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Casting is defined as something that has been cast in a mold ; an object

formed by the solidification of a fluid that has been poured or injected into a mold
( GPT- 8)2 .
Casting is the process by which a wax pattern of a restoration is converted to
a replicate in a dental alloy . The casting process is used to make dental
restorations such as inlays, onlays, crowns, bridges, and removable partial
dentures. Because casting must meet stringent dimensional requirements, the
casting process is extremely demanding. In dentistry, virtually all casting is done
using some form or adaptation of lost wax technique introduced by W.H.Taggart.


The lost-wax technique is so named because a wax pattern of a restoration is
invested, then the pattern is burned out (lost") to create a space into which molten
metal is placed or cast.

Dimensional Changes in the Lost-Wax Technique:

The final restoration may not be exactly the same size as the pattern due to
the shrinkage of the molten alloy during solidification. A typical shrinkage range
for most alloys is 1.25% to 2.5%. The management of these dimensional changes is
complex, but can be summarized by the equation:

Wax shrinkage + metal shrinkage = wax expansion + setting expansion +

hygroscopic expansion + thermal expansion
- The dimensional change of 0.05% for an inlay Casting is acceptable.

Wax shrinkage:
A wax pattern prepared directly in a patient's mouth will shrink about 0.4%
when cooled from oral temperature. In the indirect method of preparing the wax
pattern on a die, the wax shrinkage is about 0.2%.

The casting shrinkage takes place as the solidified metal cools to room

Wax expansion:
- Pattern expansion is the expansion that occurs as the wax pattern is heated during
the initial stage of the binder reaction before the investment has fully set. If the
investment sets before sufficient heating, the casting will have a tight fit. If the
pattern heats too much before the set, the casting will be loose and may have a
rough surface.
- Expansion is effective only to the extent that the exothermic heat is
transmitted to the pattern. The amount of heat present depends on the
gypsum content of the investment; therefore the setting expansion of an
investment with high gypsum content is more.

Expansion of the investment:

- The setting expansion of the investment is more due to the presence of silica
particle which interfere with the intermeshing of crystals.
- Setting expansion (ANSI / ADA Specification No. 2)
Type I : 0.6%
Type II : 0.4%

1. Preparation of the die

2. Preparation of wax pattern

3. Sprue fixation

4. Investment of the wax pattern.

5. Wax burnout

6. Casting

7. Cleaning the cast.


- Positive likeness of a single tooth made by sectioning the cast which in turn
is made out of an impression

Materials used for making dies

1. Gypsum products- Type IV Dental Stone

Type V Dental stone

2 Die stone Investment combination

3. Electroformed dies- Silver plated

Copper plated

4. Epoxy resins

5. Polyurethane

6.Silicophosphate cement


8.Metal sprayed dies

9.Ceramic die materials

10.Flexible die materials

Desirable qualities of die materials:

- accurately reproduce all fine details in the impression.

- dimensionally stable.

- Abrasion resistance

- compatible with impression materials

- High toughness

- Colour of the die should be in contrast to the colour of wax

- It should be relatively inexpensive

The requirements for die and working casts

- Must reproduce the prepared tooth exactly.

- The die must have root like extension that serves as a handle.

- Adequate access to the margin is necessary.

- The remaining unprepared tooth structure immediately cervical to finish

line should be easily distinguished on the die, ideally with 0.5 to 1mm


Direct Wax Pattern:

- pattern is prepared directly on the tooth in the mouth. This method can be
used for small inlay restorations.

- Wax is heated to working temperature of approximately 50 to 52 0 C in a

small dry heat oven for a short period to remove residual stress produced
during manufacturing.

- Carving instruments should be sufficiently warmed to soften , but not melt,

the wax.

Indirect wax pattern :

- Model ( die ) of the tooth is first made using stone die and the pattern is
made on the die. The indirect method is used for all types of restorations

- Die spacer is coated on stone dies to allow space for the cement in the final
restoration. The thickness of the spacer ranges from 10 to 30 microns

- The indirect wax pattern is carved with the warm instrument as in the direct
pattern so as to minimize the formation of stresses in the wax.


- The purpose of a sprue former, or sprue pin, is to provide a channel through

which molten alloy can reach the mold in an invested ring after the wax has
been eliminated.

- The sprue former should be attached to the wax pattern with the pattern on
the master die, provided the pattern can be removed directly in line with its
path of withdrawal from the die.

- Any motion that might distort the wax pattern should be avoided during

- Wax
- Plastic
- Metal

Wax sprue formers are more common than plastic.

The type of sprue former selected influences the burn out technique used.
It is advisable to use a 2 stage burn out techniques whenever plastic sprue
former are involved. To ensure complete carbon elimination, because
plastic sprues soften at temperatures above the melting point of inlay

With plastic there is a greater potential for carbon residue to remain in the
Plastic undergoes more expansion before softening than does wax which may
cause investment cracking.

Moreover if the pathway for the escape of molten wax is blocked by unmelted
plastic the wax may overheat and erode the inner surface of the mold.

Sprue Diameter

- Select a sprue former with a diameter that is approximately the same size as
the thickest area of the wax pattern.

- If the the pattern is small , the sprue former must also be small, because
attaching a large sprue former to a thin, delicate pattern could cause

- On the other hand, if the sprue former diameter is too small , this area will
solidify before the casting itself and localized shrinkage porosity may

- Reservoir sprues are used to help to overcome this problem

Sprue Position

- The ideal area for the sprue former is the point of greatest bulk in the pattern
to avoid distorting thin areas of wax during attachment to the pattern and to
permit complete flow of the alloy

- With thin anterior copings this option is not available. The most practical
sprue position is mid incisal area..

Sprue attachment:

- Two types




- For direct spruing , the sprue former provides a direct connection between
the pattern area and sprue base.


- A connector or reservoir bar is positioned between the pattern and crucible
former. Reservoir remains molten and furnish liquid alloy into the mold as it

- The reservoir portion of a spruing system should be placed in the heat center
of the ring. This permits the reservoir to remain molten longer and enables it
to furnish alloy to the pattern until they complete the solidification process.

- When the molten alloy fills the heated casting ring, the pattern area should
solidify first and the reservoir last.

- The resulting solidification shrinkage occurs in the reservoir bar and not in
the prosthesis.

- It is used for multiple single units and fixed partial dentures.

Constricted spruing:
- Tapering the sprue former at its attachment to the wax pattern rather than
flaring this area is referred to as constricted spruing. The taper is thought to
permit the sprue former to function like a true reservoir, thereby decreasing
the likelihood of suck back porosity. The greater the alloy density, the
greater the sprue pattern access.

Sprue direction

- The sprue former should be directed away from any thin or delicate parts of
the pattern, because the molten metal may abrade or fracture investment in
this area and result in a casting failure .

- The sprue former should not be attached at a right angle to a broad flat

- Such an orientation leads to turbulence within the mold cavity and severe
porosity in this region.

Sprue length:

- With the direct spruing method, the sprue former should be long enough to
position the wax patterns outside the heat center of the ring and into a cold

- With indirect spruing pattern placement of the connector bar is
recommended to ensure location of patterns outside the thermal zone or heat
center of the investment

- The length of the sprue former depends on the length of the casting ring.

- If the sprue is too short, the wax pattern will be so far from the end of the
casting ring that gases cannot be adequately vented. When these gases are
not completely eliminated, porosity may result

- Sprue length should be adjusted so that the top of the wax pattern is within
6mm of the open end of the ring for gypsum bonded investments.

- With the higher strength phosphate bonded investments it may be possible to

position the wax pattern within 3 to 4 mm of the top of the investment for
reproducibility of casting accuracy

- The pattern should be placed as close as possible to the center of the ring.


- The expansion of the investment is produced by using a ring liner along the
walls of the casting ring.

- The expansion of the investment is always greater in the unrestricted

longitudinal direction than in the radical direction.

- Placing the liner some what short (3.25mm) of the ends of the ring tends to
produce a more uniform expansion

Ring liner

Asbestos non asbestos

Alumminosilicate ceramic liner Cellulose (paper) liner

- Traditionally, asbestos was the material of choice, but it can no longer be

used because its carcinogenic potential makes it a biohazard.

Two technique were used
Dry lining
Wet lining

- The dry liner is tacked into position with sticky wax, and it is then used
either dry or wet

- With a wet liner technique , the lined ring is immersed into water for a time
and the excess water is shaken away.

- Absorbed water causes a semi hygroscopic expansion as it is drawn into the

investment during setting.

- Using a thicker liner material or 2 layers of liners provides even greater

expansion and also affords a more unrestricted normal setting expansion of
the investment.

- In any case the thickness of the liner should not be less than 1 mm.

Ringless casting system.

- This system provides maximum expansion of the investment. It consists of three
sizes of rings and formers, preformed wax sprues and shapes, investment powder
and a special investment liquid.
- The tapered plastic rings allow for the removal of the investment mold after the
material has set. This system is suited for casting of alloys that require greater
mold expansion than traditional gold based alloys.


A refractory material used to form a mould casting for cast metals or hot
pressed ceramics.

Classification according to Binders used:

1. Gypsum bonded investment:

- Is used for alloys that fuse below 1975F (1080c)

- Casting of gold alloys inlays, onlays, crowns and fixed partial dentures.

Classification (ADA specification no 2)

Depending upon the expansion required to compensate for the contraction of

the molten gold alloys during solidification.

Type I:

- Thermal expansion type:

- For casting of inlays and crowns

Type II:

- Hygroscopic expansion type:

- For casting inlays, onlays and crowns


- Are used in construction of partial dentures with gold alloy

Phosphate bonded investments:

- for higher fusing alloys

- casting of copings or frame works for metal ceramic prosthesis, base metal
alloys and pressable ceramics.

Two types of phosphate bonded investments

- Type I: for inlays crowns and other fixed restoration.

- Type II: for partial dentures and other cast removable restoration

A typical phosphate investment system consists of three key components:

Binder : ammonium phosphate and magnesium oxide.
Refractory: quartz and cristobalite.
Liquid: colloidal silica ( contributes to the setting and thermal expansion).

Setting reaction:
- Ammonium phosphate and magnesium oxide react in the presence of water to form
an ammonium magnesium phosphate compound.

- When heated above 850c during burnout, the end product is primarily magnesium
pyrophosphate (based on x-ray diffraction rate), which is a strong crystalline
complex. The basic chemistry is as follows:

EThyl silicate- bonded investments:

- for casting of removable partial dentures with base metal alloys (cobalt
based or nickel based alloys)

Ideal requirements:

- Controllable expansion to compensate precisely for shrinkage of the cast

-alloy during cooling.

- The ability to produce smooth castings with accurate surface reproduction

without nodules.

- Chemical stability at high casting temperatures .

- Adequate strength to resist casting forces.

- Sufficient porosity to allow for gas escape.

- Easy recovery of the casting.


Arrangement of a pattern in a ring prior to pouring the investment material.

- Vacuum mixing and brush application of investment materials is highly
recommended for consistent results in casting with minimal surface defects,
especially when phosphate-bonded investments are used .

- Good results are possible when the investment is poured into the ring under

Brush technique:

The procedures is as follows:

1. Pattern is first painted with surface tension reducer

2. Add investment powder to the liquid in the mixing bowl and quickly
incorporate it by hand.

3. Attach the vacuum hose to the bowl, evacuate the bowl, and mechanically
spatulate. If phosphate bonded investments are used, additional vibration
under vacuum helps minimize nodules.

4. Coat the entire pattern with investment, pushing the material ahead of the
brush from a single point. Gently vibrate throughout the application of
investment, being especially careful to coat the internal surface and the
margin of the pattern.

5. After the pattern has been completely coated, the ring is immediately filled
by vibrating the remaining investment out of the bowl.

6. After the ring is filled to the rim, allow the investment to set.

7. If the hygroscopic technique is used, the ring is placed in a 37C (100F) water
bath for 1 hour

Vacuum technique

1. First, hand spatulate the mix

2. With the crucible former and pattern in place attach the ring to the mixing

3. Attach the vacuum hose and mix according to the manufacturers


4. Invert the bowl and fill the ring under vibration

5. Remove the vacuum hose before shutting of the mixer

6. Remove the filled ring and crucible former from the bowl

7. Immediately clean the bowl and mixing blade under running water

Expansion of the investment:

Two types

Normal setting expansion
Hygroscopic setting expansion
- If the hygroscopic technique is employed, the filled casting ring is immediately
placed in a 37c water bath with the crucible former side down.
- For the thermal expansion or high-heat technique, the invested ring is allowed to
bench set undisturbed for the time recommended by the manufacturer.
Controlled water-added technique
The linear hygroscopic expansion increase directly with the amount of water
added until a maximal expansion is attained. The compositions of investments for use
with the water-added hygroscopic casting technique ensure maximal expansion during
immersion in water. The amount of hygroscopic expansion needed for compensation is
then obtained by adding only enough water to provide the desired expansion.
A soft, flexible rubber ring is employed instead of the usual asbestos-lined metal
ring. The pattern is invested as usual. A specified amount of water is then added on the
top of the investment in the rubber ring, and the investment is allowed to set usually at
room temperature. This technique is rarely used, since the hygroscopic expansion
method described earlier provides adequate expansion in most cases.

Control of setting expansion:

- varying the liquid: powder (L: P) ratio
The lower the L: P ratio, the greater the potential for investment expansion.
If mix is too thick it will distort the pattern and produce air voids during
investing. On the other hand, if the mixtures are too thin, a rough surface on
the casting may result.
- By reducing the time of immersion of the setting investment. The longer the
delay before the investment is immersed in the water bath, the less the
hygroscopic expansion that occurs.
- Increasing the burnout temperatures and the water bath temperature increases the
expansion, and vice versa.

- It is advisable to begin the burnout procedure while the mold is still wet. During
burnout, some of the melted wax is absorbed by the investment, and residual carbon
produced by ignition of the liquid wax becomes trapped in the porous investment.
Water trapped in the pores of the wet investment reduces the absorption
of wax, and as the water vaporizes it flushes wax from the mold.
- The investment should not be permitted to dry out. If the burnout procedure does not

- During burnout, the mold is placed in an oven to completely eliminate the wax,
thereby forming a cavity into which the molten metal is cast.

- A satisfactory way of eliminating the wax pattern is to set the mold in the
furnace with the sprue hole placed downward at first, so most of the wax drains
out and is eliminated as a liquid.

- The ring is then inverted with the sprue hole placed upward.

- In this position the oxygen in the oven atmosphere can circulate more readily
into the cavity, react with the wax, and form gases rather than the fine carbon
that interferes with the venting of the mold cavity.

- When heated to higher temperatures, wax decomposes and forms carbon

dioxide, water, or nitrogen oxides, all of which are gases and can be easily

- The lower the mold temperature and larger the wax pattern, the longer the mold
should be left in the oven.

- During wax elimination, the investment expands thermally, which is necessary

to compensate for the casting shrinkage.

- immediately follow the investing procedure, the invested ring is placed in a humidor
at 100% humidity.

Rapid Burnout Investment

- With this technique, the bench-set time is shortened and the mold is placed directly
into a heated furnace. The bench-set time is reduced from about 45 to 15 minutes for
the fastest investments.
- The standard heating cycle, where the mold is placed in an oven at room
temperature and slowly heated to maximum temperature, is eliminated. The mold is
placed directly into an oven at maximum temperature and allowed to soak for
approximately 30 minutes.
- The rapid burnout technique reduces the stage of the casting operation from about 2
hours to 40 minutes. The time from the start of investing to the completion of casting
is less than 1 hour.


Ways of melting the alloy:

1. Melting in a separate crucible by a torch flame and is cast into mold by
centrifugal force .

2. Melting electrically by a resistance heating or induction furnace, then cast

into the mold centrifugally by motor or spring action.

3. Melting by induction heating, then cast into the mold centrifugally by motor
or spring action.

4. The Alloy is vacuum arc melted and cast by pressure in an argon


- In addition to these melting machine the molten metal may be cast by air
pressure, by vacuum , or both.

Torch Melting/ Centrifugal Casting Machine

- The Casting Machines spring is first wound from 2 to 5 turns, depending on

the particular machine and the speed of casting rotation broken arm of the
casting machine .

- The torch flame is generated from a gas mixture of propane air , natural gas
and air , acetylene and air or acetylene an oxygen.

- The broken arm feature accelerates the initial rotational speed of the crucible
and casting ring, thus increasing the linear speed of the liquid casting alloy
moves into and through the mold.

- Once the metal has reached the casting temperature and the heated casting
ring is in position, the machine is released and the spring triggers the
rotational motion.

- As the metal fills mold, a hydrostatic pressure gradient develops along the
length of the casting. The pressure gradient from the tip of the casting
bottom surface is quite sharp and parabolic in form, reaching zero at the
button surface.

- The pressure gradient at the tip of casting reaches about 0.21 to 0.28 Mpa at
the moment before solidification Due to this pressure gradient, there is also
a gradient in the heat transfer rate such that the greatest rate of the heat
transfer to the mold is at the high pressure end of the gradient.

- Because of this end is frequently the sharp edge of the margin of a crown ,
there is further assurance that the solidification progresses from the thin
margin edge to the button surface

- It is advantageous to pre-heat the gold before the ring is removed from the
burn out furnace. This prevents the ring from losing temperature before the
casting is made. It is essential that the gold be completely melted before
attempting to cast if harpness and detail are to be attained.

- However, overheating gold will result in excessive oxidation and absorption
of gases, which may result in brittleness and roughness of the casting.
- A suggested method for judging the proper casting temperature is to place
the unmelted gold on the side of the crucible. When the metal becomes
molten it will flow to the bottom of the crucible. By further heating, the
molten gold will pass the color changes from red to a light straw and finally
to white with the characteristic "bull's eye" on the top and center of the mass.
By shaking the crucible slightly, the metal will now roll freely and the
casting can be made immediately without prolonged heating.

Electrical resistance heated casting machine

- This is used for alloys for metal ceramic prostheses. which are alloyed with
base metals in trace amounts that tend to oxidize on over heating.

- In this device current is passed through a resistance heating conductor, and

automatic heating of the alloy occurs in a graphite or ceramic crucible.

- The crucible in the furnace is located flush against the casting ring.
Therefore the alloy button remains molten slightly longer, ensuring that
solidification progress completely from the tip of the casting to the button

- A carbon crucible should not be used in the melting of high palladium

alloys , palladium silver alloys, nickel chromium alloys or cobalt chromium
base metal alloys

Induction Melting Machine:

- The alloy is melted by an induction field that develops within a crucible

surrounded by water cooled metal tubing.

- The Electric induction furnace is a transformer in which alternating current

flows through the primary winding coil and generates a variable magnetic
field in the location of the alloy.

- Once the alloy reaches the casting temperature in air or in vacuum it is
forced into the mold by centrifugal force by air pressure or by vacuum.

Direct current arc melting machine

- The direct arc current is produced between to electrodes ; the alloy and the
water cooled tungsten electrode.

- The temperature within the arc exceeds 4000 C. and the alloy melts very

- This method has a high risk for over heating the alloy and damage may
result after only a few seconds of prolonged heating.

Vacuum or Pressure ,Assisted Casting Machine

- The molten alloy is heated to the casting temperature, drawn into the
evacuated mold by gravity or vacuum and subjected to additional pressure to
force the alloy into the mold.

- It is used for titanium and its alloys.

Casting crucibles

- Generally 4 types of casting crucibles are available:-




Zirconia - Alumina.

- Clay crucibles are appropriate for many of the crown and bridge alloys,
such as the high noble and noble types.

- Carbon crucibles can be used not only for high noble crown and bridge
alloys but also for the high fusing gold based metal ceramic alloys

- Crucibles made from alumina , quartz or silica are recommended for high
fusing alloys of any type. These are especially suited for alloys that have a
high melting temperature or those that are sensitive to carbon contamination

Torch melting of noble metal alloy

- Noble metal alloy is best melted by placing it on the inner side wall of the
crucible and there is greater opportunity for any gases in the flame to be
reflected from the surface of the alloy rather than being absorbed.

- The fuel used in most instances is a mixture of natural or artificial gas and
air ,although oxygen air and acetylene can also be used .

- Considerable care should be taken to obtain a non luminous brush flame,

with the different combustion zones clearly differentiated.

Zones of flame:

Zone I
- It is the long cone emanating directly from the nozzle.
- Mixing of air and gas takes place
- No heat present in this zone.

Zone II
- Immediately surround the inner zone
- Appears green
- Air and gas are partially burnt.
- This zone is oxidizing and should be kept away from molten metal during

Zone III
- Dimly blue colour and is the reducing zone.

- This is the hottest part of the flame and should kept constantly on the alloy
while melting.

Zone IV
- This is the outer zone.
- Combustion occur between oxygen and air. Thus it forms the oxidizing zone.
Under no circumstances should this portion of the flame be used to melt the
alloy. Not only is its temperature lower than that of the reducing zone, but it
also oxidizes the alloy.

- When the oxidizing portion of the flame is in contact with alloy there is a
dull film of dross developed over the surface.

- At the proper casting temperature, the molten alloy is light orange and tends
to spend or follow the flame when the latter moves slightly.

- At this point, the alloy should be approximately 38 to 66 c above its liquidus


- The casting should be made immediately when the proper temperature is


- Some oxidation nearly always occurs during melting, thus the use of a
reducing flux is recommended for the protection of the gold alloy.
- The flux will convert the oxides of the base metals of the casting gold back
to clean copper, silver and zinc, thus protecting the original composition and
properties of the alloy.

- When the gold begins to take on a red color, flux should be applied.
Additional flux should be added just before casting.


- Often the surface of the casting appears dark with oxides and tarnish.

- Such a surface film can be removed by a process known as pickling, which

consists of heating the discolored casting in an acid.

- One of the best pickling solutions for gypsum bonded investments is 50%
hydrochloric acid solution.

- The hydrochloric acid aids in the removal of any residual investments, as

well as the oxide coating.

- The disadvantage of hydrochloric acid is that the fumes from the acid are
likely to corrode laboratory metal furnishings. In addition these fumes are a
health hazard and should be vented via fume hood.

- A solution of sulfuric acid may also be more advantageous in this respect.

- The best method for pickling is to place the casting in a test tube or dish and
to pour the acid over it .

- It may be necessary to heat the acid , but boiling should be avoided because
of the considerable amount of acid fumes involved . After pickling, the acid
is poured off and the casting is removed.

- The pickling solution should be renewed frequently, because it is likely to

become contaminated after reusing the solutions several times

- Casting should not be held with steel tongs as both the casting and the tongs
come into contact with the pickling solution and contaminate the casting .
- The pickling solution usually contains small amounts of copper dissolved
from previous castings. When the steel tongs contact the electrolyte , a small
galvanic cell is created and copper is deposited on the casting at the point
where the tong grips it.



1. Distortion

2. Surface roughness and irregularities

3. Porosity

4. Incomplete or missing detail

Distortion :

- It is mainly due to the distortion of the wax pattern.

- minimized or prevented by proper manipulation of the wax and handling of

the pattern

- some distortion of the wax pattern occurs as the investment hardens around
it. The setting and hygroscopic expansions of the investment may produce a
nonuniform expansion of the walls of the pattern.

Surface Roughness, , & Discoloration

- Surface roughness is defined as relatively finely spaced surface imperfections

whose height, width, and direction establish the predominant surface pattern.

Liquid Power Ratio

- The higher the L/P ration, the rougher the casting.

- However, if too little water is used, the investment may be unmanageably

thick and cannot be properly applied to the pattern.

Prolonged Heating

- Prolonged heating of the mold at the casting temperature cause

disintegration of the gypsum-bonded investment, and roughing of the walls
of the mold

- Furthermore, the products of decomposition like sulfur compounds may

contaminate the alloy to the extent that the surface texture is affected.

Temperature of the Alloy

- If an alloy is heated to too high a temperature before casting the surface of

the investments is likely to be attacked leading to surface roughness.

Casting Pressure

- Too high a pressure during casting can produce a rough surface on the
casting .

- A gauge pressure of 0.10 to 0.14 Mpa in air pressure casting machine or

three to four turns of the spring in an average type of centrifugal casting
machine is sufficient for small castings.

Composition of the investment:

- The ratio of the binder to the quartz influences the surface texture of the

- In addition, a coarse silica causes a surface roughness.

Surface Irregularities:
- Surface irregularities are isolated imperfections, such as nodules, that are not
characteristic of the entire surface area.


- Nodules are formed due to air entrapment during investing

- Formation of air bubble in the investment can be prevented by:

use the vacuum investing technique

The use of a mechanical mixer with vibration both before and after mixing
should be practiced routinely.

A wetting agent may be helpful in preventing the collection of air bubbles on

the surface of the pattern, but it is by no means a certain remedy. It is
important that the wetting agent be applied in a thin layer.

Ridges or veins on the surface:

- This occurs due to presence of wax film on the surface.

- Wax is repellent to water, and if the investment becomes separated from the
wax pattern in some manner, a water film may form irregularly over the

- appears as minute ridges or veins on the surface.

- A wetting agent is of aid in the prevention of such irregularities.

Fins or spines on the casting:

- Due to rapid heating rates of the investment causing flaking of the


- Mold should be heated gradually; at least 60 min should elapse during the
heating of the investment filled ring from room temperature to 700 degree C.


- Voids appear due to incomplete elimination of wax residues which may be
due to too short heating time or if insufficient air is available in the furnace.

- Voids or porosity may occur in the casting from the gases formed when the
hot alloy comes in contact with the carbon residues.

- Occasionally, the casting may be covered with a tenacious carbon coating

that is virtually impossible to remove by pickling

- Any casting that shows sharp, well defined deficiencies indicates the
presence of some foreign particles in the mold, such as pieces of investment
and bits of carbon from a flux.

- Bright appearing concavities may be the result of the flux being carried into
the mold with the metal.

Impact of Molten Alloy:

- The direction of the sprue former should be such that the molten gold alloy
does not strike a weak portion of the mold surface.

- Such a depression in the mold is reflected as a raised area on the casting.

Pattern Position

- If several patterns are invested in the same ring, they should not be placed
too closed together. Likewise, positioning too many patterns in the same
plane in the mold should be avoided

- The expansion of wax is much greater than that of the investment, causing
cracking of the investment if the spacing between patterns is less than 3 mm.

Carbon Inclusions:

- Carbon, as from a crucible, an improperly adjusted torch, or a carbon

containing investment, can be absorbed by the alloy during casting.

- These particles may lead to the formation of carbides or even create visible
carbon inclusions


Porosities in noble metal alloy castings may be classified as follows:

I. Solidification defects -

A. Localized shrinkage porosity

B. Microporosity

II. Trapped gases -

Pinhole porosity

Gas inclusions

Subsurface porosity.

III. Residual air.

Localized shrinkage porosity

- Localized shrinkage is generally caused by premature termination of the flow

of molten metal during solidification.

- Localized shrinkage generally occurs near the sprue-casting junction

- This type of void may also occur externally, usually in the interior of a crown
near the area of the sprue, if a hot spot has been created by the hot metal
impinging from the sprue channel on a point of the mold wall. This hot spot
causes the local region to freeze last and results in what is called such-back

- Suck-back porosity often occurs at an occlusoaxial line angle or incisoaxial

line angle that is not well rounded.

- The entering metal impinges onto the mold surface at this point and creates a
higher localized mold temperature in this region creating a hot spot

- Suck-back porosity can be eliminated by flaring the point of sprue attachment

and reducing the mold-melt temperature differential, that is lowering the
casting temperature by about 300 C.


- Occurs from solidification shrinkage but is generally present in fine-grain

alloy castings when the solidification is too rapid or casting temperature is
too low for the microvoids to segregate to the liquid pool.

- This premature solidification causes the porosity in the form of small,

irregular voids.

Pinhole and the Gas inclusion porosities :

- Both pinhole and the gas inclusion porosities are related to the entrapment of
gas during solidification. Both are characterized by a spherical contour, but
they are different in size.

- The gas inclusion porosities are usually much larger than pinhole porosity.

- Many metals dissolve or occlude gases while they are molten. For example,
both copper and silver dissolve oxygen in large amounts in the liquid state.
Molten platinum and palladium have a strong affinity for hydrogen as well as
oxygen. On solidification, the absorbed gases are expelled and pinhole
porosity results.

Subsurface porosity:

- The reasons for such voids have not been completely established. They may
be caused by the simultaneous nucleation of solid grains and gas bubbles at
the first moment that the alloy freezes at the mold walls.

- This type of porosity can be diminished by controlling the rate at which the
molten metal enters the mold.

Entrapped air porosity (back-pressure porosity):

- These are large concave depressions on the inner surface of the casting. This
is caused by the inability of the air in the mold to escape through the pores in
the investment or by the pressure gradient that displaces the air pocket toward
the end of the investment via the molten sprue and button.

Incomplete casting :

- This is because that the molten alloy has been prevented, in some manner,
from completely filling the mold.

- This may be due to

insufficient venting of the mold

high viscosity of the fused metal

insufficient casting pressure (which is evident by rounded incomplete

margins )

incomplete wax elimination (characterized by rounded margins and

shiny appearance )

- The pressure should be applied for atleast 4 seconds.

The casting procedure that we are using now is introduced in 1907, almost a century
ago. Even at present situation the failures occurring during casting is more especially

during the fabrication of partial denture framework and there is no foolproof method exist
for casting procedure. Innovations and inventions in the field of investment materials and
casting procedure are being developed and also getting improved better and better every
day. Strong scientific and collaborative foundation should exist between dentist and casting
engineering community for continued development and improvement of casting system.


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