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18 carat yellow gold alloys with increased hardness

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An investigation was carried out by Mintek to examine the influence of a range of alloying additions (titanium, vanadium, chromium, molybdenum, cobalt, zirconium, boron, aluminium, silicon, zinc, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium and ruthenium) on the formability, hardenability and colour of 18 carat gold alloys. This paper provides chemical formulae for yellow 18 carat gold alloys that have hardnesses which are higher than the hardnesses of the corresponding conventional 18 carat alloys, in particular in excess of 300 HV, but with colours similar to conventional 18 carat gold. A preparation method for the alloys will also be described, which includes the steps of melting, annealing, quenching, cold working and age hardening.

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Correspondence to Rainer Süss.

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Mr Rainer Süss is a senior engineer in the Advanced Materials Group, Physical Metallurgy Division, Mintek, and has been involved with the development of novel gold alloys for the jewellery industry. Currently, he is primarily involved with research and development of platinum alloys for industrial applications.

Dr Elma van der Lingen heads the Precious Metals Group, Physical Metallurgy Division, Mintek, which is involved in the chemistry, physics, metallurgical and especially catalytic properties of gold.

Prof Madeleine du Toit teaches and conducts research in the fields of physical metallurgy and welding engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Pretoria. Previously, at Mintek, she specialised in the metallurgy of gold alloys.

Lizelle Glaner is a Senior Technician in the Advanced Materials Group and is involved in precious metals research.

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Süss, R., van der Lingen, E., Glaner, L. et al. 18 carat yellow gold alloys with increased hardness. Gold Bull 37, 196–207 (2004).

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