I have a few ounces of Argentium Scrap. Rather than sell it for scrap I am thinking about casting into ingots and rolling and drawing into new wire and/or sheet. Has anyone done this? The melting point of germanium is several hundred degrees higher than sterling … is the germanium going to melt too, or am I going to make a big mess I’ll need to sell as scrap anyway? Does Argentium have the same affinity for oxygen as standard sterling … if I roll into sheets am I going to get those annoying blisters you get with standard sterling?
Argentium melts as a unified entity - the germanium isn’t a hold-out. Argentium melts easily, even sometimes when you don’t want it to.
I melt in an electric furnace with a graphite flask which creates a reducing atmosphere. If you use a torch use a very reducing flame and don’t take the flame off your melt and you should have the same results.
Thank you so much Neil for your reply. I have this love/hate relationship with Argentium. I love not having to deal with firescale (much) and I love the ability to fuse it. I love its lower coeficient of heat transfer … that and the fusing thing opens new possibilities in fabrication. But … I just HATE the hot short thing. I poked a piece the other day with a soldering pick with predicable results I knew better, but I did it anyway. When asked about Argentium I always advise if you expect it to behave like standard sterling you are absolutely not going to like it. Its a new learning curve.
Just to be clear … the melting points are almost the same…
“Traditional sterling silver has a solidus melting temperature of 802°C (1475°F) and a liquidus flow point of 899°C (1650°F). Argentium 935 silver has a solidus of 803°C (1477°F) and a liquidus of 903°C (1657°F), while Argentium 960 has a solidus of 905°C (1661°F) and a liquidus of 925°C (1697°F).”
If the Argentiun that you have was all sheet and wire you will be relatively OK. The Argentium used for casting will not roll and pull as well as if it was made for sheet and wire. (this is true of any alloy used for casting)
It is critical that you have it very clean well pickled and free of any investment material. You can use a radial brush to get it at its best.
Adding new material will also help.
Good luck and make beautiful jewellery.
Thank you Franklin for the good advice. I only fabricate, never cast, so its all from sheet and wire. Its clean as well. I have a couple ounces as well of mixed .999, standard sterling and Argentium. Guess that gets sold as scrap because who knows what I’d end up with. I keep scrap segregated now, but didn’t use to. My sweeps are a mess of different kinds of silver and 14k and 18k gold. Guess I’ll just donate the sweeps somewhere.