and chemical
reactivity. Because of the high melting point, special melting procedures, cooling
cycles, mold materials, and casting equipments are required to prevent metal
contamination, because it readily reacts with hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen at
temperatures greater than 600C. So casting is done in a vacuum or inert gas
atmosphere. The investment materials such as phosphate bonded silica and phosphate
investment material with added trace metal are used. It has been shown that
magnesium based investment cause internal porosity in casting.
Because of its low density, it is difficult to cast in centrifugal casting machine.
So advanced casting machine combining centrifugal, vacuum, pressure and gravity
casting with electric arc melting technology have been developed.

Difficulties in casting Titanium :


1. High melting point
2. High reactivity
3. Low casting efficiency
4. Inadequate expansion of investment
5. Casting porosity
6. Difficulty in finishing
7. Difficulty in welding
8. Requires expensive equipments

48
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Anusavice KJ, Okabe T, Galloway SE, Hoyt DJ, and Morse PK: Flexure test
evaluation of presoldered base metal alloys. J Prosthet Dent 54:507, 1985.
Wide variability in the strength of brazed joints in NI-Cr-Mo-Be and NI-Cr-Mo
alloys was reported. The strength of the brazed joint ranged from 20% to 90% of that
of a solid bar of the same metals and was not affected by gap widths of 0.25 or 0.51
mm.

Anusavice KJ, and Shafagh I: Inert gas presoldering of nickel-chromium alloys. J


Prosthet Dent 55: 3137, 1986.
An argon gas environment did not improve the strength of presoldered joint
strength of nickel-chromium-molybdenum-beryllium alloys. Most of the fractures
appeared to originate within the solder filler alloy. Entrapped flux particles and gases
were the most likely cause of these failures.

Baran GR: The metallurgy of Ni-Cr alloys for fixed prosthodontics. J Prosthet Dent
50: 639, 1983.
A Classic article that contains an extensive presentation of alloy compositions,
mechanical properties, microstructures and clinically relevant considerations for the
use of these alloys.

Moffa JP, Guckes AD, Okawa MT and Lilly GE: An evaluation of nonprecious
alloys for use with porcelain veneers. Part II. Industrial safety and biocompatibility. J.
Prosthet Dent 30:432, 1973.
This article provides quantitative information about the levels of beryllium
produced during the finishing and polishing of cast base metal dental alloys.

Monday JL and Asgar K: Tensile strength comparison of presoldered and


postsoldered joints J Prosthet Dent 55:23, 1986.
No significant differences in the tensile strength of presoldered and
postsoldered joints were found when the same technique was used. Torch soldering
yielded significantly stronger joints than the vacuum oven technique employed.

49
Rasmussen EJ, Goodkind RJ, and Gerberich WW: An investigation of tensile
strength of dental solder joints. J. Prosthet Dent 41: 418, 1979.
Higher strengths were reported for Type III gold alloy as gap distance was
increased, but that trend was not noted for a gold palladium alloy. These and other
observations are partially explained in terms of the competing effects of yield
strength, wettability and voids at the various gap distances.

Shillingburg HT, Hobo S and Fisher DW: Preparation design and margin distortion
in porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations. J. Prosthet Dent, 29: 276, 1973.
The results of this study suggested that thermal incompatibility stresses were
likely to cause margin distortion in metal ceramic crowns. However, subsequent
studies support other potential mechanisms, including the effect of excessive sand
blasting time and/or pressure.

Zavanelli R.A., Henriques G.E.P., Ferreira I., Rollo J.M.: Corrosion-


fatigue life of commercially pure titanium and Ti-6Al-4V alloys in different
storage environments. J Prosthet Dent. 84: 274-279, 2000 Ti-6Al-4V:
At room temperature, Ti-6Al-4V is a two phase ( + alloy) and transformation takes
place at 975C. The mechanical properties of this alloy is dictated by amount, size,
shape and morphology of alpha phase.
Allowing of Titanium with palladium and copper , lowers its melting
temperature to 1350C. Binary and ternary based alloys have been cast. Ti-13Cu-
4.5Ni have been used to cast crowns and partial dentures.
The use of Ti-6Al-4V, Ti-15V, Ti-20Cu, Ti-30Pd, Ti-Co and Ti-Cu for casting
is still under research.

50
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53