How NobleBond changes the game in metals [VIDEO]

August 6, 2013
Issue 4

When the research and development team at Argen started developing dental alloys they found themselves in a challenging spot. The materials that were being utilized at the time were both expensive and limited. Today they have found a solution in NobleBond™. 

When the research and development team at Argen started developing dental alloys they found themselves in a challenging spot. The materials that were being utilized at the time were both expensive and limited. Today they have found a solution in NobleBond™

NobleBond is a flat-priced Noble PFM alloy produced by Argen Corporation. It can be used for all PFM applications and in place of non-precious alloys when casting over implants. This material is budget friendly and a highly corrosion resistant alternative to gold and palladium based alloys.

NobleBond’s benefits

According to Product Developer Paul Cascone, NobleBond offers two important benefits over other materials, thus filling a need in the best way possible.  

First, it uses a Noble metal that is not actively traded, so there isn’t any price volatility.  This has allowed Argen to provide a fixed selling price for all of 2013.  This was never possible with other alloys.   

“One of the things that our clients have always asked for is a stable price, but it’s been very difficult to do with gold and palladium,” Cascone said. “So this product really fits that bill. From a marketing standpoint they are guaranteed the price until the end of the year.  That’s a pretty big statement.”

WATCH THIS VIDEO OF ARGEN CASTING NOBLEBOND:

The second reason NobleBond fills a need better than other products is the unexpected corrosion resistance it created. When the researchers at Argen first released NobleBond, they underestimated its versatility. A study was conducted at the University of Alabama that compared NobleBond with other alloys. Researchers discovered that it reacts to corrosion in the same fashion as palladium, a precious and much more costly material. This type of reaction is attributed solely to the addition of ruthenium. NobleBond is the only cobalt alloy to react in this manner. 

Recently, Argen has observed dental labs taking NobleBond’s uses one-step further. They’re using it in combination with titanium implants in place of non-precious alloys.  Where other non-precious materials would be prone to corrode, NobleBond stands up to the trials and shows no signs of corrosion. Therefore, it does the job of a precious alloy without the overwhelming price and market fluctuations.

Overall, Cascone is very proud of the final product and the journey he and his team set upon in order to achieve the success they’ve experienced.  

“Honestly, I’m just proud that we were able to do it,” he said. “We took this from a little known alloy on day one to a fully manufacturable and usable product that’s much more accessible and affordable for everyone.” Lab

Developing NobleBond 

“The development has always been driven by the economics of the commodity market, that being either gold or palladium,” said Cascone. “So the two biggest driving forces were: number one, to make as economical an alloy as possible and number two, keep it within the ADA classification of Noble.”

When the price of gold started its steep climb in the 1970’s, palladium and silver were used in its place when it came to bonds. Later, gold was replaced entirely with palladium. But then, in the mid 1990s the prices of palladium went up and gold prices went down so gold replaced palladium during this time.

Overall, the dental community was unhappy with the lack of stability when it came to the price of alloys.

With the constantly fluctuating metal market, Argen’s research and development started looking for a more stable alternative. Early on, they investigated the ADA classification system including the gold, platinum and palladium already in use, along with the other platinum group elements. Of the platinum group elements rhodium and iridium were explored, but eventually ruled out. That’s when the team started testing ruthenium. Though it came with its own initial set of hurtles like mining and its initial manufacturing process, the material fit the bill and the need, so Argen’s research and development team decided to run with the concept.

Overcoming Obstacles

According to Cascone, the process was fraught with struggle and frustration, but the end definitely justified the means.

“The technology is unique enough that we were able to get patents, not only in the United States, but also in Germany and Great Britain,” he said. “However, the manufacturing of this product turned out to be much more of a challenge than we originally thought.”

Once the right best combination of materials was determined, then the team was set upon the difficult task of mass production. It took them a while to test out and learn the best way of making NobleBond reliable and in large quantities. However, once they did find that ideal and stable production process they were able to market it internationally. Today, NobleBond is available in over 105 countries all over the world.

Call 1-800-255-5524 or click here to find out more information about Argen NobleBond.