Effects of chromium and nitrogen content on the microstructures and mechanical properties of as-cast Co-Cr-Mo alloys for dental applications

Keita Yoda, Suyalatu, Atsushi Takaichi, Naoyuki Nomura, Yusuke Tsutsumi, Hisashi Doi, Shingo Kurosu, Akihiko Chiba, Yoshimasa Igarashi, Takao Hanawa
Acta Biomaterialia 2012, 8 (7): 2856-62
The microstructure and mechanical properties of as-cast Co-(20-33)Cr-5Mo-N alloys were investigated to develop ductile Co-Cr-Mo alloys without Ni addition for dental applications that satisfy the requirements of the type 5 criteria in ISO 22674. The effects of the Cr and N contents on the microstructure and mechanical properties are discussed. The microstructures were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and electron back-scattered diffraction pattern analysis. The mechanical properties were evaluated using tensile testing. The proof strength and elongation of N-containing 33Cr satisfied the type 5 criteria in ISO 22674. ε-phase with striations was formed in the N-free (20-29)Cr alloys, while there was slight formation of ε-phase in the N-containing (20-29)Cr alloys, which disappeared in N-containing 33Cr. The lattice parameter of the γ-phase increased with increasing Cr content (i.e. N content) in the N-containing alloys, although the lattice parameter remained almost the same in the N-free alloys because of the small atomic radius difference between Co and Cr. Compositional analyses by EDS and XRD revealed that in the N-containing alloys Cr and Mo were concentrated in the cell boundary, which became enriched in N, stabilizing the γ-phase. The mechanical properties of the N-free alloys were independent of the Cr content and showed low strength and limited elongation. Strain-induced martensite was formed in all the N-free alloys after tensile testing. On the other hand, the proof strength, ultimate tensile strength, and elongation of the N-containing alloys increased with increasing Cr content (i.e. N content). Since formation of ε-phase after tensile testing was confirmed in the N-containing alloys the deformation mechanism may change from strain-induced martensite transformation to another form, such as twinning or dislocation slip, as the N content increases. Thus the N-containing 33Cr alloy with large elongation is promising for use in dentures with adjustable clasps through one piece casting.

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