Sterling Silver + Graphite?

Casting

Hi folks,

I'm just learning about casting, and taking a great local course, but had a metal composition question. I'll be working with sterling silver, but am considering mixing it with a little graphite. The reasoning is not metallurgical but sentimental - as the STP thermo equilibrium state of carbon, graphite is forever (even moreso than diamonds).

Does anyone have any experience with the metallurgical consequences? Will I be making the item brittle? Will they simply not mix? I'm casting a ring...

Thanks!


Bill Roberts's picture

Hi Dabbler, let me start by

Hi Dabbler,
let me start by welcoming you to the Artmetal site. Good to have you with us. AND I must say........you pose an interesting question.
I believe the biggest problem with this is the difference in melting temps.
The sterling......melts at around 1645 degrees F.....and the graphite melts at around 6600 degrees F.

There must be a better way to get your "sentimental" valve.
two cents,

Bill


Dabbler2's picture

Thanks Bill - it sounds like

Thanks Bill - it sounds like graphite would be embedded, instead of mixed. That's also interesting... but may leave marks.

Thanks,

Babak


B.J. Severtson's picture

Dabbler.

Your alloy all ready exists. It's primary use is in industrial circuit breakers or other areas where resistance to high voltage erosion due to arcing could present a problem. For additional information search silver and graphite alloys.. check out Jennison's silver graphite ingot. Graphite and diamonds are both carbon...Things that go hmmmm....Brad


visitor's picture

congratulations

Dabbler.Congratulations on one fine question. I mean it you have my applause. Edison discovered a couple of hundred things that didn't make light bulbs, and we're all better off because he wanted to know. Many of the people that offer this material for sale refer to it as an alloy. People were making this alloy before the 1980's when the Chinese came along with nano-tech. The tech may have changed, I suspect the the tech has changed a couple of times. If you could obtain a small bit of this material you could set it as if it were a stone. You could explore bi-metal casting or casting in place as ways to hold your object. The material is probably brittle. So is the nacre on a pearl. so are opals, shell cameos, and emeralds for that matter. You'll have to consider that in your design. Thank you, I had fun learning, too. Brad


Gene Olson's picture

Aren't all our diamond

Aren't all our diamond tools
carbon set in silver bearing alloy?

Gene Olson
Sculptor
Elk River, MN


visitor's picture

Nickel or nickel alloy is

Nickel or nickel alloy is the typical matrix to hold the diamond, either sintered or electroplated depending on the grade of the tool.


jbin's picture

Silver & Carbon

Silver and carbon are totally insoluble in each other. You cannot melt them together period end of story.

The silver graphite electrical contacts referred to in a prior post are a composite material without much in the way of strength so probably not a good choice for a ring.


Bill Roberts's picture

Well there ya go. Thanks

Well there ya go. Thanks Jim, we love definitive answers. I had my doubts........but MY main point was that even IF it was remotely possible........it's certainly not something a beginner would want to try. LOL
Bill