2017 - Understanding the Properties and Improving the Processing of Silver Alloys

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2017 - Understanding the Properties and Improving the Processing of Silver Alloys

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Silver alloys are widely used in jewelry and are showing some distinct production issues. This paper will provide guidelines to the manufacturer of silver products, as well as to the goldsmith, to achieve high-quality products with reduced rejects. First, an overview will be given on the metallurgy of silver and silver alloys with a focus on some specific properties of silver, for example, its high gas permeability. These specific properties are the reason for many production problems, such as firescale and different types of porosity. The variation of silver content in the typical range 925-935Ag and the role of alloying additions will be highlighted. The metallurgical basis will provide guidelines to define conditions for manufacturing silver products by different processes, such as casting, hot and cold deformation, annealing, quenching, age hardening and brazing. Typical failure sources will be identified and illustrated by examples of defective samples. As a consequence, the requirements for alloys, equipment and processes will be described and proper working conditions in industrial production, as well as in the goldsmith’s workshop, will be given.

Author: Dr. Ulrich E. Klotz and Franz Held

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