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J Prosthet Dent. 2006 Oct;96(4):273-82.

Tensile strength and corrosion resistance of brazed and laser-welded cobalt-chromium alloy joints.

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  • 1Department of Prosthodontics, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine, Division of Dental Medicine, Slovenia.



The longevity of prosthodontic restorations is often limited due to the mechanical or corrosive failure occurring at the sites where segments of a metal framework are joined together.


The purpose of this study was to determine which joining method offers the best properties to cobalt-chromium alloy frameworks. Brazed and 2 types of laser-welded joints were compared for their mechanical and corrosion characteristics.


Sixty-eight cylindrical cobalt-chromium dental alloy specimens, 35 mm long and 2 mm in diameter, were cast. Sixteen specimens were selected for electrochemical measurements in an artificial saliva solution and divided into 4 groups (n=4). In the intact group, the specimens were left as cast. The specimens of the remaining 3 groups were sectioned at the center, perpendicular to the long-axis, and were subsequently rejoined by brazing (brazing group) or laser welding using an X- or I-shaped joint design (X laser and I laser groups, respectively). Another 16 specimens were selected for electrochemical measurements in a more acidic artificial saliva solution. These specimens were also divided into 4 groups (n=4) as described above. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and potentiodynamic polarization were used to assess corrosion potentials, breakdown potentials, corrosion current densities, total impedances at lowest frequency, and polarization charge-transfer resistances. The remaining 36 specimens were used for tensile testing. They were divided into 3 groups in which specimen pairs (n=6) were joined by brazing or laser welding to form 70-mm-long cylindrical rods. The tensile strength (MPa) was measured using a universal testing machine. Differences between groups were analyzed using 1-way analysis of variance (alpha=.05). The fracture surfaces and corrosion defects were examined with a scanning electron microscope.


The average tensile strength of brazed joints was 792 MPa and was significantly greater (P<.05) than the tensile strength of both types of laser-welded joints (404 MPa and 405 MPa). When laser welding was used, successful joining was limited to the peripheral aspects of the weld. The welding technique did not significantly affect the joint tensile strength. Electrochemical measurements indicated that the corrosion resistance of the laser-welded joints was better than of the brazed ones, primarily due to differences in passivation ability.


Laser welding provides excellent corrosion resistance to cobalt-chromium alloy joints, but strength is limited due to the shallow weld penetration. Brazed joints are less resistant to corrosion but have higher tensile strength than laser welds.

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