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S88 Alloy Stock


Was: Drawbenches notes


I could not agreee with you more. I would love to see any of the big
metals houses stock the S88 Sterling in wire and sheet form. We have
been using it at UCSD for a few years now, and in my opinion, it
vastly out-performs regular (copper alloyed) sterling silver, even
Argentium Sterling. Good luck with getting Stuller to start producing
the S88. They are one of my clients, and I will call them Monday and
extoll the virtues of the S88. Maybe we can get Stuller, or Rio, or
the others to start making the S88 stock!



Okay, so what is S88 alloy stock? You mention it, but I have never
seen it.



Jay, When I talked to Dotty at Stuller I believe she said that they
would make a minimum run of 500 dwts. only 25 ounces. I use more than
that in casting stock but have never taken a weight estimate on
milled goods. They seemed to be eager to please at Stuller and
willing to work with me in any way possible. I am in the loop for
this product so I’ll add info to Orchid as I receive it… Talk to
Dotty in Metals new products department and Kurt Jagneaux director
of Fabricated Metals… hope this helps. The more people ask for it
the sooner they will produce it.

Frank Goss


Dear Jennifer, S88 is a sterling silver casting alloy produced by
United Precious Metals.

Vince, Oakridge, OR



S88 is the alloy manufactured by United Precious Metals for sterling
silver. It is a low oxidation alloy that is all of the things that I
believe a silver alloy should be. I solder this sterling using boric
acid as a flux and get NO, Repeat NO fire scale. I cast and roll this
alloy as well as forge it with hammers. It has a very white color ( I
have had people in the jewelry business mistake the finished product
for platinum because of the color) work hardens faster that regular
sterling alloy (which I like) and will oxidize at a very slow rate
compared to standard sterling. Casting properties are the best, I get
beautiful castings that are virtually porosity free and come out of
the flask white, not black or brown. What else can I say. It does
not, at this time come in any other form than casting grain or pure
alloy. I am trying to introduce this product to Stullers Settings and
get them to add it to their line of milled (meaning wire and sheet)
stock. I have posted about this alloy repeatedly and I think a lot of
you are missing out on something great by not giving it a try…
United Precious Metals 1-80-999-fine . (usual disclaimer goes here)

Frank Goss



Will S88 alloy draw through a hydraulic press? Is it in anyway
similar/disimilar to argentium? What is its melting point? Can I use
it for enamel?

I’m willing to cast my own and roll it out, not a problem, just
takes time. (that precious commodity of ours)

Gee so many questions. Where is United Precious Metals located? Yes,
I know I can give them a call, just not tonight - too late.




I had a very long discussion with Kurt Jagneaux at Stuller today. He
told me he was going to bring up the idea of making S88 sheet and
wire stock at a meeting he has scheduled with the Stuller higher-ups
tomorrow. He likes the properties of S88, and is aware of the buzz
about it on Orchid. I would hope more Orchidians will contact Stuller
and make their interest in S88 sheet and wire stock known. Kurt is
checking with United Metals to see if there are any proprietary
issues involved.

Jay Whaley



I have used the S88 alloy to make wire and sheet stock, and I have
used the sheet stock in the hydraulic press. I do not know about the
enamel or the melting temperature. I have not noticed much
difference, if any, in the melting temp. I am sure they can answer
that question at United. Like I stated before the only drawback ( if
you wish to label it so, I don’t ) is that it does work harden
faster than standard silver alloys. A friend of mine who uses it for
casting says that United told him it was not recommended for milling,
I have never heard this. I have used it for years making my own wire
and sheet and found that when annealed regularly (more often) it
works just fine. Like any different product or method it takes some
experimentation and adjustment to fine tune the use and discover all
the properties. I suggest you start with a small sample and see if
you like it. If I can be of any help let me know. United is located
in Alden, New York. again 1-800-999-fine.

Frank Goss



S88 will do just about anything traditional sterling will do, and
more. It is very easy to work with, and less “quirky” than
Argentium. It’s main advantage over traditional copper alloyed
sterling is that it is much more resistant to fire scale, and
tarnishes far more slowly than regular sterling. It’s a dream to pour
ingots from, as well as roll out for wire or sheet. It casts very
well, comes out of the investment almost needing no pickling, it’s
that clean. You’ll just have to get some from United Metals out of
New York, and try it yourself. United will have the specs on the S88,
as well. A few of us are in contact with Stuller’s Metals Dept.,
trying to convince them they would be smart to offer S88 in sheet and
wire form. I am not an enamelist, so have no idea what the S88
sterling is like to enamel on.

Jay Whaley


Hi all,

You might like to look at the tests measuring the depth of firescale
on various silver alloys done by CATRA, an independent testing
organization in Britain. Here is a link:

'Resistance to Firestain Evaluation of Silver Alloys’

There are photographs of cross-sections of various silver alloys.

Cynthia Eid

'Resistance to Firestain Evaluation of Silver Alloys' 
There are photographs of cross-sections of various silver alloys. 

Wow! Does anyone have ideas to explain the differences between the
data shown here and the perception that some of these alloys
(platinum sterling especially) do not suffer from firescale?



If you read the procedure for the test you will see that the alloys
were tested for one hour periods at 580degrees with no flux
solution., to promote oxidation. In other words they did everything
they could to create firescale and still only go 13-30microns on the
s88 and less on the other two united alloys. Last time I checked I
soldered a lot faster than that and used a borax acid flux…I may be
getting microscopic firescale but if I am I can live with it. They
did not address soldering, casting, or milling properties. I usually
judge an alloy by all of these. The test does however, make me want
to check out the other two United alloys.

Frank Goss