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Quench in pickle or alcohol?


#1

Quick question…

quenching white gold, Can you quench in pickle vs. alcohol? Why or
why not.

Thanks,
Laurie


#2
quenching white gold, Can you quench in pickle vs. alcohol? Why or
why not. 

Quenching in pickle risks spattering hot pickle all over. Not such a
bright idea. Quench in water first, then pickle as a seperate
operation.

Quenching in alcohol amounts to a gentler, slightly slower cooling.
In general, it still cools the metal fast enough to avoid hardening
(age hardening or precipitation hardening, two words for the same
thing) that can occur in white golds when slowly cooled. But the
alcohol quench is slower than a water quench. Some white golds, when
water quenched, are shocked enough so that they form cracks because
the outer surface of the metal is cooled so much more quickly than
the interior. White gold alloys (or rose golds, for that matter)
aren’t so strong when hot, so the stresses of a rapid quench in water
can crack them. Not all white golds, of course, but some, especially
some of the very white, high nickel content versions. The alcohol
quench usually avoids that problem.

Another method of quenching metals that can crack when cooled too
quickly that I’ve found sometimes works reasonably well is compressed
air. Hit the hot metal with a compressed air blast and it will cool
quickly. No, not one of those little pressurized cans for dusting
your keyboards or something. I mean an air nozzle connected to an
actual air compressor. Lots of fast air flow. Not sure how it
compares, speed wise, with alcohol or water, but i suspect it’s
slower yet. I’ve sometimes used this to quickly cool jewelry set with
diamonds, without damage to the diamonds, after soldering or other
heating.

Hope that helps.
Peter Rowe