To quench or not to quench that is the question.
I've been using a white gold alloy mix (909) to make 14k that I pour
into ingot molds and roll out into bar stock. I then hammer out
basic bands of 4-7mm.
Though I've often had cracking problems this latest batch is really
driving me crazy.
My procedure is to melt the 24k in a crucible, add the alloy, clean
with boric acid/sal ammoniac/ charcoal flux, then pour into either a
warmed open face ingot mold or a sliding ingot mold. I anneal once,
lightly forge the ingot on an anvil. I then flux the surface with
handi-flux to keep the oxides down then heat on a charcoal block to
orange, let the color fade then quench.
On my first pass through the rolling mill, and it was a light pass,
I had cracking. I have both fused the cracks back together and
sometimes sawed and soldered them.
I contacted my supplier of the alloy and they advised no quenching
just air cool and anneal after reduction after about 10% which of
course takes forever.
One thing I observed was that when I get down to about 2mm square
the cracking problem disappears.
I thought I would bring this to the forum for advice and guidance. I
have a photo of a broken end grain where I snapped the bar to check
the grain structure.
I'm grateful for any input that would make this an easier process.
Sure I've thought of casting but don't want to go that route.