Potentiodynamic polarization study of the corrosion behavior of palladium-silver dental alloys

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Statement of problem:

Although palladium-silver alloys have been marketed for over 3 decades for metal-ceramic restorations, understanding of the corrosion behavior of current alloys is incomplete; this understanding is critical for evaluating biocompatibility and clinical performance.


The purpose of this in vitro study was to characterize the corrosion behavior of 3 representative Pd-Ag alloys in simulated body fluid and oral environments and to compare them with a high-noble Au-Pd alloy. The study obtained values of important electrochemical corrosion parameters, with clinical relevance, for the rational selection of casting alloys.

Material and methods:

The room temperature in vitro corrosion characteristics of the 3 Pd-Ag alloys and the high-noble Au-Pd alloy were evaluated in 0.9% NaCl, 0.09% NaCl, and Fusayama solutions. After simulated porcelain firing heat treatment, 5 specimens of each alloy were immersed in the electrolytes for 24 hours. For each specimen, the open-circuit potential (OCP) was first recorded, and linear polarization was then performed from –20 mV to +20 mV (versus OCP) at a rate of 0.125 mV/s. Cyclic polarization was subsequently performed on 3 specimens of each alloy from –300 mV to +1000 mV and back to –300 mV (versus OCP) at a scanning rate of 1 mV/s. The differences in OCP and corrosion resistance parameters (zero-current potential and polarization resistance) among alloys and electrolyte combinations were compared with the 2-factor ANOVA (maximum-likelihood method) with post hoc Tukey adjustments (α=.05).


The 24-hour OCPs and polarization resistance values of the 3 Pd-Ag alloys and the Au-Pd alloy were not significantly different (P=.233 and P=.211, respectively) for the same electrolyte, but significant differences were found for corrosion test results in different electrolytes (P<.001 and P=.032, respectively). No significant interaction was found between the factors of alloy and electrolyte (P=.249 and P=.713, respectively). The 3 Pd-Ag silver alloys appeared to be resistant to chloride ion corrosion, and passivation and de-alloying were identified for these alloys.


The Pd-Ag alloys test results showed excellent in vitro corrosion resistance and were equivalent to those of the high-noble Au-Pd alloy in simulated body fluid and oral environments. Passivation, de-alloying, and formation of a AgCl layer were identified as possible corrosion mechanisms for Pd-Ag alloys.

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