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Solder Seam "Neuralized"?


#1

Hello everyone!

In the department of odd customer questions comes this one I just
got from a store that I do custom work for:

I was asked to explain what a “neuralized solder joint” was. The
customer said a sales person had told her that the joint at a peg
head to shank on a solitaire, which failed with a crystalline type
break,=A0had been “neuralized” by the jeweler who soldered the crown
in (5 years prior) and that the failure was the fault of the jeweler
who did that work. It was also stated that the crown had been bent
and straightened a few times in that 5 year period.

My response was that I had never heard of=A0 “neuralized solder” and
that it sounded like stress corrosion of the metal at the joint
possibly cause by one (or both) of two things: 1) stress on the
joint from being bent and straightened a few times (probably without
annealing), or 2) possible chlorine contamination=A0of=A0 the white
gold and/or white gold solder. I haven’t gotten to see the ring to
verify the type of failure or to check to see if the crown was
properly soldered in place to begin with.

My question to the group is: (and don’t laugh) Has anyone heard
the term “neuralized” used in reference to a solder joint and or its
failure.

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment you may share.

Paul Reilly


#2

Um…never ever ever heard of a neutralized solder joint. But I
think that you assessment of what went wrong is very likely (stress
in the metal, or contaminated solder). Could even be a combination
of the two guesses. Or a small icky section in the alloy of the
metal.

I had a customer once who wanted me to enamel a piece that was made
of base metal and had been rhodium plated. I showed her samples of
the colored epoxies that tend to be used for this kind of job. She
was completely taken aback and insisted that the enamel be hard fire
glass, only the “highest quality” would do. When I told her that it
is not possible to use glass enamel on that kind of piece, she
insisted that she knew for a fact it could be done, and that she
would just have to find someone more knowledgeable. I wished her
luck. You just never know what people might come up with.


#3

Hi Paul,

The customer said a sales person had told her that the joint at a
peg head to shank on a solitaire, which failed with a crystalline
type break, had been "neutralized" by the jeweler who soldered
the crown in (5 years prior) and that the failure was the fault of
the jeweler who did that work.

I’ve never hard the term ‘neutralized solder joint’ either. However
if you notice, it was a ‘sales person’ who came up with the term.

Could be the the sales clerk was in the shop one day when the
jeweler placed an item in the pickle pot & then in the Arm & Hammer
solution to neutralize it. Obviously to the clerk he was
’neutralizing’ the solder joint!

Nothing was said of the several times the head had been straightened
by forming it without heat. The clerk didn’t know that flexing
metals causes them to harden & a crystalline structure to become
visible in some cases.

Just another case where a sales clerk didn’t know what they were
talking about.

Dave


#4
I was asked to explain what a "neuralized solder joint" was. The
customer said a sales person had told her that the joint at a peg
head to shank on a solitaire, which failed with a crystalline type
break

Hello Paul;

I’ve never heard that term, and it sounds suspiciously creative to
me. In using soft solders like lead or tin, there’s a term called a
"cold solder joint" which results from moving the solder just before
it can cool to a solid. This results in a crystalline appearance,
and it’s problematic in electronics because it’s a bad conductor. If
gold solders are moved just as they are solidifying, they can become
crumbly, but I suspect that what has happened in the specific case
you write about is that some ignorant craftsperson thought that
soldering a peg head in place involved only soldering the peg in the
hole. That’s not sufficient. The peg is only used to locate the head
and keep it aligned and in place during soldering. The solder must be
allowed to come up under the head and actually solder the entire base
of the head down to the metal. If that’s done correctly, there’s no
way you are going to be bending that head back and forth as they
discribe. You’d haver to really mangle it. But soldering only the peg
is practically a guarantee that the entire head is going to break off
eventually. Stress cracking is another matter. It usually occurs
where there has been a fresh cut into the metal and the metal has
been bent at that point, such as the notch cut in a prong to bend it
over a stone. That opens the grain of the metal slightly, and the
stress of bending further weakens the integrity of the area. Then
corrosive chemicals penetrate along the grain boundaries, and
eventually the metal comes apart. If stress cracking had happened on
the head in question, it would surely be because the peg alone was
holding the head on, it bent a few times, then cracked and failed.

David L. Huffman


#5

Neuralizing is what the MIB do to citizens who have seen too much.
MIB, for those who may have been neuralized and don’t know this,
stands for “Men In Black” which is a comedy with Tommy Lee Jones,
Will Smith and Vincent D’Onofrio.

Marta


#6
Neuralizing is what the MIB do to citizens who have seen too much.

Yes, in that movie, the “Men in Black” would use a “neuralizer” to
wipe citizen’s memories and suggest new memories in their place.
Sometimes I wish I had one at the store to wipe the misinformation
my customers pick up.

James in SoFl who is better off than some after hurricane Katrina.
Only three days without power, but some 500,000 are still without.

P.S. If you are anywhere near New Orleans, LEAVE NOW!!!