2001 - Nickel Release Tests - How Well Do They Work?

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2001 - Nickel Release Tests - How Well Do They Work?

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The nickel release test has become a standard procedure in Europe for testing the products that come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin. Eve though the Standard describes the test procedure in great detail, it has been reported that the test is hard to reporduce and the results on the same sample may vary significantly between different laboratories. Therefore, the same product may be failed by one lab and approved by another lab. To learn more about nickel release and how the surface finish may affect it, we have conducted European test EN 1811:1998 on a number of samples of 14K Ni-containing and Ni-free alloys, 18K reference alloy and pure nickel. To represent most common surface condition of jewelry articles, we prepared the surface of the samples by hand polish, wet finish and dry finish. A correlation between the surface finish and the nickel release rate is discussed.

Author: Greg Raykhtsaum, Dr. D.P. Agarwal

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