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More about Argentium Silver


#1

to get on top of fabricating with it.

I got some Argentium medium solder. But I wonder-- do you use AS
solders just for the match, or is there some problem if you use
ordinary sterling solders?

What else do I need to know/familiarize myself (and the other
goldsmiths) with? Hi Noel, The main reason for using AS solders, in my
opinion, is that the colors are whiter, and they don’t tarnish as
readily as traditional silver solders.

In my experience, it is best to anneal an AS casting before
stretching a ring up, or forging or bending. While we think of other
metals as being annealed after casting, I have had surface crackling
if I did not anneal before manipulating a casting.

In terms of what else you need to know, I have updated my
handouts—I make a constant effort to keep up with the latest
research, and to make them as clear and concise as possible.

I have just uploaded these pdfs to my website www. cynthiaeid.com
under FAQs. From what you are saying, it sounds like you might
especially want to take a look at the finishing/hardening handout so
that you can maximize tarnish resistance.

I am glad to hear that the studio where you work is having success
with using Argentium Silver!

Best wishes,
Cindy
Cynthia Eid
Cynthiaeid.com


#2
In my experience, it is best to anneal an AS casting before
stretching a ring up, or forging or bending. While we think of
other metals as being annealed after casting, I have had surface
crackling if I did not anneal before manipulating a casting. 

Castings are not in the annealed state they are in the as-cast
state. The as-cast crystal structure is totally different than
annealed wrought material. The as-cast crystals tend to be huge in
comparison to wrought material and just this issue alone can make
cast material more prone to cracking when stress is applied to a
casting. There can be segregation of the alloy components and other
differences that make as-cast material very different from wrought
material. The as-cast material can be harder or softer than the
annealed state depending on the alloy and how it was cast and cooled
after casting.

Heat treating after casting can improve the characteristics of some
alloys. But it is not really annealing. It can be a stress relief, a
homogenization process to reduce the alloy component segregation or
an age hardening process if the casting was cooled fast enough to
keep most of the alloy components in solution as it cooled.

James Binnion


#3

Hi James

Is there a chart that you use that has the wait times for quenching
cast gold and silver in the various alloys?

Sam


#4

Hi Sam,

The Legor Group provides technical charts with recommended quenching
times for all of its alloys including all varieties of Argentium.
Hope that helps.

Cliff Durlacher


#5
Castings are not in the annealed state they are in the as-cast
state. The as-cast crystal structure is totally different than
annealed wrought material. The as-cast crystals tend to be huge in
comparison to wrought material 

James makes a good point regarding the difference between the
wrought/annealed and as-cast structures of silver alloys. The only
comment I would add is the Argentium silver alloys, and also some of
the other more complex silver casting alloys, contain small amounts
of grain refiners in an attempt to control the as-cast grain size and
consequently give better working properties from the as-cast state.

Best wishes to all Orchidians for the New Year,

Charles Allenden
Argentium International.