Dental Casting Alloys


All metal restoration

Removable Partial Denture (RPD)

Metal-ceramic or Porcelain-fused to metal restoration

• Understand the alloy classifications • Know the roles of each element in dental casting alloys • Know the requirements of porcelain-fused to metal (or metal-ceramic) alloys • Understand the relation between the TCOE of PFM alloys and that of ceramics • Recognize the importance of some properties of the alloys


History • 1907 : Lost wax technique by Taggart • 1932 .1948 : Standardization of dental casting alloys • 1950s -1960s : Development of porcelain-fusedto-metal (PFM) alloys – Found that adding Pd and Pt to gold (Au) would lower coefficient of thermal expansion sufficiently to ensure physical compatibility between the porcelain veneer and the metal substructure. 4 .

5 .History • 1970s : Placement of gold on the free market – Increased prices stimulates the search for alternative low gold and base metal alloys.

Ruthenium (atomic wt 100. density 19. Rhodium. density 11-12 g/cc) • Gold (atomic wt 196.Terminology • Noble metals – Elements with good metallic surfaces that retain their luster in clean dry air – Indicate the relative inertness of the element in relation to the standard EMF series – Resist oxidation. tarnish and corrosion during heating casting and soldering • Platinum group (6 metals) – Platinum. Iridium. Osmium (atomic wt 190.3 g/cc) • (Silver?) 6 . density 22 g/cc) – Palladium.

– **The descriptors precious and semiprecious should be avoided because they are imprecise terms. 7 .Terminology • Precious metals – Indicates how expensive a metal is based on supply and demand.

g.) – 1 dwt = 1.555 gm = 0.Terminology • Gold content of a dental alloy – Karat. 24K – Fineness • Parts of pure gold per 1.05 oz 8 .000 – e.g. Carat (K) • Parts of pure gold per 24. a 650 fine alloy has a gold content of 65% • Primarily used for gold solders • Pennyweight (dwt. e. 18K.

Classification ADA Specification #5 Principal Elements ADA’s Classification Descriptive Classification 9 .

tarnish. yield strength.ANSI/ADA Specification #5 • Referred to Gold-based alloys – Alloys can have any composition as long as they pass the tests for toxicity. Type I (soft) %Au & Pt 83 78 78 75 VHN 50-90 90-120 120-150 150-250 Restoration Inlay Inlay/onlay Onlay/Crown&B ridge Crown&Bridge/ RPD 10 Strength II (medium) III (hard) IV (extra-hard) . and percent elongation.

Pt) Contains < 25 wt% of the noble metal elements 11 *No discrimination among alloys within a given category* . (Predominantly) Base metal (PB) Alloy Type High noble metal Noble metal Base metal Total Noble Metal Content Contains > 40 wt% Au and > 60% of the noble metal elements Contains > 25 wt% of the noble meal elements (Au.ADA’s Classification (1984) 1. High noble (HN) 2. Pd. Noble (N) 3.


Principal Elements • When an alloy is identified according to the elements it contains. Au-Cu-Ag-Pd (Au ~40%. – e. Cu ~7. Ag ~47%. with the largest constituent first followed by the second largest constituent. Pt ~10%) • Exception: Certain elements that significantly affect physical properties or that represent potential biocompatibility concerns are often designated (regardless of their small amounts). – e.g. Pd~4%) 13 .g.5%. the components are listed in declining order of composition. Ag ~ 12%. Au-Ag-Pt (Au ~ 78%.

Cr/Ni 14 .Descriptive Classification • Normal-fusing alloys – – – – Medium-gold Low-gold Silver-palladium Silver-indium • High-fusing alloys (mostly for PFM) – Gold-platinum-palladium – Gold-palladium-silver – Gold-palladium – High-palladium – Palladium-silver – Base-metal • Cr/Co.

Alloy Type Restoration Type All-Metal Restorations Metal-Ceramic and All-Metal Restorations RPD High Noble > 40 wt% Au and > 60% of the noble metal elements Noble > 25 wt% of the noble metal elements Au-Ag-Cu-Pd Au-Pt-Pd Au-Ag-Cu-Pd Au-Pd-Ag (5-12 wt% Ag) Au-Pd-Ag (>12 wt% Ag) Au-Pd (no Ag) Pd-Au (no Ag) Pd-Au-Ag Pd-Ag Pd-Cu Pd-Co Pd-Ga-Ag Pure Ti Ti-Al-V Ni-Cr-Mo-Be Ni-Cr-Mo Co-Cr-Mo Co-Cr-W Ag-Pd-Au-Cu Ag-Pd Ag-Pd-Au-Cu Ag-Pd Base Metal < 25 wt% of the noble metal elements Pure Ti Ti-Al-V Ni-Cr-Mo-Be Ni-Cr-Mo Co-Cr-Mo Co-Cr-W .

Fundamental Properties of Noble Metals •Gold (Au) •Platinum (Pt) •Palladium (Pd) •Silver (Ag) •Minor alloying elements .

= 14.2x10-6/°C MOE = 80 GPa 17 . base met als) have a pronounced and usually detrimental effect on its properties. Fusion temp = 1063°C Density = 19. Attacked by only a few of the most powerful oxidizing agents Insoluble in sulfuric.Gold (Au) • • • • • • Soft. (most) malleable and ductile Relatively low strength Tarnish resistant in air and water at any temp. lead. of exp. or hydrochloric acids Soluble in a combination of nitric and sulfuric acids (aqu a-regia) • Small amounts of impurities (ie. mercury.3 g/cm3 Thermal coef. nitric.

malleable and ductile • Very high cost (usually replaced by Pd in most modern alloys) • High corrosion resistance • Higher melting temp than porcelain Fusion temp = 1755°C Density = 21.37 g/cm3 Thermal coef.9x10-6/°C MOE = 147 GPa >Au >Au <Au >Au 18 . of exp.Platinum (Pt) • Tough. = 8.

Palladium (Pd) • • • • Not used in the pure state dentistry Has replaced Pt in dental casting alloys Decreased cost v.4 g/cm3 Thermal coef. of exp.s. = 11.1x10-6/°C MOE = 112 GPa • 19 . Pt Helps prevent corrosion of silver in the oral environmen t Absorbs H2 gas when heated improperly Fusion temp = 1555°C Density = 11.

of exp.5°C Density = 10.Silver (Ag) • “Noble?” • Malleable and ductile • Best known conductor of heat and electricity • Harder than gold • Unaltered in clean dry air.4 g/cm3 Thermal coef. combines with sulfur. Fusion temp = 960. however. chlorine and phosp horus resulting in severe t arnish in the oral environ ment • • Occludes large quantities of O2 in molten state O2 gas will evolve during solidification resulting in pits and porosities. = 19.7x10-6/°C MOE = 120 GPa 20 .

Minor Alloying Elements • Iridium (Ir) .grain refining • Ruthenium (Ru) .grain refining 21 .

of gr ains per unit volume.005%) of Ir and Ru results in a 100x increase in the no. – Increases the alloy’s tensile strength and %elongation by >30% – Increases tarnish resistance.• Grain refining – The addition of as little as 50 ppm (0. slightly increases yield strength – Does not appreciable affect hardness 22 .

Alloys for All-Metal Restoration •High-noble and Noble Metal Alloys –Au-Ag-Cu-Pd –Ag-Pd –Metal Ceramic Alloys •Base Metal Alloys .

Ag and Pd 24 . • Approx. Pd and Zn. >90% of the total alloy content is Au. with minor amounts of Pt. Ag and Cu.Au-Ag-Cu-Pd Alloys • Primarily ternary alloys of Au.

• Silver (Ag) – Helps control the color of the alloy. and ability to heat harden the alloy 25 . neutralizing the red color imparted by Cu – Promotes ductility • Au/Cu alloys (75% Au) break apart at grain boundaries during heat treatment if no Ag is present. – Contributes burnishability. ductility.Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition • Gold (Au) – Tarnish and corrosion resistance • Tarnish is an inverse function of gold content.

s. Pt 26 .Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition • Platinum (Pt) – Very expensive ingredient – Contributes strength – Whitens the alloy – Increases the fusion temperature • Palladium (Pd) – Like Pt but more effective and less expensive than Pt Alloying metal of choice v.

Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition • Copper (Cu) *** – Principle hardener in gold alloys – Conc. >12% of Au amount  alloy can be heat treated – Conc. >18%  decrease the melting temp of the alloy 27 .

28 . Cu increases the alloy’s hardness and decreases melting temp. – Cu imparts a reddish color to the metal and contributes most to the corrosion of gold alloys.Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition • Copper (Cu) *** – When alloyed with Ag. – Cu is not found in PFM alloys due to its tendency to discolor the porcelain. – Ag/Cu ratio is important to tarnish resistance (but not as important as the Ag/Pd ratio).

and increases the hardness and brittleness of the alloy • Indium (In). Tin (Sn). decreases porosities. Iron (Fe) – Hardens the alloy – (Provides oxides for ceramic bonding in PFM alloys) 29 .Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition • Zinc (Zn) – O2 scavenger – 1-2% helps to counteract the absorption of O2 by silver. – Increases the castability.

– (Also provides oxides for ceramic bonding) 30 . Rhenium (Rh) – Grain refining • Gallium (Ga) – Added to high Pd alloys or non-silver Au/Pd metal ceramic alloys to compensate for a decrease in the TCOE caused by the elimination of the Ag. Ruthenium (Ru).Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition • Iridium (Ir).

>18%  decrease the melting temp of the alloy •Types I and II gold can’t be heat treated and have a higher melting temp v.5 1 3. Ga I II III III IV 7% 9% 12% 17% Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance 25% Copper: – Conc.Au-Ag-Cu-Pd: Composition Alloy Type Main Elements High noble (Au base) High noble (Au base) High noble (Au base) Noble (Au base) High noble (Au base) Cu/ Au Au 83 77 75 46 56 Cu 6 7 9 8 14 Ag 10 14 11 39 25 Pd 0. >12% of Au amount  alloy can be heat treated – Conc.5 6 4 Sn. Fe. 31 . In. Zn. Types III and IV.s.

100%Au 32 .Heat Treatment Cu/Au system is the basis for heat treatment – Cu:Au ratio > 12:88  the alloy is heat treatable.

Heat Treatment • Above 424°C  solid solution – Quenching from above 424°C will result in a softer. more ductile alloy with decreased strength solid solution 424°C 33 .

Heat Treatment • Below 424°C  ordered crystal lattice – Alloy has increased strength. – The amount of transformation is time and temperature dependent and the process is reversible. hardness and decreased ductility. 424°C Ordered crystal lattice 34 .

burnishing and polishing 35 . 700°C 424°C • Indicated prior to adjusting. – Decreased tensile strength.Softening Heat Treatment (Solution Heat Treatment) • Heat alloy to 700°C for 10 min. proportional limit and hardness – Increases ductility and %elongation – MOE not significantly altered. then quench.

. Or Heat to 350°C for 10 – 15 min.Hardening Heat Treatment (Age Hardening) • Heat alloy to 450°C for 2 min. and quench – Increases strength. cool slowly to 250°C over 30 mins then quench. proportional limit and hardness – Decreases ductility and %elongation 424°C • Indicated for RPD frameworks and long span FPD’s 36 .

Silver-Palladium Alloys (Ag-Pd)
• Ag:Pd ratio approx 3:1 (60-70% Ag, 25% Pd) to render silver tarnish resistant in the oral cavity. • Both Ag and Pd absorb gases during heating, casting is very technique sensitive. • ≠ Pd-Ag alloys (for PFM restorations)

Ag-Pd: Composition
Alloy Type

Main Elements Noble (Ag base) Noble (Ag base)

Cu/ Au



Ag 70

Pd 25 25

Sn, In, Fe, Zn, Ga


Balance Balance





Alloys for PFM or Metal Ceramic Restoration
Au-Pt-Pd Au-Pd-Ag Au-Pd Pd-Ag High Pd

No Copper!

Firing 40 .

41 .

some important Requirements • Must have the potential to bond to dental porcelain – need oxide-forming elements (small amount of base metals) • Posses coefficient of thermal contraction compatible with those of dental porcelains • Sufficiently high solidus temp (fusing temp) to permit the application of low-fusing porcela ins – >100°C than the firing temp of the ceramic 42 .

43 .5 x 10-6/°C causes the metal to contract slightly more than does the ceramic during cooling after firing t he porcelain. • The difference of 0.0 to 14. • This condition puts the ceramic under slight residual compression. TCOE of porcelain = 13.Ceramic-Metal Bond • Typically. which makes it less sensitive to applied tensile f orces.0 x 10-6/°C and the metals = 13.5 to 14.5 x 10-6/°C .

44 .

Pt (4-10%). Ag (0-5%). Fe. Pd (5-7%).Gold-Platinum-Palladium Alloys (Au-Pt-Pd) • Composition – Au (84-86%). In. Sn (2-3%) – (high noble) • Advantages – – – – – Excellent bonding to porcelain Reproduces fine margins and occlusal detail Easily finished and polished Corrosion resistant and non-toxic Adequate yield strength and MOE (most cases) 45 .

• Disadvantages – low sag and creep resistance – not strong enough for long span FPDs – High cost 46 .

In. Au-Pt-Pd alloys 47 . Ag (6-16%). Pd (26-31%). Sn (5-7%) – (high noble) • Advantages – – – – – – Higher melting range Better sag and creep resistance Higher yield strength and MOE for long span FPDs Good castability Easily finished and polished Non-toxic and lower cost v.Gold-Palladium-Silver Alloys (Au-Pd-Ag) • Composition – Au (45-52%).s.

and bonding of porcela in may be affected by oxidizing procedures. – High Pd content may increase the risk of H2 gas absorption during casting.• Disadvantages – Ag may cause greening of porcelain. 48 . – White color may show through tissues as gray and may not be as acceptable as gold collars.

5%) – (high noble) • Advantages – same as for Au-Pd-Ag alloys with the addition of potentially better porcelain color due to lack of Ag • Disadvantages – same as for Au-Pd-Ag alloys with the exception of porcelain greening 49 .Gold-Palladium Alloys (Au-Pd) • Composition – Au (45-52%). Pd (38-45%). In (8. Ga (1.5%).

↓bonding – High Pd  ↑gas absorption and poor color 50 . Ag (30-37%). In (4-7%). Sn (4-7%) – (noble) • Advantages – High yield strength and MOE – Better sag and creep resistance – Non-toxic and low cost • Disadvantages – Castability < gold alloys – High Ag porcelain greening.Palladium-Silver Alloys (Pd-Ag) • Composition – Pd (53-88%).

Cu (10-15%).High Palladium Alloys • Composition – Pd (74-88%). low cost Castability = gold alloys (easy) Excellent porcelain color 51 . Co (4-5%). In (0-5%) – (noble) • Advantages – – – – High yield strength and sag and creep resistance Non-toxic. Ga (9%). Au (0-2%).

poor solderability – Can’t be used with carbon investments or crucibles • Carbon or Silicon contamination will cause brittle castings which may crack or tear at grain boundaries u nder stress.• Disadvantages – Porcelain bond strength may be variable. 52 . – High Pd content  ↑ H2 gas absoption.

53 . Increases the alloy’s MOE Renders silver tarnish resistant Decreases the alloy’s density Decreases the alloy’s thermal coef. of exp.Palladium in PFM Alloys • • • • • • • Hardens the alloy Whitens the alloy Increases the alloy’s casting temp.

Ga . and harden the alloy. of exp. Fe.provide metallic oxides for porcelain bonding. 54 .increases the thermal coef.Minor Elements in PFM Alloys • In. • Ga . to compensate for decreased or absence of Ag . Sn.

Heat Treatment • PFM alloys can be heat tx however clinical condition is dependant on ceramic applicatio n. 55 .

Ti alloy .Base Metal Alloys •Ni-Cr. Co-Cr •Pure Ti.

Co-Cr and Ni-Cr alloys Co-Cr Ni-Cr 57 .

58 . hardness. fusion temps and increased ductility and % elongation v.s. – Ni alloys have decreased strength. Co alloys.Composition • Chromium (11-20%) – responsible for tarnish and corrosion resistance due to its passivity  “passivation” – if >30%  difficult to cast and brittle • Cobalt or Nickel (65-78%) – Co and Ni are pretty much interchangeable. MOE.

Composition • Minor alloying elements control the majority of the physical properties – Carbon (0.1-0.2%  decreases yield strength and UTS to unacceptable levels. hardness. and %elongation 59 . – Molybdenum (3-6%) • increases strength. hardness. • increased by 0.2%  alloy too hard and brittle for dental use • decreased by 0. and brittleness.5%) • increases strength.

5-2%) • decreases the fusion temp by approx 100°C • increases fluidity during casting • allows for electrolytic etching (with resin bond prosthesis) 60 .Composition – Aluminum (4-5%) • forms a Ni3Al in NiCr alloys which contributes to precipitation hardening resulting in increased tensile and yield strength. – Beryllium (0.

5%) • increases fluidity and castability of the molten alloy • + Boron  deoxidizers (essential in Ni containing alloys) – Iron and Copper • increase hardness 61 .Composition – Manganese (5%) and Silicone (0.

(= no need for heat tx) 62 .Heat Treatment • Most desirable properties are in the as cast condition.

63 .Titanium and Titanium Alloys • Forms a very stable oxide layer • Commercially pure titanium (cp Ti) is used for dental implants. partial and complete dentures. and orthodontic wires. surface coatings. and crowns. • Ti-6Al-4V is the most widely used.

64 . at high temp (>600°C)  Need a well-controlled vacuum in processing  The technology required makes casting Ti so expensive. esp.Cast Titanium • Problems – High melting point (~ 1700°C) – Chemical reactivity • Reacts with gaseous elements easily.

Considerations on Properties .

type of investment. – Limit heating to 50°C below the solidus temp. 66 . – Burnout temp  liquidus temp – 500°C – Burnout temp >700°C. cast gold Type I-IV 800°1050°C – Liquidus temp < 1100°C  gas-air torch.  To decrease oxides and contamination Liquidus temp determines the burnout temp. and type of heat-source. cannot use gypsum-bonded investment • Liquidus temp: Base-metal 1400°-1500°C vs.Melting Range • • The solidus-liquidus range should be narrow to avoid having the alloy in a molten state for extended times during casting. >1100°C  gas-oxygen torch or electrical induction • Solidus temp is important to soldering and formation of ordered phases.

– Base-metal 7-8 g/cc vs.Density • Alloys with high densities will generally accelerate into the mold during casting faster and tend to form complete castings more easily. High Noble 13-18 g/cc • Alloys with lower density  lighter 67 .

Yield Strength • Can be increased with treatment and changing the compositions 68 .

Hardness • Is a good indicator of the ability of an alloy to resist local permanent deformation under occlusal load • Gives some indication of the difficulty in polishing the alloy • Most noble casting alloys < enamel (343 Kg/mm2) and < base-metal alloys 69 .

the elongation will indicate if the alloy can be burnished. a low value of elongation for an alloy is not a big concern.Elongation/Fatigue • Important property for RPD alloys • For crown and bridge applications. 70 . – However.

e.Biocompatibility • Noble alloys related to elemental release from the alloys (i. • Base-metal alloys – Be  from contact dermatitis to severe chemical pheumonitis – Ni  sensitivity • 5-10 times higher for females • 5%-8% of females 71 .. from the corrosion process).

End of Dental Casting Alloys .

Noble Casting Alloys 73 .

Properties of Elements in Dental Casting Alloys 74 .


onlay 76 .Inlay.

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