Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World first for silver that keeps its sparkle

19.01.2006


British experts have pioneered the world’s first non-tarnishing sterling silver in a breakthrough that could revolutionise the silver industry.



Researchers in Sheffield, the city famous for stainless steel, have developed a ‘stainless silver’ alloy that resists the discolouring effect of pollutants and retains its bright finish.

The groundbreaking alloy, developed by researchers from Sheffield Hallam University’s Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) and leading UK silverware brand Carrs of Sheffield, could boost the global market for silver, often dismissed as the ‘poor man’s gold.’


The new product outshines standard sterling silver by keeping its shine and colour intact, putting an end to regular polishing and high care costs. Marketed as Carrs Lustre Silver, makers hope it will change the public’s perception of traditionally high-maintenance silverware.

Dr Hywel Jones from MERI said:

“The biggest problem with silver as a precious metal is that it tarnishes with time. The yellowing or blackening of the metal means that traditional silver items like cutlery are increasingly unattractive for the modern market, because they need a lot of upkeep.”

“The new alloy has exceeded all our expectations and is a development of great significance. Silver has been used by man for 5000 years and this is one of the most important developments in that time.

"It has potential to be exploited in areas other than silverware, for example in electrical connectors, a huge market in today’s world of computers and electronic control systems"

Independent tests at the Sheffield Assay Office and the Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association (CATRA) have proven its resistance to tarnishing, which occurs when silver reacts with sulphur containing substances in the air, forming a silver sulphide film that blackens the surface of the metal.

Dr Jones said:

“Previous attempts to produce a ‘stainless’ silver by adding germanium for example have resulted in alloys that were difficult to manufacture. Not only does our alloy resist tarnishing, but it can be cast, rolled, worked by silversmiths, soldered, heat-treated and polished without any of the problems that can arise when you change the chemistry and mechanical properties of an existing alloy. It’s also resistant to fire-staining, which makes the production process more efficient.

“The ‘stainless’ silver finished product requires no polish; just a simple wipe with a cloth restores its original finish, meaning that it’s as good as gold in terms of being tarnish-proof.”

Carrs Silver founder Ron Carr added:

“We recognised the need for a new sterling silver for a new generation, because customers want products that stay looking beautiful with the minimum of effort.”

Lustre Silver has been developed over four years as part of a €2.2m European-funded research project. Manufactured exclusively by Carrs of Sheffield, it will be officially launched at the Spring Fair, Birmingham NEC (5-9 February, 2006), along with a new Lustre range that includes iPod nano holders, business card holders, passport covers and cutlery.

Kate Burlaga | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shu.ac.uk/news

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>