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Process of covering or enveloping of a wax pattern with an investment material.

Make a mold with a smooth surface Allow venting of gas Compensation of shrinkage

Attached to the sprue. Made of plastic, wax or ceramic material. Should be conical to allow rapid flow of the molten metal.

Investment Ring
Holds the investment in place during setting. Restricts the expansion of the mold.

Ring Liner
They fit into the casting ring without any overlap / gap. They can be used either wet or dry. In case that more expansion is to accommodated, two layers of the liner can be used. It can be made of ceramic, cellulose material or combination of both.

The liner should be 3.0 mm short of both ends of the ring. This will allow supporting contact of the investment with the ring after the cellulose liner has burned out. It is also theorized that this restriction near the open end will provide for more uniform expansion.

Ringless Casting technique:

The technique uses a paper or plastic casting ring and is designed to allow unrestricted expansion of investment. The tapered plastic rings allow for removal of the investment mold after the material has set. This technique is suited for the casting of alloys that require greater mold expansion than tradition.

It use of Investments.



Requirements: 1. Sufficient strength to withstand burnout and casting. 2. Sufficiently porous to allow escape of gases. 3. Expand enough to compensate solidification shrinkage of alloy. 4. The ability to produce smooth castings with accurate surface reproduction without nodules. 5. Chemical stability at high casting temperatures. 6. Easy recovery of the casting.

Composition of Investment
Refractory material or filler Material that resist high temperature. Expand upon heating. Its problem have no cohesion to maintain the shape of investment when dried. Binder Mixed with filler to give some strength. holds other ingredients together and Provides rigidity. Chemical modifier

Gypsum bonded Low melting Gold alloys

Silica bonded High melting Base metal casting

Phosphate bonded High melting Metal ceramics

The choice of the type of the investment used depends mainly on the melting range of the alloy.

Gypsum based investment

have traditionally been used for casting of gold alloy inlays, onlays, crowns and fixed partial dentures.
It expands between 400 and 700oC and then undergoes decomposition beyond 700C.

Composition: Filler is silica quartz or cristobalite 60-65% provides thermal expansion when heated. Chemical modifiers. Gypsum Binder: Ca (SO4)2 (25-35%) decomposes at high temperature releasing sulphur contaminant produce rougher casting.

Factors that increase expansion of gypsumbonded investments

1. Use of a full-width ring liner. 2. Prolonged spatulation. 3. Storage at 100% humidity.

4. Lower water-powder ratio.

5. Use of a dry liner. 6. Use of two ring liners.

Phosphate Bonded Investments

It is used for casting of metal alloys for ceramometal prosthesis, which require higher melting temperatures than gold alloys. The binder is magnesium oxide (base) and a monoammonium phosphate (acid). Liquid is water or colloidal silica. Carbon is also added to the investment (used with gold base metal alloys) in order to help to produce a clean casting and to encourage easier divesting of the casting from the mould.(not used with base metal alloys)

Solidification Shrinkage: Au alloys 1.5% Base-metal alloys 2.4%

Four mechanisms to produce mold expansion: 1. Setting Expansion 2. Hygroscopic Expansion 3. Wax Pattern Expansion 4. Thermal Expansion

1. Setting Expansion
Occurs as a result of normal gypsum crystal growth in air. About 0.4% but partly restricted by metal investment ring.

2. Hygroscopic Expansion
Max expansion: immerse investment-filled ring in water bath at 38C. 1. 2. 3. Water in bath replaces water used by hydration Process space between growing crystals is maintained. crystals grow longer . outward expansion of mold.

About 1.2 to 2.2% max with expandable ring.

3.Wax Pattern Expansion

While investment is still fluid, expansion occurs when wax is warmed above Temp at which it was formed. Source of heat : setting reaction of investment. ring immersed in warm water bath.

4.Thermal Expansion
Occurs when investment is heated in burnout oven.
Investment and metal ring expand enough to compensate for shrinkage of casting alloy.

Investing procedure

Investing procedure
The wax patter should be thoroughly cleaned.
Debubblizer (surface-wetting agent) is used to increase

the wettability of the wax surface, so to reduce entrapment of air bubbles on the surface during investing. Paint wax pattern with solution then dry with gentle air-stream.

A required amount of the liquid (distilled water for the gypsum based investment and colloidal silica for the phosphate based investments) is poured into a clean mixing bowl, to which the powder is added gradually.

Mixing should be done carefully to avoid creating any air bubbles in the wet mixture. The mixing can be done either manually, or mechanically under vacuum conditions. The latter method removes air bubbles from the mixture, and any other gasses that might be present.

Once it is mixed, it can be invested either by brush or vacuum investing technique.

Brush Technique

Vacuum Technique

Double investing
First step; the wax pattern is painted with
thick mix and is left till complete setting. -The set investment (first coat) is immersed in water for about 10 minutes.

Second step; the casting ring is then applied

over the crucible former and filled with the properly mixed investment ( second coat) till the ring is completely filled and the mix is left to set.
-This technique is recommended whenever greater amount of expansion is required.

Metal Casting
Metal shrinkage (~ 1.5-2%)

Wax pattern expansion Investment expansion

Setting Hygroscopic Thermal

Burnout (Wax Elimination)


Its the elimination of the wax pattern from the mold of set investment material.
It: prepares mold for molten alloy. Allows thermal expansion to occur.

Burnout furnaces

Burnout temperatures for diff investments

Gypsum Bonded : Thermal expansion 650C Hygroscopic expansion 480C Phosphate Bonded: Thermal expansion 750-900C

Burnout techniques

High heat technique

Low heat technique

High heat technique

This technique is employed if thermal expansion was utilized alone to compensate the shrinkage.
The heating rate should be slow, gradual and is continued until a temperature of 650C is reached.

Low heat technique

In this technique hygroscopic expansion provides the needed compensation expansion plus the additional thermal expansion.

The ring is placed in an oven and heated to 480C

Two burnout furnaces can be set at 200C and 650C or 480C, or a programmable two-stage furnace can serve equally well. However, the investment should not be overheated or kept at temperature too long. Gypsum-bonded investments are not stable above 650C. Also, some carbon in carbon-containing investments burns off, causing increased surface roughness of the casting.

Once the investment is heated during the wax-elimination procedure, heating must be continued, and casting must be completed. Cooling and reheating of the investment can cause casting inaccuracy because the refractory and binder will not revert to their original forms (hysteresis). Inadequate expansion and cracking of the investment are typical results.

Burnout Requirements
Temperature rate of rise for the burnout furnace is 10*C/min. It is advisable to begin the burnout procedure while the mould is still wet because: Water trapped in the pores of the investment reduces the absorption of wax so when the water vaporizes it flushes wax from the mold.

All H2O in the investment must be driven off during wax


Temperature Soak:
The temperature to which the casting ring is heated must be sufficiently high.
This temperature should be maintained long enough (45min.) to avoid sudden drop in temperature upon removal of the ring from the burn-out furnace. This drop in the temperature can lead to incomplete casting as a result of rapid solidification of the alloy as it enters the mold cavity.

Allow invest. to set & then remove rubber crucible & metal sprue.
Remove smooth skin that forms on the ring with phosphate bonded investment. Place the ring with the sprue facing down in the furnace on a ribbed tray. The tray allows the molten wax to flow out freely.

Increase temperature in furnace up to 200C for 30 min. Increase heat to the final [ 480C or 650C ] for 45 min.

The rate at which the investment is heated is a factor in producing a smooth surface casting. Rapid heating will result in evaporation of the water of the investment forming steam that cause cracking with a rough surface and fins.


Conventional casting techniques require considerable 1 hour bench set for the investment and 1 to 2 hours for the wax elimination. Accelerated casting procedure reduces this time to 30 to 40 minutes and has been found to produce castings with accuracy and surface roughness similar to traditional methods. The technique uses a phosphate-bonded investment that is given 15 minutes bench set and a 15-minute burn-out by placing the ring in a furnace preheated to 815 C.