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Precious Metal Clay

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  • Precious Metal Clay

    Unclear how applicable this is to machining, but it's kind of cool stuff that might have an application somewhere. What it is is a clay like substance consisting of mostly finely powdered silver or gold, a little water, and a little bit of "non-toxic binder". You mold it into the shape desired, fire it at around 1100-1300 degrees F for a 2-10 minutes, and polish. It's a sintering process evidently, but the end result looks like normal metal; I've seen a demo, where I got to wire brush a piece after firing and see the metal take a polish. Firing can be done in a kiln, or via a torch (as was done in the demo) for smaller pieces or those of uniform thickness.

    This stuff is made by Mitsubishi. The most recent versions containing silver, PMC+ and PMC3, have a shrinkage spec. of 12%; the earlier PMC (and the gold version) shrink 30%.

    So OK, 97% pure silver is not a great structural material; still, I wonder if any of the group will come up with an application in the shop? My brain is chewing away at it...

    I bought some of this stuff at the Tucson gem show last week; I'll be playing with it at some point.

    Do a google search on precious metal clay and you'll find plenty of links.


  • #2
    I use such things for my knives and other fine pieces of art metals. This is how I get silver and gold into the engraved areas on some my works. The stuff does stay in and is a little pricey for some uses.



    • #3
      That is interesting - too bad we can't do that with carbide!


      • #4
        Thrud: I wonder? What if one did take fine carbide powder and mixed it in with Mitsubishi's binder; same question for other metals. I wonder if Mitsubishi sells just their binder material to experimenters?


        • #5
          Carbide fuses at a much higher temperature. (2000*+C)