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Casting procedure

Seminar By Dr.Raghu.T.N

Casting is the process by which the wax pattern of a restoration is converted to replicate in a dental alloy

1907-Introduction of lost wax technique. 1933-Replacement of of Co-Cr for gold. 1950-development of of resin veneers for gold alloys . 1959-introduction of PFM technique 1968-Pd based alloys alternatives for gold 1971- Ni based alloys alternatives for gold 1980s-Introduction of all-ceramic technlogy 1999-gold alloys as alternatives to Pd alloy

Classification of alloys
Based on noble metal percentage

High noble alloys-(HN)40 wt % of gold and

60wt% of noble metal elements

Noble metal alloys-(N)25 wt % of noble metal


Predominantly Base metal alloys-(PD)-less

than 25 wt% of noble metal

Classification of alloys ability Based on composition. Dental use.stress sustaining

Type-1-low strength-min yield strength 80Mpa
and min percent of elongation is 18%

Type-2 medium strength- min yield strength 180Mpa

and min percent of elongation is 10%

Type-3.High strength min yield strength 270Mpa

and min percent of elongation is-5%

Type4- Extra High strength- min yield strength 360Mpa

and min percent of elongation is-3%

Classification of alloys
Class-I-Gold-Pt group based alloys
(ADA specification-5 and type 1 to 4 gold alloys)

Class-II-Low gold alloys with gold content less than50%. Class-III- Non gold Palladium based alloys. Class-IV-Ni-Cr based alloys. Class-V-Castable and moldable Ceramics.

Inlay casting wax

ADA specification no-4 divides inlay wax into three types Type-A-HARD or LOW FLOW used rarely in indirect technique Type-B-MEDIUM wax employed in direct technique Type-C-SOFT wax used for indirect technique for construction of inlay crown

Inlay casting wax

Ideal requisites of inlay casting wax -when softened it should become uniformly smooth, -it should have a contrasting color with die material -there should not be any flakiness or roughening when bent and molded after softening -after burn out it should not leave any residues in the mold -it should be rigid and dimensionally stable after carving

Thermal changes and the relaxation of stresses that are caused by contraction on cooling,occluded air,molding , carving , removal and time and temp of storage. ELASTIC MEMORY is the main cause for the distortion in case of thermoplastic waxes

Wax distortion

Reduction of distortion
Only those waxes which meet ADA specification should be used. Proper wax should be selected according to the technique to be employed. The pattern after removal should be invested as quickly as possible to prevent the distortion.

Sprue former
A sprue pin acts as a the channel or passage for the entry of the liquid metal into the mold in an investing ring after wax elimination

Diameter of the sprue

It should be same as thickest area of the wax pattern It should not be less than 1.5mm diameter

In case of air pressure casting machine 2.5mm diameter is advised

Wire gauge no and diameter of sprue

Gauge no Diameter 6 ------------------------- 4.115mm 8 ------------------------- 3.264mm 10 ------------------------- 2.588mm 12 ------------------------ 2.053mm 14 ------------------------ 1.628mm 16 ------------------------ 1.291mm 18 ----------------------- 1.024mm

Position of the sprue

It is preferred on the proximal surface of non functional cusp to minimize subsequent grinding of the occlusal anatomy and contact area

Sprue attachment
The sprue former connections to wax pattern is generally flared for high density gold alloys The flaring facilitates the entry of fluid alloy in to the pattern area. If possible the sprue should be attached to the portion of the pattern with largest cross sectional area

Sprue length
The length of the sprue should be long enough to position the pattern properly in the casting ring with in 6mm of the trailing end . It should be short enough sot ht molten alloy does not solidify before entering the mold It is generally 3 to 4mm in length when phosphate investment is used.

Sprue type attachment with pattern

Wax pattern may be sprued.

1)Directly-provides direct
connection between the pattern area and sprue base

2)Indirectly-It involves connector or

a reservoir bar positioned between pattern and crusible former.

Sprue direction
It should be attached away from any thin or delicate parts of the pattern because the molten metal may abrade or fracture the investment in this area and result in casting failure. Sprue former should not be attached at right angle to a broad flat surface to prevent the turbulence within the mold cavity and porosity in the region.

Reservoir is a piece of wax that is attached approximately 1mm from the pattern as an added precaution to prevent localized shrinkage porosity.

Crucible former
Also know as sprue base.which holds the sprue along with wax pattern. The shape of the crucible former is such that when it is removed after investment is set it forms a funnel like shape which is most suitable to pour liquid metal in to it. It can be made of metal rubber or resin

Casting Ring
It is a hallow tube fitted over the crucible former encircling the wax pattern to the height of inch above the edge of the pattern The ring and crucible former provide a seal and so the investment material can be poured inside the ring to surround the wax pattern and sprueformer

Casting ring

Casting liner
To make allowance for the lateral expansion of the investment since solid casting ring do not permit the investment to expand laterally during the setting A moistened glass fiber paper is used as a liner to provide a cushion for hardening investment material to expand into. The thickness must be not less than 1mm.

Casting liner
Traditionally ASBESTOS was the material of choice but no longer used because of its carcinogenic potential Aluminum silicate or cellulose paper is used now a days Length should be 3mm short of casting ring to restrict the longitudinal expansion.which in turn produces uniform expansion and less chance of wax distortion

Investing procedure
The mixing the investment is done according to the manufacturers ratio in a clean dry bowl with out entrapment of the air into the mix. Mixing methods

1) Hand mixing 2) vacuum mixing

Methods of investing
Hand investing- mixed investment is
applied on all the surfaces with soft brush.and coated pattern can be invested by two methods -placing the pattern first and then filling the ring full with investment

- Filling the ring with the investment first and then force the pattern through it

Methods of investing
Vacuum investing-the ring is filled with
investment is placed in the vacuum chamber air entry tube is closed the vacuum is applied The investment will rise with froth vigorously for about 10-15 sec and then settles back The pressure is now restored to atmospheric by opening the air entry tap gradually at first and then more rapidly as the investment settles back around the pattern.

Shrinkage compensation
There are four mechanisms that can produce compensatory expansion 1. SETTING EXPANSION OF THE INVESTMENT 2. HYGROSCOPIC EXPANSION 3. WAX PATTERN EXPANSION 4. THERMAL EXPANSION

This occurs as a result of normal crystal growth and enhanced by silica particles in the investment It is about 4% but expansion is partially restricted by metal ring

May be employed to augment the normal expansion, the investment is allowed to set in the presence of water to produce additional expansion The investment is immersed in 38*c water bath The water used for hydration is replaced by immersion water The expansion ranges from 1.2% to 2.2%

Wax pattern expansion

It is achieved while the wax pattern is till fluid when wax is warmed above the temp at which it is formed The heat comes from the setting reaction of investment and from the warm water bath in which casting ring is immersed Invested wax pattern is allowed to set under warm water to achieve wax pattern expansion

Thermal expansion
This occurs when investment is heated n the burn out oven Heating also serves to eliminate the wax pattern and prevent alloy to solidify before completely fills the mold This technique relies primarily on thermal expansion of mold

Wax elimination and heating

The purpose of wax burn out is to make room for the liquid metal. The ring is placed in the oven at 250*C with the sprue end down . Thus allowing the melted wax to flow our for 30 min or even up to 60min. To ensure complete elimination of the carbon.

Heating the ring

The object is to create a mold of such dimension , condition and temperature so that it is best suited to receive the metal Two techniques used for heating the casting ring

Hygroscopic Low heat technique High- heat Expansion technique

Hygroscopic Low heat technique

The ring is placed in the furnace with sprue hole down and heated to 500*c and kept at this temp for 1hour. The total expansion with the previously obtained hygroscopic expansion is about 2.2% 37*C water bath expands the wax pattern. The warm water entering the investment mold from the top adds some hygroscopic expansion

High heat thermal expansion

The ring is placed in the furnace at room temp and the temp is raised gradually to 700*C in 1 hour Then the ring is heat soaked at this temp for an hour This slow rise in temp is necessary to prevent development of cracks in the investment.

Casting machines
Centrifugal casting machine Electrical resistanceheated casting machine Induction melting casting machine Vacuum arc casting machine in argon atmosphere.

Centrifugal casting machine

This machine makes use of centrifugal force to thrust the liquid metal into the mold

Electrical resistance heating casting machine

There is an automatic electric heating to melt the alloy in graphite or ceramic crucible Especially for alloys such as those used for metal ceramic restorations

Induction melting casting machine

The metal is melted by an induction field that develops within a crucible surrounded by water cooled metal tubing

Vacuum arc casting machine

The direct is produced by two electrodes the alloy and the water cooled tungsten electrode The temp exceeds 4000 degree C. Ideal for titanium casting in an argon atmosphere.

Casting crucible
Three types of crucible are available 1. clay-for high noble and noble alloys

2. Carbon-high noble crown and bridges gold based metal ceramic alloys 3. Quartz- High fusing alloys of any type which have very high melting range and are sensitive to carbon contamination

Torch melting

Mixture of natural gas and oxygen or air is used as a fuel for melting the dental casting alloys

Casting gold palladium alloy

The casting ring is placed at 315*C oven After 30 min the low heat oven .place the ring in the 704*C oven for 1hour Single orifice gas oxygen torch flame is used to melt the alloy\ Quartz crucible is preferred

Casting gold palladium alloy

When alloy liquefies it will go through 4 stages. 1. Red 2. Orange 3. White(dull) 4. White(mirror like shine) When gold is in orange transfer the ring from the furnace to cradle of casting machine.keep heating the alloy till it becomes white shiny Release the casting machine and cast is bench cooled and it should not be quenched.

Casting base metal alloys

To achieve the mold expansion the investment is placed in water bath at 38*C Place the ring in room temp oven and bring the temp to 815*C in 1 hour Allow it to heat soak for 2 hours Pre heat the quartz crucible in the oven and place the alloy ingot in the crucible When the ingots glow uniform color will slump and their edge will round over Cast immediately and bench cool to room temp

Casting titanium
Comparatively difficult to cast because of need of relatively complex and expensive equipments High melting point and tendency of metal to become contaminated are two major problems Graphite or water cooled copper crucible is used Casting is done in arc vacuum casting machine with argon atmosphere.

Cleaning the casting

After the casting has been completed the ring is removed and quenched in water. Purpose of quenching

1. The noble metal alloy is left in an annealed condition for burnishing, polishing and

similar procedures. 2. When water contacts hot investment a violent reaction occurs making the investment soft and granular.

Often the dark surface of the casting is seen because of oxides and tarnish. Such surface film is removed by the process called PICKLING. Where heating of discolored casting in acid is done.probably the best pickling solution for gypsum bonded investments is 50% hydrochloric acid solution. Sulfuric acid and ultrasonic devices can also be used for this purpose.

Finishing and polishing

The sprue is removed and the restoration may be stoned and polished on the external surface except at the edges in the laboratory Finishing tools and polishers 1. mandrel abrasive disks 2. Rubber cup polishers bristle brushes 3. pumice 4. Wool mop

Casting defects
It can be classified under four headings



Caused by distortion of wax pattern .it can be minimized or prevented by manipulation of wax and handling of pattern. Some distortion of the wax distortion of the wax pattern occurs as the investment hardens around it The setting and hygroscopic expansion of the investment may produce an uneven movement of the walls of the pattern

The distortion occurs in part from the uneven outward movement of the proximal walls. The gingival margins are forced apart by the mold expansion. Distortion increases as the thickness of the pattern decreases

Surface roughness, irregularities

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Causes of these defects Air bubbles in the 9.composition of investment Water films 10.foreign bodies Rapid heating 11.Impact of molten alloy Under heating 12.pattern position Liquid: powder ratio 13.carbon inclusion Prolonged heating 14.other causes Temp of alloy Casting pressure

Air bubble
Small nodules on the casting are caused by air bubbles that become attached to the pattern during the investment procedure. Such air bubbles can be removed if they are not in critical area Prevention: By vacuum investing Using mechanical mixer Wetting agents application on the wax pattern.

Water films
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 surface appears as minute ridges or veins on the surface Prevention: It can be prevented by using the wetting agent on the pattern before investing

Rapid heating
It results in the fins or spines on the casting or characteristic surface roughness may be evident because of flaking of investment when the water or steam pours in to the mold Such surge of steam or water may carry some of the salts used as modifiers into the mold. Which are left as deposits on the walls after water evaporates. Prevention:the mold should be heated gradually:at least 60 min should elapse during the heating the casting ring from room temp to 700O C

Under heating
Incomplete elimination of wax residues may occur Voids or porosity may occur in the casting from the gases formed when the hot alloy comes in contact with the carbonaceous residues. Prevention: faulty readings in the pyrometer leading to under heating should be checked periodically

Liquid/powder ratio
Higher the w/p ratio rougher is the casting If too little water is used the investment may be unmanageably thick. So that it can not be applied on the pattern. In vacuum investing machine the air may not be sufficiently removed if water content is too low Prevention: amount of w/p ratio should be measured accurately.

Prolonged heating
When high heat casting machine is used , a prolonged heating of the mold at the casting temp is likely to cause a disintegration of the investment and the walls of the mold are roughened as a result. The decomposition product sulfur may contaminate the gold alloy to the extent that the surface texture is affected.such surface will not respond to the process of pickling Prevention:when thermal expansion tech is used the mold should be heated to not more than 700O And casting should be done immediately.

Temperature of the alloy

If the alloy is heated too high a temp before the casting. The surface of the investment is likely to be attacked leading to the surface rough ness Prevention:When fuel is other than gas-air mixture care should be observed that the color emitted by the molten gold alloy should not be lighter than a light orange

Casting pressure
Too high pressure during casting can produce a rough surface on the casting. Prevention:A gauge pressure of 0.10 to 0,14 Mpa in an air pressure casting machine or 3 to 4 turns of the spring in average type of the centrifugal casting machine is sufficient for small casting

Composition of the investment

Ratio of the binder to the quartz influences the surface texture of the casting. In addition a coarse silica causes a surface roughness Prevention:if the investment meets ADA specification no-2 the composition is probably not

Foreign body inclusion

When foreign bodies get into the mold causes surface roughness Pieces of investment, bits of carbon from flux, careless ness in removal of sprue former leads to the foreign body inclusion Prevention:careful attention during the removal of sprue and clean and proper ventilated working atmosphere and strict follow up of the technical procedures.

Impact of molten alloys

The direction of the sprue former should be such that the molten alloy does not strike a weak portion of the mold surface. Occasionally the molten alloy may fracture or abrade the mold surface on impact regardless of the bulk Prevention:The sprue should not be attached to the pattern at right angle to prevent the direct impact.

Porosity can occur both within the interior region of a casting and on the external surface. Internal porosity not only weakens the casting but also if it extends to external surface it may be a cause for discoloration Is severe it can produce leakage at the tooth restoration interface leading to sec caries

Porosities are classified as: -those caused by solidification shrinkage -localized shrinkage porosity -micro porosity those caused by gas Pinhole porosity -gas inclusions -sub surface porosity -those caused by air trapped in the mold(back pressure porosity)

Incomplete or missing detail

Due to inhibition of the entry of the liquid metal into the mold. -it can be prevented by maintaining the sufficient casting pressure and maintain for few seconds after the casting. -metal must be heated to its correct fusion temp -the casting must be done immediately done when the metal is fused

Incomplete or missing detail

Due to incomplete elimination of the wax It can be prevented by adapting proper time and temperature during the burnout process For too large size casting to prevent the excessive mold expansion proper investment and proper temp must be maintained. For very small casting it is prevented by heating the mold sufficiently.