2005 - Understanding Micro Alloys

2005 - Understanding Micro Alloys

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The introduction of microalloys for gold, silver and platinum has made it possible to produce jewelry with the color and most of the properties of the pure metals. The addition of very small amounts of alloying elements can harden the pure metals so they can be used in jewelry production with minor changes in manufacturing protocols. This presentation will discuss the structure and composition of microalloys of gold, silver and platinum and the changes in structure that arise through deformation and temperature change. It will also show that these microalloys can increase in hardness by cold work and by age hardening and how every step in the production process has the potential to impart a change in the microalloy, even finishing. Techniques for finishing a piece without altering the hardened microalloy are also given.

Author: John E. Bernardin

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