Diffusion sodering has been identified as a new joining process that can help the European jewellery industry to reduce costs by decreasing finishing operation and increase the productivity. The process combines the features of liquid-phase joining (i.e. soldering) and diffusion bonding and has the beneficial features of both techniques. The implementation of this new manufacturing method for gold jewellery will represent technology transfer from high-tech electronic industry to a more traditional, workshop-type activity. In the electronics industry the bonding involves pure metal platings namely of silver and gold whereas in jewellery bulk precious metal alloys need to be bonded. This process does not require corrosive chemical j-fluxes and branzing torches which are used in existing gold jewellery fabrication by brans-zing. Thereby, its use will help to improve the working environment in the jewellery industry and will lead to a market reduction in polluting effluent. Manufacturing yields should also improve by replacing individual operator skills by oven operations. The net prospective cost savings to the European jewellery industry will be about 200 million euro. This process change should help stem the industry's decline through aggressive competition.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
BL8 6DE Birmingham