Process for making finished or semi-finished articles of silver alloy comprising copper and germanium.

Peter G. Johns (2008) Process for making finished or semi-finished articles of silver alloy comprising copper and germanium. GB 2414739.

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Silver alloys are required to be soft and malleable when applying forming, shaping and drawing processes. However, it is important that finished articles are hard and durable so that the metal is not vulnerable to damage from scratching, denting and deformation. This patent application covers the unique precipitation/heat-hardening properties that germanium imparts to sterling silver. Simple heat treatments at temperatures achievable in domestic ovens can significantly increase the hardness and durability of the Argentium Silver alloys. Unlike traditional Sterling Silver, the simple heat-hardening process does not require rapidly cooling (quenching) the metal from red-hot temperatures - this means that even soldered and delicate items can be heat-hardened easily after construction. One practical outcome of this work is in musical instruments. For example, Argentium Silver flute production in the USA demonstrates the benefits. Traditional Sterling Silver flutes are constructed using low-temperature lead/tin solders, as the higher temperatures required for silver solders would irreversibly soften the instrument. The low-temperature solders can, however, break down over time and leak air, which is detrimental to the performance of the instrument. Argentium Silver flutes by Landell Flutes (USA) are constructed using silver solders and a simple heat-hardening procedure after construction, ensuring durability and enhancing the performance, projection and sound of the instrument.

Item Type:Patent
Research Areas:A. > School of Art and Design
ID Code:539
Deposited On:26 Nov 2008 13:11
Last Modified:06 Oct 2015 10:48

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