Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Berzins, David

Second Advisor

Toth, Jeffrey M.

Third Advisor

Ziebert, Gerald


Recently introduced to the market has been an entirely new subclass of casting alloy composition whereby palladium (~25 wt%) is added to traditional base metal alloys such as CoCr and NiCr.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the microstructure and Vickers hardness of two new CoPdCr and one new NiPdCr alloy and compare them to traditional CoCr and NiCr alloys.

Methods: The casting alloys investigated were: CoPdCr-A (Noble Crown NF, The Argen Corporation), CoPdCr-I (Callisto CP+, Ivoclar Vivadent), NiPdCr (Noble Crown, Argen), CoCr (Argeloy N.P. Special, Argen), and NiCr (Argeloy N.P. Star, Argen). As- cast cylindrical alloy specimens were mounted in epoxy resin and prepared with standard metallographic procedures, i.e. grinding with successive grades of SiC paper and polishing with alumina suspensions. The alloys were examined with an optical microscope, SEM/EPMA, and XRD to gain insight into their microstructure, composition, and crystal structure. Vickers hardness (VHN) was measured and statistically analyzed by one way ANOVA and Tukey's HSD test (α=0.05).

Results: Optical microscopy showed a dendritic microstructure for all alloys. The Pd-containing alloys appear to possess a more complex microstructure. SEM/ EPMA showed Cr to be rather uniformly distributed in the matrix with palladium tending to be segregated apart from Mo and Ni or Co. Areas of different composition may explain the poor electrochemical results noted in previous studies. XRD suggested the main phase in the Ni-containing solutions was a face centered cubic Ni solid solution, whereas the CoCr exhibited a hexagonal crystal structure that was altered to face centered cubic when Pd was included in the composition. For Vickers hardness, the Co-containing alloys possessed a greater hardness than the Ni-containing alloys. However, the incorporation of Pd in CoCr and NiCr had only a slight effect on microhardness.

Conclusion: Overall, the inclusion of palladium increases the microstructural complexity of NiCr and CoCr alloys.

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