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CASTING DEFECTS

BY: DR PALLAVI MADANSHETTY

INTRODUCTION

An unsuccessful casting results in considerable trouble


and time. In almost all instances, defects in castings
can be avoided by strict observance of procedures
governed by certain fundamental rules and principles.

With the present technique, casting failures should be


the exception, not the rule.

CAUSES OF DEFECTIVE CASTING

CASTING DEFECTS

DISTORTION

Wax distortion is the most serious problem that can


occur during the forming and removal of the pattern

DISTORTION
DISTORTION

from the mouth or die.

REMEDY

Dont over heat wax.

Place in increments.

Never cool the pattern suddenly.

Avoid occluding air during manipulation.

Carve with sharp instruments.

Permit it to attain equilibrium.

Invest immediately after it is removed from the die.

Place it in the centre of the casting ring.

SURFACE ROUGHNESS

SURFACE ROUGHNESS

SURFACE ROUGHNESS:
Defined as relatively finely spaced surface
imperfections whose height, width and direction
establish the predominant surface pattern.
NOTE:
The surface roughness of the casting is invariably
greater than that of the wax pattern from which it is
made.
The difference is related to particle size ofthe
investment and its ability to reproduce the wax
pattern in microscopic detail.

SURFACE ROUGHNESS

Ratio of binder/ quartz influences surface texture


(A coarse silica causes surface roughness.)

SURFACE ROUGHNESS

OTHER CAUSES OF SURFACE ROUGHNESS

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SURFACE ROUGHNESS

EXCESS L/P RATIO


Excess L/P ratio

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SURFACE ROUGHNESS

PROLONGED HEATING OF THE MOLD


Prolonged heating of the mold cause disintegration of
gypsum bonded investment.
As a result, walls of the mold are roughened.

REMEDY :
When thermal expansion technique is employed, the
mold should be heated to casting temperature never
higher and the casting should be made immediately.
Generalized casting roughness may indicate a breakdown of
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. the investment from excessive burnout temperature.

SURFACE IRREGULARITIES

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SURFACE IRREGULARITIES:
These are isolated imperfections such as nodules that are not
characteristic ofthe entire surface area.

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1. NODULES

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TYPES OF NODULES

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SMALL NODULES

Small air bubbles can become attached to the pattern during or


following the investing procedure. During the casting, the bubble
is filled with the casting material (alloy) and is manifested as a
nodule (small)
These nodules if present on the margins or on internal surface
might alter the fit of the casting, if removal of these
irregularities is attempted.
But if they are present in some non-critical area they can be
removed easily.

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SMALL NODULES

REMEDY:
The best method to eliminate the incorporation
of air in the casting investment is
i) By mixing under vacuum.
ii) By using wetting agents

Wetting agent should be applied in thin layer and


air-dried because any excess liquid dilutes the
investment, possibly producing surface roughness.
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SMALL NODULES

Castings with phosphate bonded investments are


more prone to such imperfections.
They can be removed with or round bur.

A binocular microscope is extremely helpful in


detecting and removing them.

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LARGE NODULES

MULTIPLE NODULES

Produced by air trapped


during investing
procedure

Inadequate vacuum
during investing
Improper brush
technique.
Lack of surfactant

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2. WATER FILMS

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Wax is repellent to water, if the investment becomes


separated from the wax pattern in some manner, a
water film may form irregularly over the surface.
This type of irregularity appears as minute ridges or
veins on the surface.

Water film
Water film
Space around the wax
Space around the wax
pattern
pattern
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THIS CONDITION OCCURS:If there


Too
the
high
pattern
isano
liquid
intimate
is slightly
/ powder
contact
moved
ratiooforthe
vibrated
investment
after and
investing
pattern

REMEDY:
Use of Surfactant helps prevent such irregularities

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3. FINS

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Fins occur when cracks are produced in the investment that


radiate out from the surface of the pattern .
Molten alloy flows into the cracks forming thin fins on the
casting.

Significance :
Finning increases the time required for to finish the casting
and if the defects occur in critical areas (e.g. near the crown
shoulder) can result in a need to re-cast.

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REASONS THAT PRODUCE FINS


Improper
Improper
positioning
positioning
of the
of the
pattern
pattern

Weak mix of
Weak mix of
the
the
investment
investment

Too rapid
Too rapid
heating
heating

FINS
FINS

Excessive
Excessive
casting force
casting force

Premature
Premature
heating
heating

Cooling of
Cooling of
investment
investment
prior to
prior to
casting
casting

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1.PATTERN POSITION
a. Positioning of several patterns too close and in the same
plane in the mold lead to formation of fins.

FINS

Reason : The expansion of the wax is much greater than


that of the investment, causing breakdown or cracking of
the investment if the spacing between patterns is less
than 3mm.

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b. Patterns placed too near the edge of the investment

causes fins.
Reason
If too little investment covers the wax patterns, the alloy

FINS

is more likely to break through the mold.


c. Too much investment over the wax ups may locate the wax
patterns too close to the heat centre of the mold and
impair the escape of gases

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Remedy: Proper positioning of the wax pattern.


Remedy: Proper positioning of the wax pattern.
The casting ring should permit the patterns to be 3- 6 mm apart.
The casting ring should permit the patterns to be 3- 6 mm apart.
6mm from the top of the investment.
6mm from the top of the investment.
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Minimum 9mm of investment between them and the ring liner.
Minimum 9mm of investment between them and the ring liner.

2a. RAPID HEATING RATES

FINS

Too high heating rate of investment outside layer


becomes hot faster than the inner layer.
Outside layer tends to expand more than the inner
parts. However, the outside layer is held back by the
inner, cooler part.
Outside layer is subject to compressive stresses, while the
inner part is subject to tensile stresses.

Since the investment is a brittle material, it tends to


crack under tensile stresses.

During casting, these cracks are filled by the casting alloy,


manifesting as fins or spines.

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2b.Rapid heating rates


A characteristic surface roughness may be evident
because of the flaking of the investment when the

FINS

water/ steam pours into the mold.

Remedy
Remedy
Ideally, 60 min should elapse during the heating of the
Ideally, 60 min should elapse during the heating of the
investment filled ring from room temperature to 700 C
investment filled ring from room temperature to 700 C
The greater the bulk of the investment, the more slow
The greater the bulk of the investment, the more slow 31
it should be heated.
it should be heated.

3. PREMATURE HEATING
If setting is not complete at the time a ring is
placed in the oven, the mold may be weak and

FINS

unable to withstand steam pressure during


burnout.
Investment could fracture as a consequence.

Remedy:
Remedy:
Burnout should be initiated only after the
Burnout should be initiated only after the
recommended setting time.
recommended setting time.

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4. LIQUID-POWDER RATIO
The higher the liquid/powder ratio, the rougher the
casting (the investment becomes weak and develop

FINS

cracks).
If too little water is used the investment unmanageably
thick cannot be properly applied to the pattern in
vacuum investing and air may not be sufficiently
removed leading to back pressure porosity.
REMEDY
REMEDY

Correct proportion of powder to liquid and any dilution of


Correct proportion of powder to liquid and any dilution of
the (special) liquid with distilled water should be
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the (special) liquid with distilled water should be
established for each alloy.
established for each alloy.

5. CASTING PRESSURE
Reason: Too high pressure during casting causes fins .

FINS

REMEDY
REMEDY

Casting should provide enough force to cause the


Casting should provide enough force to cause the
liquid alloy to flow onto the heated mold.
liquid alloy to flow onto the heated mold.
Adjust the casting machine to the requirements of
Adjust the casting machine to the requirements of
each alloy. Lower-density metals generally need four
each alloy. Lower-density metals generally need four
winds of a centrifugal casting arm as compared to
winds of a centrifugal casting arm as compared to
higher-density, gold based alloys. Don't over wind.
higher-density, gold based alloys. Don't over wind.
A gauge pressure of 0.10 to 0.14 MPa in an air
A gauge pressure of 0.10 to 0.14 MPa in an air
pressure casting machine is sufficient.
pressure casting machine is sufficient.

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POROSITIES

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I.POROSITIES DUE TO METAL


SOLIDIFICATION

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1. LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY


(SHRINK-SPOT POROSITY)
Linear contraction of noble metal alloys in changing from
liquid to solid 1.25%
Therefore continued feeding ofmolten metal through the
sprue must occur to compensate for casting shrinkage i.e.
shrinkage during solidification.(Insufficient feeding causes
porosity)
It usually occurs if the sprue solidifies before the casting
Cause:

Premature termination of the flow of metal during

solidification.

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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY MAINLY


OCCURS WHERE SOLIDIFICATION OCCURS
LAST.
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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY

Solidifies later
Solidifies later

Remedy: use of
Remedy: use of
reservoir
reservoir

Alloy that fills the restoration

Solidifies last
Solidifies last
Solidifies first
Solidifies first

Solidifies last
Solidifies last

Solidifies later
Solidifies later
Solidifies first
Solidifies first

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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY

Occurs usually near the sprue-casting junction.


And may occur anywhere between dendrites where
the last portion of the casting solidify, mainly the
bulkiest portion of the casting, i.e. the sprue
pattern junction.

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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY

REMEDY # 1

Attach the large reservoir in the sprue of thickness


Attach the large reservoir in the sprue of thickness
more than the thickest portion of the pattern and as
more than the thickest portion of the pattern and as
close as possible to the pattern (1mm)
close as possible to the pattern (1mm)
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Thickness of
Thickness of
sprue
sprue

Maximum
Maximum
thickness of
thickness of
pattern
pattern

Last to solidify
Last to solidify
Thickness of
Thickness of
sprue
sprue

Maximum
Maximum
thickness of
thickness of
pattern
pattern

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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY

REMEDY # 2

Position the wax pattern in a cold zone of the


Position the wax pattern in a cold zone of the
investment mold and the reservoir in the heat
investment mold and the reservoir in the heat
centre of the casting ring.
centre of the casting ring.

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Sprue base former


Sprue base former

Sprue
Sprue

Wax pattern
Wax pattern

Investment Material
Investment Material
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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY

The coolest parts of the mold (cold zones) are the end
of the ring and along the ring periphery.
The hottest portion of the casting ring is located near
the centre of the ring (heat centre).
Limit the amount of investment covering the
patterns to no more than inch (6mm) & position
the reservoir in the heat centre.
So the proper length of sprue is important to keep
the pattern away from heat centre close to the end of
the casting ring.
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LOCALIZED SHRINKAGE POROSITY

REMEDY # 3.
Do not cast a button if a connector (runner) bar, or other
internal reservoir, is used with indirect Spruing, the
largest mass of metal should be the reservoir.
A button is counterproductive because it can draw
available molten alloy from the bar, shift the heat centre
and reduce the feed of that metal to the restorations.
Likewise, the wax pattern should not be larger than the
connector bar.

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2. SUCK - BACK (HOT-SPOT)POROSITY


Localized shrinkage may also occur in the fitting surface ofthe
crown near the area of the sprue.
Occurs often on occlusoaxial / incisoaxial line angles that are
not well rounded and also when the sprue is attached at right
angles to the pattern.

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Hot spot
Hot spot

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Impedance to flow
Impedance to flow

SUCK - BACK POROSITY

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Sprue
Sprue

The entering metal impinges on to the mold surface at


this point and creates a higher localized mold
temperature at this region known as Hot Spot.
A hot spot may retain a localized pool of molten metal
after other areas of the casting have solidified. This in
turn creates a shrinkage void or suck back porosity.
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SUCK - BACK POROSITY

90

Sprue former
Sprue former

Continuity of flow
Continuity of flow
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Sprue former
Sprue former

IMPORTANCE OF FLARED SPRUE

Impedance to flow
Impedance to flow

Maximum

impedance to
flow occurs
when a Sprue
former makes
an angle of 90
to the pattern.
The

pattern

should be
placed at 45
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3. MICRO-POROSITY
Micro-porosity voids are irregular in shape.
These voids occur from rapid solidification ifmold or casting temperature is
too low. This defect is not detectable unless casting is sectioned.

Note : Occurs from solidification shrinkage but is generally present in Fine


Grain Alloy Castings

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4. SUBSURFACE POROSITY
When the molten metal comes in contact with the low
temperature mold, the outer layer coming in contact with
the mold wall solidifies suddenly and makes a skin of solid
metal which is tenaciously adherent to the mold wall. When
the inner layer shrinks ,the outer covering of solid metal
cannot be dragged along with it. This leads to subsurface
porosity.

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HOT TEARS

Sulphur contamination from investment materials


makes grain boundary weak. So during cooling of
casting, due to difference in COTE value between
investment and casting alloys, cracks are produced
along the grain boundary. These are called hot tears.

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II. POROSITIES DUE TO


TRAPPED GASES
(Gaseous porosity)
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INTRODUCTION TO GASEOUS POROSITY

Gas or air enter within the molten alloy by either chemical


reaction or
physical mechanism.

Chemical entrapment
E.g.

Gases may be produced by reaction of the liquid metal

with volatile substances, such as moisture in the mold.

Physical entrapment
Mechanically
E.g.

trapped gas.

Air may be entrapped in the casting by the sudden rush of

metal during pouring. Since the gases are generally more


soluble in liquid metal than in solid, dissolved gases may be
liberated during solidification.

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GASEOUS POROSITY

On cooling the alloys liberate these trapped gases.


But some remain trapped when the alloy becomes rigid.
This type of porosity may affect all parts of the casting.
Types of gaseous porosity

Note: Both these porosities are related to the entrapment ofgas


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during solidification and are characterized by spherical contour but

size is varied i.e. gas inclusion larger in size compared to pinhole.

GASEOUS POROSITY

Remedy
Remedy
Sprue
Sprue

Molten metal
Molten metal

1. Avoid
overheating of the
Displaced air
Displaced air

alloy
2. Casting in the
atmosphere of an
inert gas or

Sprue
Sprue

Molten metal
Molten metal

vacuum.
3. Avoid using
large sprues.

Trapped air
Trapped air

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or occlude gases in

PINHOLE POROSITY

their molten state e.g.


both copper and silver
dissolve O2 in large
amount in liquid state.
Molten platinum and
palladium have a
strong affinity for
hydrogen as well as
oxygen.
On solidification of
metal absorbed gases
are expelled resulting
in pinhole
porosities.

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PIN HOLE POROSITY

NOTE :
All castings contain certain amount of porosity, but they
should be kept minimum as they will adversely affect
the physical properties of the casting.
Castings that are severely contaminated with gases are
usually black when removed and do not clean easily on
pickling.

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GAS INCLUSION POROSITY


The larger spherical voids are caused by gas that is
mechanically trapped by the molten metal in the mold or by
gas that is incorporated during the casting procedure.
The gas could be occluded from poorly adjusted torch flame
or by use of mixing or oxidizing zone of flame rather than

reducing zone.

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GAS INCLUSION POROSITY

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III. POROSITIES DUE


TO
RESIDUAL AIR

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INTRODUCTION

Air present in the mold cavity pushed is out by molten


metal.

Presence of air in the cavity will not allow the metal to flow

Air in mold escape by


By

pressure gradient

Escape

through pores in the investment

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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY


Back pressure affects are caused by an inability of air or
other gases within the mould to escape, making a way for the
alloy.

EXPLANATION :

As the liquid enters the mould through the sprue, the air
trapped in the mould is compressed at the extremities, which
can exert back pressure preventing the alloy liquid to occupy
this region.

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Note : A casting which has been subjected to back


pressure is rounded at the edges and lacking in detail

Rounded edges due to


back pressure

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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

CAUSES OF RESIDUAL AIR

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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

FACTOR # I. DENSE MODERN INVESTMENT

Increased density Inadequate porosity in the


investment to vent out trapped air.

Investment materials in the increasing order of density


and decreasing
order of porosity.
Gypsum bonded

Density of the material may increase with vacuum


mixing and low L/P ratio.
Note: Silica bonded and phosphate bonded materials
very frequently produce incomplete castings.

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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

REMEDY I

When using silica bonded or fine grained phosphate


When using silica bonded or fine grained phosphate
bonded investments, a vent sprue former , 0.5 mm
bonded investments, a vent sprue former , 0.5 mm
in diameter, should be provided to allow escape of
in diameter, should be provided to allow escape of
gases towards the crucible end of the mold.
gases towards the crucible end of the mold.

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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

REMEDY II

The end of the ring should not be completely covered by any


The end of the ring should not be completely covered by any
part of the casting apparatus.
part of the casting apparatus.
In all cases the plate of metal that supports the end of the
In all cases the plate of metal that supports the end of the
ring should be perforated .
ring should be perforated .
Dense layer of investment material is often created at the
Dense layer of investment material is often created at the
base of the ring, particularly when the base of the ring has been
base of the ring, particularly when the base of the ring has been
closed temporarily by a sheet of metal or glass. This dense layer
closed temporarily by a sheet of metal or glass. This dense layer
should scraped away to facilitate the escape of gases.
should scraped away to facilitate the escape of gases.
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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

2. INCREASED DISTANCE BETWEEN PATTERN


AND END OF CASTING RING
Even though, Gypsum bonded investment is
porous, if the thickness of investment at the
extremity of pattern is more than 6mm the porosity
becomes less effective.

Remedy :
Remedy :
To assist the escape of gases, the investment materials
To assist the escape of gases, the investment materials
between the casting and end of the ring should be as
between the casting and end of the ring should be as
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thin as is consistent with strength
thin as is consistent with strength

BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

METHOD TO ENHANCE VENTING OF GASES

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BACK PRESSURE POROSITY

3.

3. CLOGGING OF MOLD WITH


RESIDUAL CARBON
It is advisable to begin the burnout procedure
while the mould is still wet.
Water trapped in the pores of the investment
reduces the absorption of wax.
As the water vaporizes it flushes wax from the
mold.

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INCOMPLETE CASTING
It is due to inadequate amount of molten metal entering
the mould.

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REASONS OF INCOMPLETE CASTING

Insufficient
Insufficient
alloy
alloy

Blocking
Blocking
due to pre
due
to pre
solidification
solidification
in sprue
in sprue

Incomplete
Incomplete
melting of
melting of
alloy
alloy

Too low
Too low
casting force
casting force

Incomplete
casting

Incomplete
Incomplete
dewaxing
dewaxing

Blocking of sprue
Blocking
due of
to sprue
loose
dueinvestment
to loose
investment
particles
particles

Poor
Poor
castability
castability

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INCOMPLETE CASTING

REASON 1
INSUFFICIENT VENTING OF MOLD:Directly related to back pressure exerted by
the air in mold.
If insufficient casting pressure is applied the back
pressure cannot be overcome, therefore pressure
should be applied for 4 seconds. (The mold is filled
and the alloy solidifies in 1sec, yet it is quite soft
during early stages therefore pressure should be
maintained for few seconds beyond this point).

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INCOMPLETE CASTING

REASON 2
INCOMPLETE ELIMINATION OF WAX RESIDUE:-

If too many products of combustion remain in the mold,


the pores of the investment become clogged and air
cannot be vented properly.
Contact of molten metal with wax or moisture produces
an explosion that may produce sufficient back pressure
to prevent the mold from being filled
Castings seen are generally shiny with rounded defects.
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INCOMPLETE CASTING

REASON 3
HIGH VISCOSITY OF FUSED METALS

An incomplete casting resulting from too great a


viscosity is attributed to insufficient heating.

Temperature of the alloy should be raised higher


than its liquid temperature so that its viscosity and
surface tension are lowered and so that it does not
solidify prematurity as it enters the mold.

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INCOMPLETE CASTING

OTHER REASONS
4. Inadequate metal.
5. Cool mold or melt
6. Too thin Wax pattern

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SURFACE DISCOLORATION

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SURFACE DISCOLORATION

PROLONGED HEATING OF THE MOLD

When high heat casting technique is used prolonged

heating of the mold cause disintegration of gypsum bonded


investment and products of decomposition are sulphur
compounds that contaminate the alloy to the extent that
surface texture is affected. Such contamination do not
respond to pickling.

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SURFACE DISCOLORATION

Surface discoloration also results from high


sulphur content of flame torch.
Interaction of molten alloy with sulphur
black/Grey layer on the surface of gold alloys that is
brittle and doesn't clean readily during pickling.

Remedy : When thermal expansion technique is


Remedy : When thermal expansion technique is
employed, the mold should be heated to casting
employed, the mold should be heated to casting
temperature never higher and the casting should be
temperature never higher and the casting should be
made immediately
made immediately

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SURFACE DISCOLORATION

CARBON INCLUSIONS
CARBON AS FROM:

A crucible
An improperly adjusted torch
Carbon-containing investment
Can be absorbed by the alloy during casting
May lead to formation of carbides or even
create visible carbon inclusions.
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CONCLUSION

By standardizing technique & paying strict attention to


each step, it is often possible to control the location of the
solidification shrinkage & minimize the number of actual
miscasts. When casting failures occur, we should
troubleshoot each miscast to diagnose the cause of the
problem so corrective measures may be taken before we
make additional casting.
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REFERENCES

Kenneth J. Anusavice. Phillips science of


Dental Materials. eleventh edition, Saunders
company.

John M. Powers, Ronald L. Sakaguchi. Craigs


Restorative Dental Materials. Twelfth edition,
mosby.

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THANK YOU

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