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Sterilite 250B Casting Grain vs Argentium Silver


#1

Hello All - -

At the MJSA Expo I visited the ABI Precious Metals booth and found
that the y have a tarnish resistant sterling silver casting grain
which they call Sterilite #250B. They claim it is quite tarnish
resistant and no fire-scale. I was wondering how this compares with
the Argentium silver everyone’s been talking about here? Are any of
you using the Sterilite? Do you know if it is available in wire and
sheet form or only as grain?

Also, does one need to use special solder when working with either
of these alloys?

(P.S. - - I want to also add my thanks and send cheers to Joel
Schwalb and Kenneth Singh for organizing the Orchid Dinner on the
7th. It was my first Orchid dinner and it was wonderful to meet so
many of you! I am so grateful to have found this amazing
community.)

Thanks for all your insight and support!
Nan


#2
Also, does one need to use special solder when working with either
of these alloys? 

Hello Nan,

Argentium solders will soon be available but most of us are just
using regular silver solder, Medium grade or easier. The color match
for Medium --that’s what I’ve been using-- is very good.

Can’t say I know anything about Sterilite though I have heard that
there is an Argentium-like alloy available “from someone else”.
Perhaps this is it. Dunno.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light


#3

Hi Nan and all,

I have used ABI’s Sterlite casting grain for many years in high
volume castings with much success! I have also used Argen’s version
of the tarnish-resistant casting grain with the same success but I
have never used Argentium (yet) to compare it to.

I will tell you my experiences with the tarnish-resistant casting
grains is quite good. I don’t think there are other raw materials
available such as the sheet and wire as mentioned, but you could
certainly call them and find out. I do know that Argen only
supplies the casting grain. There are not any solders available, I
have always used traditional sterling solder with normal results,
soldering with tarnish-resistant products is the same as soldering
with sterling products, in my experience.

The only thing that I had found to be unique about the metal
properties of the Sterilite and my other Argen brand
tarnish-resistant silver was the castings come out really soft,
super-annealed in a lot of cases, despite a 20 min. cooling of the
flask prior to quenching. I cast 4x8 flasks of usually 100+ parts
so 20 min. is required for these large flasks, the time could
differ based on different flasks sizes. I believe the reason for
this is due to the high content of zinc in the metal as alloy for
the tarnish-resistant property.

I have spoken with Peter Keddy at ABI and he explained how the
castings could be heat-hardened in a kiln to remedy this problem.

The beauty of casting with the Sterilite is the castings DO come out
bright white, firescale free every time, no pickling required! We
just clip and tumble finish most of our parts and they look
fantastic! And yes, they are quite tarnish-resistant, I know there
are many silver jewelry manufacturers in warm, humid climates like
Hawaii that love this product. I know I do, I met ABI reps at an
MJSA Expo also years ago, their product is everything they say it
is and more.

I am not affiliated with either of these companies other than as a
happy customer. All the best, Sara

Sara D. Grinnell
Studio C Designs
C&L Gems LLC
Minneapolis, MN USA


#4

Our Sta-Brite® silver is Argentium.

Eugene C. Gentile (Gino)
National Accounts Manager
Hoover & Strong, Inc.
877-687-7770
Fax: 609-936-1838
EGentile@hooverandstrong.com
www.hooverandstrong.com