Metallurgy

1) Metal
Metal is the pure state are used much more in dentistry than in most other arts or industries. The pure metals that are commonly used in dentistry are gold and platinum, silver and copper titanium.

Properties of metals: 1) Metals are elements that ionize positively in solutions. copper is red and gold is yellow) . 2) They are solids at room temperature (except Hg and gallium which are liquids and H2 which is a gaseous metal). Luster: due to reflection of light waves by the free electrons ans most of them are silvery in color (except that.

5) All metals have high strength. and high melting temperature due to the metallic bonding. high hardness. . 8) All metals have high density which is related to the atomic weight and to the type of lattice structure that determines how closely the atoms are packed. 6) They are malleable (can be hammered into sheets) and ductile (can be drawn into wires).4) All metals conduct heat and electricity because they have free electrons. 7) Give a metallic ring when they are struck.

Shaping of metals: 1) Casting “cast metal”: this is performed by melting the metal and shaping it in a mould. In dentistry a molten metal is poured into a mould made from a wax pattern embedded in an investment material .

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however orthodontic wires and clasps of partial dentures are wrought metals. most dental appliances are cast structures. .2) Cold working (wrought metals): Metal can be hammered into sheets or pulled through dies to form wires at room temp.

The strength of the formed object can be improved by pressing and heating it in a non oxidizing atmosphere below the melting point of the metal to agglomerate the particles and improve adhesion. Amalgam tablets are made by sintering . The product of this method is weak as there is little adhesion between the particles.3) Sintering (powder metallurgy): A metal powder can be pressed to produce an object.

.4) Electroforming : The process of electrolysis is used to plate a metal on a conducting surface e.g. silver and copper plated dies.

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Cooling of molten metal A C D Temp B F Time .

the following figure results. and if its temperature during cooling is plotted as a function of the time. and if its temperature during cooling. An increase in temperature then occurs to C at that time the temperature becomes constant until the time indicated by D (C-D is the horizontal or plateau portion of the curve). . After D the temperature decrease to room temperature at E. As can be noted in the figure the temperature decreases regularly from A to B.If a metal is melted and then allowed to cool.

B. as indicated by the horizontal or plateau portion of the curve at C-D. 2) The initial cooling to B is called super cooling which is due to solidification and the release of the latent heat of fusion. is the freezing or melting point.The temperature T. . N. 1) During this time C-D the metal is solidifying and there is evolution of latent heat of fusion which compensates for the heat loss.

The grater the number of nuclei present the faster the solidification will be.Mechanism of crystallization: Solidification starts at special centers called nuclei of crystallization. Growth of crystals form nuclei occurs in three dimensions (up & down. anteroposteriorly and right to left) in the form of dendrites or branched structures (treelike branches). Growth continues until contact is made with adjacent growing crystals. and the smaller the size of each grain will be the tightly packed crystals are called grains and their boundaries are called grain boundaries . Each nucleus gives rise to one crystal or grain. Some of these nuclei may be impurities which exist even in a pure metal.

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they would probably join to form a larger grain.The grain structure of the solidified material Each crystal of a metal is termed a grain. Adjacent grains have different orientations. In other words. therefore. because the initial nuclei acted independently from each other. . The crystals do not join at their meeting points because their space lattices do not match space to space or row to row. has an orientation different from that of its neighbor. If they did match exactly as they approached each other. Each grain is grown from a nucleus. or crystal. the orientation of the crystal lattice is uniform. each grain starts from a different nucleus of crystallization and each grain. Within each grain.

and then etched i.Examination of the grain structure: The grains can be seen with a microscope and photomicrograph can be made provided that the metal surface is properly prepared. treated with chemical agents. as are the ones in the center of grain.e. since they are not surrounded symmetrically by other atoms. polished. This is because atoms at the grain boundaries are more reactive. The surface of the metal is flattened. which attack the grain boundaries of the metal more than the grains themselves. .

The size of the grains depends upon the number of nuclei at the time of solidification. grains will be approximately equal in size. . the smaller the grains are the stronger and the harder the cast structure is.e.Grain size : There is an inverse relation between grain size and strength i. If the nuclei are equally spaced.

When these spheres meet. However.The solidification proceeds from the nuclei in all directions at the same time in the form of sphere. and the grain tends to have the same diameter in all dimensions. Such a grain is said to be equiaxed (not elongation). they are flattened along various surfaces. . Dental castings generally tend to exhibit an equiaxed grain stucture. the tendency for each grain to remain spherical still exists.

and therefore each grain is smaller. thus more grains in a given volume.Factors affecting grain size 1) Rapid cooling produces more nuclei of crystallization. . refining (decreasing) the grain size . 2) Impurities or additives act as nucleating agents hence.

and (c) if metal is heated just above its melting temperature. Rapid cooling of a molten metal is obtained in the following cases (a) when a mould of high thermal conductivity is used.Factors affecting the grain size and shape: 1) Rate of cooling: Slow cooling results in the formation of a coarse grain structure. whereas rapid cooling gives a fine grain structure because it produces more nuclei of crystallization. (b) if the casting is small. .

2) Nucleating agents: Either impurities or additives can act as nucleating agents. 3) Cold working: Drawing a cast metal into a wire transforms the grain structure into a fibrous structure. high hardness but less ductility (brittle). also internal stresses are induced in the structure. . with high strength. hence refining the grain structure.

into fine grain structure of improved properties. The metal is said to have been recrystallized.4) Stress relief anneal (recovery): The process of releasing internal stresses by heating is called annealing. . 5) Recrystallization: Further heating of a cold worked material can change its elongated fibrous structure. A relief of the internal stresses will only occur. It is a low temperature which has little effect on the fibrous structure.

. This must be avoided if high strength and hardness are desired. grain growth occurs with a very high ductility and very low strength and hardness.6) Grain growth: If a metal is over heated. or heated for a longer time during recrystallization.

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Defect (point. . line or plane) in crystals have a considerable effect on the properties of the metal or alloy.Crystal imperfection Real crystal structure usually contains a variety of defects.

vacancies: these can allow atoms to move in the crystal (solid state diffusion).impurities: these can cause distortion of the crystal lattice. . Impurities may interstitial or substitution. 2.a) Point defects: 1.

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b) Line defects (dislocation): Dislocation is the movement of a row of atoms along each other in the lattice. as show in A deforming it in a series of single steps. and the dislocation finally moves out of the crystal. This dislocation moves across the crystal. .

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Dislocations become stuck on grain boundaries. metal are grain refined to produce finer grain sizes. which will be discussed later. grain refining. and cold working. including alloying. For example. C) plane defect: as grain boundaries. precipitation hardening. When a dislocation moves through a grain-refined metal it will encounter more grain boundaries than with a material with coarse grains. can stop dislocation movement. . thereby preventing further dislocation motion and strengthening the metal occurs. Treatment.All the techniques used for improving the strength of metal depend on the stop of the motion of dislocations.

Deformation of metals: At stresses below the proportional limit. a permanent deformation takes place and the structure does not return to its original dimensions when the load is released (dislocation) eventually. the atoms in the crystal lattice are displaced in amount yet. . when the stress is relieved. they can return to their original positions (stretching of the bonds). once the proportional limit is exceeded. However. this displacement becomes so great that the atoms are separated completely and a fracture results (loss of cohesion).

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. if strength and hardness are important. so the material becomes more brittle. However. because the potential for further slip is lost. this reduces ductility.Practical consideration 1) Cooling a molten metal should be done rapidly to get a fine grain structure. 2) Cold working increases hardness and strength. It becomes liable to fracture if further cold working is carried out. 3)cold worked structures should be annealed to relief stresses and thus increasing ductility.