Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


TECUS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 508606
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Spain

Better dental implants with less waste

EU-funded scientists developed technology to improve reliability and reproducibility of titanium dental implants, good news for manufacturers and for a growing elderly population.
Better dental implants with less waste
Medicine and technology have made major advances over the last 100 years, saving millions from early death due to now-treatable conditions. Longer life enables many to retire, travel, see their grandchildren grow and maybe even get married.

However, a large population of elderly individuals creates issues that would not have otherwise arisen, such as increasing demand for dental implants to support failing teeth and gums.

Currently, titanium melting and casting technology cannot deliver reproducible and reliable products for dental implants resulting in 50 % re-work and scrapping.

In order to significantly improve melting and casting and reduce scrap to less than 15 %, European scientists with EU funding pursued ‘Technology for titanium high quality customised products’ (TECUS).

The TECUS consortium developed a new cold-melting process, an automated casting process and a code of best practice for the production of titanium cast components in the new technology.

A prototype system integrated a touch screen connected to a programmable logic controller (PLC) that controlled the process itself. The system could be run in either fully automated mode or with user input.

Four parts were selected by the consortium for testing and comparison of the TECUS machine with existing technology. Scientists conducted metallurgical, chemical and mechanical analyses on each part based on its individual specifications.

The machine and process produced very good metallurgical and chemical characteristics and mechanical properties were quite promising.

Overall, TECUS delivered an automated titanium melting and casting system capable of producing reliable and reproducible titanium dental implants. It has the potential to significantly enhance quality while reducing scrap and thus saving valuable money and time.

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