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Fusing 22 K and 18K


#1

(Linda, I found a listing for Marco Polo under Gold Buyers Marco
Polo. So ignore my last post requesting )

A general question about fusing 22K. Why is it necessary for
the 22K to be alloyed without zinc – i.e. just with silver and
copper. What kinds of problems does zinc create when attempting
a fusing process. This question arises from what I read in
Stark’s chain book about using this 22K alloy for fusing rings
for chains.

Also, can you fuse 18K standard alloy? I would like to fuse an
18K gold bezel and then fuse the bezel to base of sheet 18K.
Would that work? I’d try it out myself but don’t feel like
experiencing another meltdown :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance.

rd


#2

Also, can you fuse 18K standard alloy? I would like to fuse an
18K gold bezel and then fuse the bezel to base of sheet 18K.

Hi rd:

I’m not going to be of any help with your questions. I don’t
know why zinc is not included in the 22Kt. alloy but that was the
way I was taught. The inclusion would change the percentage of
fine silver and copper.

As for 18K, I have never tried to fuse it. I don’t know if there
is a reason, like less copper, etc. Maybe someone else on the list
can answer this question for all of us.

Linda
@Red1Eagle


#3

Also, can you fuse 18K standard alloy? I would like to fuse an
18K gold bezel and then fuse the bezel to base of sheet 18K.
Would that work? I’d try it out myself but don’t feel like
experiencing another meltdown :slight_smile:

hi rd,

great questions! here are a few answers, just off the top of my
head. zinc is added to gold alloys to retard oxidation, as a
grain refiner, and to generally ‘help’ the casting process. since
it is the lowest melting component it likes to evoporate while
one is melting a karat gold charge for casting. this is the
reason most casters say to use at least half new metal. there are
now ‘gold replenishers’ available that i suspect are nothing more
than zinc or metal oxides to enable one to use a gold charge of
all old metal. there are however, metal suppliers that use other
metals as a grain refiner such as indium. i’m not sure, but the
addition of zinc increases the interval between liquidus and
solidus. well, anyway that is a few reasons why they put that
zinc in there.

the reason why one wouldn’t want zinc while fusing,(though one
can fuse gold with zinc in it) mokume-gane or granulation is that
the zinc gets a little more excited than the other metals when
they all get hot. it melts first, so when the rest of the alloy
gets ready to interface, the zinc has already traveled around and
made a mess. as in mokume, it can travel through many sheets of
ones laminae, and possibly cause puddling. i think one of the
principles of fusing is to narrow the interval of liquidus and
solidus. i.e. it’s best to have a more definite melting point vs
a range of melting to enable one to create a better joint. a
great example is platinum, its melted or it isn’t. no 'pasty’
interval, a clean fuse.

it is most definitly possible to join your bezzle with a plate
using granulation methods.

hope this helps,

geo fox


#4

geo fox had a great technical answer to that question. Perhaps
I can offer some practcal info now.

I learned from Kent Raible, and subsequently do this myself,
that the standard 18k yellow gold alloy from DH Fell fuses
beautifully. The reason, less zinc, higher silver to gold ratio.
I also use this in 18k granulation and have had no problem. They
sell this 18k in all the standard ways, ie, sheet, wire, etc.

DH Fell is aware that some of us use this 18 for these reasons
and their staff is knowlegable. Just got out catalogue and the
discription of the 18K yellow standard is “light contemporary
yellow - enameling - no zinc” so there you have it.

DH Fell 1-800 822-1996 I have been happy with their service,
even when I had to return things.

Elizabeth


#5
DH Fell is aware that some of us use this 18 for these reasons
and their staff is knowlegable.  Just got out catalogue and the
discription of the 18K yellow standard is "light contemporary
yellow - enameling - no zinc"  so there you have it.

Elizabeth and George, thanks so much for your responses to the
fusing question. And to anyone else whose name I left out. Wish
I had looked at Fell’s catalog (which I actually had on file)
before getting the 18K with zinc from Hoover and Strong. Guess
I’ll do this ring with solder, try fusing the Fell gold next time
around.

Elizabeth, I’m so glad you reminded me about Fell because in
looking through their catalog I also noticed that they carried
22K wire (also for enameling) with no zinc. I had wondered about
whether one could buy this alloy for chain making, premade,
instead of starting from scratch and alloying and drawing.

I don’t know a thing about enameling (yet) but does zinc create
the same havoc in that process as it would when fusing?

Again, thanks as usual for the great answers. rd


#6

I don’t know a thing about enameling (yet) but does zinc create
the same havoc in that process as it would when fusing?

hi rd,

i left out enameling in my reply, oh well. yes, it would be a
trouble maker if one used a zinc alloy with enamelling.

enamelling uses ground glass with metal oxides as coloring
agents, these metal oxides can bind with the host metal of one’s
piece, producing an undesirable color. especially with silver!
silver is used to create yellow in enamel so a lot of enamels
soak up the yellow into the original color. yuchh!

david fell will happily supply you with wire or sheet in most
any alloy they make. they are also my main metal supplier, though
i do most of my own alloying to keep my inventory down. i make
whatever alloy or wire, sheet that a certain job requires. this
works for me.

best regards,

geo fox