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Argentium Sterling Surface


#1

Just finished Cynthia Eid’s great Argentium article in Art Jewelry.
It sure seems wonderful, but one question keeps bugging me.

It still sounds to me like Argentium is basically germanium-coated
sterling. In other words, what you see on the surface is germanium,
not silver. Maybe I’m just being a purist, but with regular sterling
I feel more of a connection with a long and important tradition.

Sure, regular sterling has its faults, but at least I feel like it’s
really silver I’m looking at. That being said, I will probably get
some Argentium for a few pieces that would be very hard to clean!

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#2
It still sounds to me like Argentium is basically germanium-coated
sterling. In other words, what you see on the surface is
germanium, not silver. 

Germanium oxide, which is what rises to the surface and reacts with
oxygen, is basically transparent. This is one of the things that
distinguishes Argentium Sterling (AS) from some of the other
so-called “tarnish resistant” alloys, ESPECIALLY those that are zinc
based.

Zinc oxide is anything but transparent so for those alloys your
point is quite valid: a torch heated zinc-based alloy becomes coated
in metallic-colored zinc oxide which is what gets polished and that’s
what you’ll be looking at. The host metal, in other words the real
silver, lies beneath.

None of this applies to AS because germanium oxide is largely
transparent. Also, the tarnish resistance of AS comes as much from
the germanium rich “skin” on the metal --this can be as much as 2mm
or more thick-- as it does from the germanium oxide itself. Again,
since there’s no perceptable color to it you can’t just look at it to
see where it the germanium rich layer begins and ends.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#3
None of this applies to AS because germanium oxide is largely
transparent. Also, the tarnish resistance of AS comes as much from
the germanium rich "skin" on the metal --this can be as much as
2mm or more thick-- as it does from the germanium oxide itself. 

Thanks Trevor! Maybe I’m just looking at it wrong, but it almost
seems like your statement above goes against the point you were
trying to make. Even if the germanium is clear, it’s still there.
Laquer is clear too, but I wouldn’t coat my stuff with it, even if it
did prevent tarnish.

I realize that with regular sterling, what you see is not pure
silver either. But the alloyed metals, mostly copper, don’t create
any kind of layer or coating. It just seems more natural, somehow, if
that word can even apply.

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#4
... Even if the germanium is clear, it's still there. Laquer is
clear too, but I wouldn't coat my stuff with it, even if it did
prevent tarnish. 

Ok, Allan, I can see what you’re thinking here but I respectfully
suggest there is a HUGE difference between something a metal forms
on it’s own and something you might goop on with a paintbrush.

The oxide layer on Argentium Silver (AS) forms “naturally” when the
alloy is heated, it is self-renewing in that it will reform at room
temperatures, and it “naturally” prevents further tarnish. How is
this a problem?

For what it’s worth I’ve recently heard of other research being done
on AS where it has been theorized that the sub-surface combinations
of germanium and copper are again assisting the tarnish resistant
properties. This dovetails very well with my own observations of the
tarnish resistant “skin” being quite thick, as in millimeters thick.

As usual I think it comes down to one’s own work. If the idea of
germanium oxide troubled me I can see that I might want to avoid AS
too. As it happens though I have good reasons not to worry about
that, lots of nice tarnish resistant jewellery in use performing very
well thank you very much being chief among them. I seriously think
this is a case where the practical performance speaks much louder
than the theoretical concerns.

As ever your mileage may vary.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#5
None of this applies to AS because germanium oxide is largely
transparent. Also, the tarnish resistance of AS comes as much from
the germanium rich "skin" on the metal --this can be as much as 2mm
or more thick-- as it does from the germanium oxide itself. 

Is germanium oxide not just transparent but also invisible? How do
you determine that the germanium oxide is 2mm thick? Is there some
scratch test, chemical test, microscopic examination or the like
that we can do (in our ordinary workshops) to determine when we have
maximized the germanium oxide on or below the surface?

Thanks for your continuing help with Argentium Sterling.

Nancy
www.psi-design.com


#6
Is germanium oxide not just transparent but also invisible? How do
you determine that the germanium oxide is 2mm thick? Is there some
scratch test, chemical test, microscopic examination or the like
that we can do (in our ordinary workshops) to determine when we
have maximized the germanium oxide on or below the surface? 

I’m sorry that there seems to be so much confusion over this oxide
issue with Argentium Silver. I suspect this is happening because the
alloy, and some of the metallurgy related to it, is new to us and
not yet fully explored.

Germanium oxide is a largely transparent oxide that forms on the
surface of Argentium Sterling (AS) when you heat it. I don’t know
the thickness of this layer but my guess is that we’re taking
micrometers thick, as in some several millionths of a meter. Regular
sterling forms oxides on the surface too, they just happen to be
copper oxides, are colored red and black and are therefore very easy
to see. The process is the same, the results are a little different.

The tarnish resistant “skin” that forms on AS is not the germanium
oxide layer that forms on the surface. This “skin” is the metal near
the surface, going to as deep as 2mm or more, that exhibits high
tarnish resistance.

What is the exact composition of that tarnish resistant “skin”? I
don’t know, but it’s been recently speculated that there may be a
disproportionately high occurrence of groups of copper atoms bound
by a germanium atom, a property of germanium which is quite probably
contributing to the tarnish resistance we are seeing. These Ge-Cu
groups would likely y be formed when the metal is heated. (Heating
AS has been proven to cause the Ge atoms to migrate, generally
speaking, towards the surface.) Again the exact processes going on
here are unknown. But no, this layer is not “invisible”, it’s just a
sterling alloy that seems to have a lot of germanium at work in it.

Are there ways to tarnish test? Of course there are, a wide variety
of such tests are used throughout the industry. I’ve come up with a
way or two to do bush-league tarnish testing in my studio and AsCo
(Argentium Silver Company) has suggested another good method. I
respectfully direct you to my blog,
http://www.touchmetal.com/blog/argentium-blog.html, and the “tarnish
testing” posts there for details.

In fact it was these tests that demonstrated to me the presence of
the tarnish resistant “skin” that forms on AS. When I put a
cross-section of a thick plate of heat treated AS into the tarnish
test I saw that the outer edges did not tarnish (or tarnished very
little) while the interior metal, which would have been fully
protected from the atmosphere during heating, tarnished as you might
expect regular sterling to. Apparently something causes the metal
near the surface to transform in such a way as to render it tarnish
resistant.

Since I’ve seen this tarnish resistant layer become as thick as 2 mm
or more after repeated heat treating cycles I’ve taken to calling it
a “skin” on the metal, for lack of a better name. Just to be
perfectly clear, this tarnish resistant “skin” on the AS is not
invisible, it looks like regular sterling silver, or rather it just
looks like AS. It is only the tarnish tests that reveal it to behave
different than you’d expect regular sterling to behave.

In order to determine the effectiveness of your heat treatment of AS
you’ll need to test it, that’s why the tarnish tests are worthwhile.
Fortunately they are easy to do and quickly show you how tarnish
resistant your metals actually are. As a general rule I have
observed, and this has NOT yet been confirmed by others, that one
can improve the tarnish resistant properties of AS by repeating the
heat treatment cycles. Specifically this seems to thicken the tarnish
resistant “skin” I’ve talked about.

Finally I’d like to make it clear that that all of the above are
simply observations from the studio while working with the metal.
Beyond that we’ll all have to wait because the lab work required to
give us deeper insight into the alloy and it’s metallurgy lies in
the future.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#7

Trevor,

(Heating AS has been proven to cause the Ge atoms to migrate,
generally speaking, towards the surface.) Again the exact processes
going on here are unknown. But no, this layer is not "invisible",
it's just a sterling alloy that seems to have a lot of germanium at
work in it. 

This sounds like a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo. Atoms in solid
metals move by diffusion. They do not tend to concentrate, in fact
it is exactly the opposite, the atoms try to diffuse from an area of
higher concentration to one of lower concentration until the
solution is in equilibrium. And again the distance an atom travels is
terribly small, we are talking about nanometer scale of movement.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#8

Heating AS has been proven to cause the Ge atoms to migrate,
generally speaking, towards the surface…

This sounds like a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo. 

James, there’s no doubt that you are one of the more technically
capable people in this group and I’ve always valued your insights on
pretty much any subject you care to comment on. However I’m a little
puzzled as to the position you’ve taken here.

X-Ray analysis of the surface of a piece of Argentium Silver (AS)
has shown that if you deplete the germanium oxide layer from the
surface --as in scrape it off-- it will renew itself over time. In
order to stop this process you need to drop the temperature way down,
close to absolute zero. As you bring the temperature up towards room
temperature the concentration of Ge on the surface increases, the
germanium oxide re-forms, and this process continues until it
reaches some saturation or equilibrium point. This isn’t the first
time this specific bit of has appeared here on Orchid.

I’m trying to help people understand how to get good use and
performance from their AS because I find it to be quite superior to
standard sterling, because the discussion of it’s behaviours
interests me, and because I like the stuff. If I’ve misunderstood
something along the way, in particular if I’ve hit upon something
where your superior knowledge of the metallurgy of alloys indicates
that I have likely erred, then I’d be interested (as always) in
hearing your technical insights.

However, unless you’ve got some specific reason for thinking that
I’d be interested in spreading “marketing mumbo jumbo”, I’d
appreciate it if you’d show a little more respect for a fellow
Orchidian. If I have erred it is because I have misunderstood
something, not because I am trying to deceive or misguide anyone.
There’s a big difference between misunderstanding something and
spreading marketing hype and I’d expect your response to take that
into consideration.

I’d also respectfully submit that there is no reason to expect or
anticipate “marketing mumbo jumbo” in our discussions of AS or the
we’ve received from Argentium Sterling Co. on it. In my
experience to date it is simply not the way they’ve done business,
in fact quite the contrary in that they’ve been unusually forthcoming
insofar as the technical characteristics and behaviours of AS are
concerned both on an individual basis on to this group in general.

So, if you’ve got some particular reason for feeling that the
"marketing mumbo jumbo" comment is appropriate let’s hear it because
I can tell you that I for one don’t much appreciate it.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#9
X-Ray analysis of the surface of a piece of Argentium Silver (AS)
has shown that if you deplete the germanium oxide layer from the
surface --as in scrape it off-- it will renew itself over time. In
order to stop this process you need to drop the temperature way
down, close to absolute zero. As you bring the temperature up
towards room temperature the concentration of Ge on the surface
increases, the germanium oxide re-forms, and this process continues
until it reaches some saturation or equilibrium point. This isn't
the first time this specific bit of has appeared here
on Orchid. 

There is no special magic property of Argentium here, metallic oxides
form within microseconds when exposing clean metallic surfaces to
oxygen in the air and generally have re-grown to their original
thickness within minutes. If you remove the surface oxide by scraping
it off then you are exposing clean metal including germanium to the
oxygen in the air and it will almost instantly oxidize.

I'm trying to help people understand how to get good use and
performance from their AS because I find it to be quite superior to
standard sterling, because the discussion of it's behaviours
interests me, and because I like the stuff. If I've misunderstood
something along the way, in particular if I've hit upon something
where your superior knowledge of the metallurgy of alloys indicates
that I have likely erred, then I'd be interested (as always) in
hearing your technical insights. 

I understand this Trevor and applaud your work to help people to
learn to work with this new alloy. However sometimes your
descriptions get the metallurgy a little twisted. And I am trying to
provide a little on the metallurgy.

However, unless you've got some specific reason for thinking that
I'd be interested in spreading "marketing mumbo jumbo", I'd
appreciate it if you'd show a little more respect for a fellow
Orchidian. If I have erred it is because I have misunderstood
something, not because I am trying to deceive or misguide anyone.
There's a big difference between misunderstanding something and
spreading marketing hype and I'd expect your response to take that
into consideration. 

Trevor in your enthusiastic support of Argentium you do sometimes
sound like you are working in Peter Johns marketing department :slight_smile:
But I know you don’t and I respect the work you are doing with
Argentium but I think it is important to give correct and
not let the enthusiasm cloud the perception.

I'd also respectfully submit that there is no reason to expect or
anticipate "marketing mumbo jumbo" in our discussions of AS or the
we've received from Argentium Sterling Co. on it. In my
experience to date it is simply not the way they've done business,
in fact quite the contrary in that they've been unusually
forthcoming insofar as the technical characteristics and behaviours
of AS are concerned both on an individual basis on to this group in
general. 

Like any company Argentium Sterling Co. is in business to make money
and the way they do this is by promoting and selling their product. I
do not have any reason to believe that they are providing inaccurate
or that they are in any fashion an unethical company.
However by definition all they provide their clients is
marketing and will be put out in the most positive way
possible for their products. This is the way companies survive.

So, if you've got some particular reason for feeling that the
"marketing mumbo jumbo" comment is appropriate let's hear it
because I can tell you that I for one don't much appreciate it. 

This is the problem with the email list vs face to face conversation.
If you had seen my face when I said mumbo jumbo you would have seen
the smile. I don’t often have the time to write as much as I would
like so I often just dash off a few lines and sometimes they come off
a little terse or intense. Trevor I would love to be able to sit down
and discuss your experiences with Argentium and the you
have on it. Unfortunately we are limited to the use of the this list
and internet to communicate. But please believe me there was no
disrespect intended to you or Argentium :slight_smile: I hate emoticons because
they are just too damn cute but I guess I should sprinkle a few more
of them in my emails just to show the intended meaning.

Regards

James Binnion
jbin@mokume-gane.com
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#10
There is no special magic property of Argentium here, metallic
oxides form within microseconds when exposing clean metallic
surfaces to oxygen in the air and generally have re-grown to their
original thickness within minutes. If you remove the surface oxide
by scraping it off then you are exposing clean metal including
germanium to the oxygen in the air and it will almost instantly
oxidize. 

I think these are Jim’s words and they are correct. Gases can and do
diffuse thru solids. As in Hydrogen purification by diffusion thru
palladium or a 75-25 palladium alloy. Solids don’t move. Reactions and
diffusion proceed faster as temperature increases.

jesse


#11

Hi Folks…

I’ve been following this for some time… And here’s my take on
it…

Argentium is a sterling silver alloy, of where germanium is a
component…such as copper is in standard sterling… The magic
comes in when the producers produced it in such a fashion that it
didn’t screw up what most folks expect a sterling type of alloy to
do…ductility, etc… By sticking germaniuim into it…

Instead a number of benefits are realized…

The germanium atoms are not moving anywhere…If they are,
they’re violating a couple or more of the fundamental laws of physics
and chemistry… But they are there…throughout the
alloy…everywhere in it… This is by definition…

If you have activated Argentium, and scrape it…

The germanium oxide layer has been removed…and a new layer of
gemanium oxide will reform…as there’s new geranium (which is in
all around the alloy)…and it’s exposed to oxygen…as a result
of the scraping… So…the oxide reforms…

James and Trevor…I’m doing this with only basic college
chemistry/physics here…

The germanium atoms aren’t moving…they’re kinda there throughout
the alloy… I mean…that’s what an alloy is…right…?

The combination with oxygen to make the oxide may make the oxide
layer to appear to be moving…depending upon how the scraping is
done…or how heat is happening in a given scenario…

By layer or depth or whatever…

So…it’s the layer of oxide that does the moving…not the Ge
atoms themselves… They’re just kind of sitting there, throughout the
metal…

New germanium in the alloy exposed to oxygen…new protective
layer happens…

The good thing operant here, is that the germanium isn’t locking
with the sulphur stuff which is more or less everywhere in our
environment, like the copper does in a normal sterling silver
alloy…but glomming on to the oxygen, to form the barrier layer of
coating…

Now… sulphur compounds will sooner or later make their nasty way
in…

But that coat of germanium oxide will slow the dastardly sulphur’s
approach…

I know this is simplistic…but it seems to make sense…?

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


#12

Hello All,

Gary’s ‘take’ on the great AS - Germanium debate is, from an
intuitive point of view, convincing. As he says, it ‘makes sense’.

However, I believe he is wrong.

Here’s my non-expert take on the situation. If anyone notes any
errors in what follows, then please jump in and correct me.

Atoms in solids, including metal alloys, can and do physically move
about. This diffusive process is known as intercolation.

Some atoms are more mobile than others, and as with most
chemo-physical processes, the degree of mobility is directly
proportional to temperature.

Intercolation even occurs at room temperature, albeit, very slowly
in most instances.

A well established technique by which ancient alloys are dated
relies on the known rates at which this happens for particular metal
finishes on a different base alloys.

So the contention of Trevor F. and others that germanium atoms
migrate to the surface of AS where they then form a protective oxide
layer in a ‘self-healing’ process is, crazy as it may sound,
perfectly consistant with known physical processes.

Nature continually surprises us.

In the late 1700s members of the French Academy of Science (or some
such organization) were completely dismissive of the idea of rocks
falling out of the sky. And, I’m sure I would have agreed with them.

But the dinosaurs knew better; they found out the hard way that it
really does happen!

Regards,
Rob Jupp
Australia


#13
I think these are Jim's words and they are correct. Gases can and
do diffuse thru solids. 

Yes, I understand that. Also, James’ knowledge of metallurgy is not
in question here. I believe the issue is what is happening on the
surface of Argentium Silver (AS) --among other things-- and why.

Also, and I realize that you could not have known this because I
don’t think it’s been specifically mentioned here, the gas diffusion
issue is not directly related to the enrichment of Ge on the surface
of AS because the Ge concentration tests were conducted in a hard
vacuum, in other words no oxygen for the germanium to react with nor
gases to diffuse through the metal.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#14
The germanium atoms are *not* moving anywhere....If they are,
they're violating a couple or more of the fundamental laws of
physics and chemistry... 

Actually, that’s not entirely true, there is some movement
happening, it’s more or less a question of how much and what really
causes it and so forth.

The lab tests on the surface of the Argentium Silver (AS) samples
were conducted in a hard vacuum starting at liquid nitrogen temps,
which is somewhere between the melting point of nitrogen (-210.00 C,
-346.00 F) and it’s boiling point (-195.79 C, -320.42 F). At those
temps the percentage of Ge on the surface of the AS sample was the
same as the concentration throughout the body of the sample, in other
words no perceivable Ge “enrichment” on the surface.

As the sample was allowed to warm up to room temp the concentration
of Ge on the surface increased --and we’re still at full vacuum so
there’s no oxidization happening-- to a max of about 64% higher than
the base concentration of Ge in the alloy.

The whys and wherefores of this surface Ge “enrichment” are not
known at this time. Theories are not in short supply --the
"migration" theory among them-- but there simply hasn’t been enough
hard research done on AS to date to really know what’s going on.

I would remind those interested in AS to recall that this surface
"enrichment" isn’t the only unusual thing that happens with AS.
Recall that AS will precipitation harden quite readily, at much
lower temps than regular sterling alloys. Obviously something
interesting is going on in AS, presumably because of the Ge present
in it.

That said, it would appear to be prudent, as James has suggested, to
stop talking about Ge “migration”. It would seem sufficient to stick
with the facts:

(1) germanium oxide readily forms on the surface of AS and that does
have a direct effect on AS’s tarnish resistance.

(2) AS does form a tarnish resistant “skin” which can be as thick as
2mm or more. This “skin” has been observed to build up over the
course of repeated heat treatment cycles.

Whether there’s any significant connection between 1 and 2 or not is
TBD. Since both are beneficial to the overall tarnish resistance of
AS I’ll continue to advise AS users to seek both in order to achieve
and improve the tarnish resistance of their AS work.

Wearily,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#15

Ok, I hesitate to junp into this where my betters have obviously
tread but what about this:

Folowing from info already posted, the Germanium oxide layer when
removed will re-form upon exposure to air.

and here I am speculating…

Wouldn’t heat treating give a higher energy to the germanium atoms
and wouldn’t diffusion move them from an area of high concentration
to an area of lower concentration (the outer “skin”, high in
germanium oxide but “poor” in un-oxidized Germanium)??

Might this “build” a thicker layer of Germanium oxide as the
migrated Germanium atoms become exposed to air??

Or am I completely wrong?

Debby


#16

I’d also respectfully submit that there is no reason to expect or
anticipate “marketing mumbo jumbo” in our discussions of AS or the
we’ve received from Argentium Sterling Co. on it.

 Like any company Argentium Sterling Co. is in business to make
money . .. by definition all they provide their clients
is marketing and will be put out in the most positive
way possible for their products. This is the way companies survive. 

Companies can also promote their goods and survive by being helpful
and forthcoming. As cynical as it may be customary to be these days
it isn’t always necessary to be so. Tarring with too wide a brush is
just as sloppy in the thinking department as not tarring at all. Of
course in some business climates the "say anything, do anything"
ethic does prevail and in those circumstances your “it’s all
marketing” position would in all probability be perfectly justified.

But Peter Johns is a craftsman and scientist with a genuine interest
in what he does and how it works in the field. If you actually look
at the he’s provided the Argentium Silver users
community I think you’d find that quite obvious. By dismissing
everything he offers us on the subject as “marketing” you do the man
an injustice and the pursuit of knowledge a disservice.

If for instance I was to take everything you have said about your
products, methods and discoveries in the same light a good body of
useful and fascinating knowledge would find itself in the trash bin
because that’s where most “marketing” naturally goes.

It would seem to me that one would be better off sticking the
"marketing" label on those that are in the habit of shoveling such
material, and leave if off those that try to provide good and useful
to the best of their ability. Of course this is a
personal assessment and you are at liberty to chose which is which
as you see fit, but it’s the process of being selective about it that
is the point.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#17
and here I am speculating... Wouldn't heat treating give a higher
energy to the germanium atoms and wouldn't diffusion move them from
an area of high concentration to an area of lower concentration 

The higher energy applied by heating would be for all atoms in the
matrix and would disappear as the heat source was removed. So the
diffusion rate for all the atoms would increase at the higher
temperature but this would tend to homogenize their distribution in
the matrix.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#18

Hi Trevor,

Companies can also promote their goods and survive by being helpful
and forthcoming. As cynical as it may be customary to be these days
it isn't always necessary to be so. Tarring with too wide a brush
is just as sloppy in the thinking department as not tarring at all.
Of course in some business climates the "say anything, do anything"
ethic does prevail and in those circumstances your "it's all
marketing" position would in all probability be perfectly
justified. 

Excuse me but that is your interpretation not mine. Marketing is a
requirement to be in business. Do you assume that all marketing is
negative? If there was a study done that said that there is no
difference between AS and standard sterling in tarnish resistance
would the AS company put that out? My point is that no
one consciously uses negative or neutral in their
marketing. That is sheer stupidity. So all the you
receive from a company is spun to some degree or another to be
positive with respect to their product.

But Peter Johns is a craftsman and scientist with a genuine
interest in what he does and how it works in the field. If you
actually look at the he's provided the Argentium Silver
users community I think you'd find that quite obvious. By
dismissing everything he offers us on the subject as "marketing"
you do the man an injustice and the pursuit of knowledge a
disservice. 

Again your interpretation of my words is just wrong. I have a lot of
respect for his abilities and accomplishments.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#19

I can’t find definitions for the term on any web search. The
references I come up with are either in the area of carbon
nanotubes, Fullerenes or related carbon materials or DNA research. So
it seems that this is more an organic chemistry term than a
metallurgical one but I may be way off on this. What is the process
you are referring to?

Atoms in solids, including metal alloys, can and do physically move
about. This diffusive process is known as intercolation. 

I mentioned in my earlier posting that atoms in solid solutions move
by diffusion.

Some atoms are more mobile than others, and as with most
chemo-physical processes, the degree of mobility is directly
proportional to temperature. 

In metallic solid solutions most metal atoms are close enough in
size that movement through the matrix is only in-between adjacent
locations where there are vacancies in the crystal matrix so the
pace of the diffusion is glacially slow at room temperatures and does
not really get going at an appreciable rate till you get to or above
80% of the melting temperature of the alloy. So the test that Trevor
is talking about took place at between liquid nitrogen temp and room
temp so diffusion is going to be very slow and the reported increase
in Ge at the surface as the sample warmed up is huge, 64% over the
alloy proportions. What ever the process is it is not typical
diffusion.

Intercolation even occurs at room temperature, albeit, very slowly
in most instances. 
A well established technique by which ancient alloys are dated
relies on the known rates at which this happens for particular
metal finishes on a different base alloys. 

Do you have any references to this technique? I would like to read
about it.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#20

Hello James,

Well, your first statement Re: we had from AsCo was that
it was “marketing mumbo jumbo” which you followed by saying "all
they provide their clients is marketing .
Logically I may be in error here but it doesn’t seem too far afield
to assume from your remarks that what you were really saying was “all
they provide their clients is marketing mumbo jumbo”.

For the sake of discussion let’s assume that that’s what I saw
happening. Ok, but having you say something like that in private is
pretty easy to shrug off. Sure, I didn’t much care for it because I
thought it belittled Peter and AsCo but given that we obviously had
a number of points of difference between us I thought it best to
focus one the most salient and let the rest slide. Once posted to
Orchid though it seemed to me that your comment did beg a response.

That said my response was not intended to “trash” you. I disagreed
with what appeared to be your sweeping conclusion about the info
we’ve received on AS and I said so. If that’s trashing you then I
sincerely apologize because I didn’t see then and don’t see now how
it would be taken as such.

FWIW, you’ve disagreed most pointedly with something I have said,
describing it as “marketing mumbo jumbo”, and though I didn’t like
that (because I thought it was needlessly discrediting which I tried
to point out in our private exchange), I didn’t take it as a
trashing. I’m a bit surprised that this exchange has degenerated to
such a point that you would think that that’s what I’m trying to do
to you.

I suppose I could say a lot more on this, and you did raise a number
of other points, but I’m not convinced that continuing this on
Orchid would benefit you, me or anyone else. It’s pretty clear that
we’ve got a serious break-down in communication happening here and
I’m not at all sure there’s much to be done about it just now. So
insofar as Orchid is concerned I suggest we drop it and move on. If
you feel there’s value in continuing this offline I suppose I’d be
game for that too.

Regards,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com