Enhancing silver tarnish resistance.

C. Harrison (2003) Enhancing silver tarnish resistance. [Patent] (doi:Patent Application No.: PCT/GB2004/001373 filed 31/3/2004, Publication No.: WO 2004/087996)


Harrison's work assists the development of silver by improving manufacture and use, thereby providing greater creative scope for design.

Sterling silver and silver-plated articles naturally tarnish with exposure to everyday atmospheric conditions. Surface restoration has disadvantages of being labour intensive and time consuming: this is reflected in a decline in silver sales/production since the 1940s. Tarnish is a significant problem, hindering manufacture and use of sterling silver. Problems associated with tarnish can also influence and limit design details.

This patent covers Harrison's initial research, developing carriers for chemical compounds called 'thiols', to create self assembled monolayers on metal surfaces. Treatments provide effective protection against tarnishing, fingermarking and water staining, plus other beneficial properties.

Disadvantages of existing protective silver applications (e.g.: lacquers, plating, waxes) include: masking true surfaces; increased costs; discolouring; breaking down; needing regular reapplications; and use of environmentally hazardous chemicals e.g. cyanide for plating processes.

Thiols tend to form unstable solutions; they are insoluble in water, and commercially available thiol products often contain harsh chemicals. Harrison's patent covers unique methods of dissolving thiols into stable water-based/surfactant solutions. This provides user and environmental advantages, and benefits design and production by formation of invisible coatings that are easily applied, giving complete and even coverage to immersed articles. Designers and manufacturers therefore have greater freedom in the application of silver that would otherwise be avoided due to inability to maintain desired surface finishes.

Thiols form very strong chemical bonds with Argentium Silver, thus further widening opportunities for design and application of Argentium Silver.

Harrison filed a further patent in 2004: ""Water Based Metal Treatment Composition""
UK Patent Application No.: 04 07163.5 filed 30/3/2004
PCT Patent Application No.: PCT/GB2005/050043 filed 24/3/2005
Publication No.: WO 2005/095675
This later patent extends the scope for thiol treatments.

Item Type: Patent
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 536
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2008 12:36
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:11
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/536

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