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14 K Palladium White Gold Fractured. Solder? Heat Annealing ...Torch or Kiln?

11 years ago I made a 2 piece wedding ring using 14K Palladium white gold casting grain from Umicore. The customer asked me to resize them from a 5 to a 6.5 Yesterday while trying to open the band; the band fractured. Initially I cursed thinking, “Well perfect end to 2020” and decided it was a good time to open up the bottle of Rum I was gifted at Christmas. Now I’m thinking the fracture may have been a blessing… because… maybe I can make sure the ring does fracture… when my customer is wearing it.

I don’t work with Palladium White Gold very often (Clearly)… and I need some help… so that I don’t mess this up any further.

(1) What type of 14k white solder should I use. Stuller has a 14k White “Color match” solder… but, Stuller also says “Color match is a solder that formulated to specifically match Stuller products. Regular solder would work for the standard karat being purchased.”
(2) Annealing? I want to anneal both rings after I bring enlarge the rings from size 5 to 6.5 I’m worried about that Diamond. Should I use my kiln or torch to bring the rings to annealing temperature?

I’ve never had a problem with the 14k alloy cracking. It really shouldn’t crack if cast correctly. There might be a chance the alloy is contaminated.

I used to cast rings in palladium and palladium alloys such as Stulladium but stopped when rings started being returned with cracks in less than 2 years. Palladium is more reactive than any of the platinum group. The metal slowly absorbs O2 if I remember correctly. Also it will be brittle if not vacuum cast and at the right temperature.

For 14k palladium, I use 770470 solder from Stuller.

I’m thinking that the rings were work hardened.

The customer has been wearing the rings for 11 years and the rings were seriously mis-shaped.

I brought them back to shape on a round mandrel, cut both rings at the base, measured up 1.5 sizes. I did not have any problem widening the band on the ring with the diamond in it… but, the single band had tension (I should have stopped and annealed it… I guess my brain shut off).

I cast using propane/oxygen… and pore as soon as the melt reaches flow (I’m not sure what temp that would be?).

I just read from the H&S website … " Palladium white gold may be annealed similar to traditional white gold with a torch or furnace. Heat metal to a cherry red color, 1400 - 1500F, for 30 seconds and let the metal air cool, or quench the 14K alloy to achieve maximum softness (quenching has little to no affect in 18K"

Thus, I’m thinking I will heat both rings to cherry red color (Protect the diamond… although I’m not sure if this is necessary… but… I don’t want to be on the hook for a $1400.00 Canadian mined Diamond) and then let them air cool.

Now my other question is about the White Gold Solder. I’m thinking that the White Gold solder will I have will work fine… but, I’m not sure if I’m correct???

As far as I know you really need to protect the metal with a flux. If you do not it cracks. And use an oxigen rich flame, so it’s carbon poor. Also never use a charcoal. As for the diamond, clean it very wel otherwise the grease burnes into it and protect it with flux. As long as you allow it to cool naturally and if the diamond is not flawed. It should be ok. But it is also possible to keep the diamond under water. The soldering place is far enough away to heat the other site.

I’m trying to figure out why the metal (Au-Pd-Ag alloy) needs to be protected by flux?