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Thread: My platinum nightmareÖ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2022

    Default My platinum nightmareÖ

    Hello everybody! My name is Ben and Iím brand new here. Well, I guess I should rephrase that: Iím a brand new member here, but I have found loads of valuable information from all of you in the past. But, after what happened to me the other day, I felt it was time to start an account.

    So what happened?
    Well, I was rolling out about 6 dwt of Pt (value at the time of writing this: ~$600) to form a tapered ring shank. Everything was going great, I have experience with Pt so I was following all the rules of cleanliness as to not contaminate the metal.
    In case you havenít worked with it before, you have to follow some strict rules when working with Pt. The melting point is EXTREMELY high, Iím talking 1750įC (ish). It is very reactive with carbon, it will absorb it and ruin the metal, so you have to burn a clean fuel (hydrogen is best if you can get it), and you have to make sure you are heating on a clean surface, one that will tolerate the heat but, for the love of god, donít use a charcoal block.
    Not to go into too much detail on the rules, I donít want anyone to feel like Iím teaching them to suck eggs, but it gives context, as you will soon see (I swear itíll be done soon, hang in there).
    As I said, I was being very clean and cautious, as per usual, but when I needed to anneal, I decided to lay the square stock on top of one of those Knew Concepts titanium soldering strips to get better coverage with the flame. I noticed a small crack near the end so I decided to focus the heat there to give it a quick fuse without melting the whole piece. Unfortunately, I completely forgot it was on top of ANOTHER METAL WITH A LOWER MELTING POINT THAN PLATINUM. So needless to say, the titanium melted.
    Since the entire piece of Pt wasnít at full melting temp, I would think that it would sort of just stick on top of the melted Ti, but no, not even close. The two metals aggressively reacted, sending a shower of sparks into the air, and becoming a big blob, aka a 75/25 (ish) Ti/Pt alloy, aka $600 of Pt ruined in a flash of sparks and smoke.
    Iím the type of person who values mistakes just as much as successes, but finding the silver lining in this one hurt pretty bad.

    I made this post not only to tell someone about this crazy experience and maybe(?) help someone, but to ask if anyone has ever heard of this or even had something similar happen to them?
    I also want to see if anyone knows of a way to reclaim the Pt, I only have a minor in chemistry, so Iím probably way off, but Iím thinking maybe HCl?

    Anyways, thanks for getting through that mini novel, I hope you at least Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	13427got a laugh due to my stupidity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central London


    Hi B.B.S, and welcome to the forum.
    There is a moral in there somewhere, but as you probably know, there is no magic wand to separate the metals.
    You must send it to a bullion dealer, for refining, and pay the cost.
    How much this will be I don't know. This is a UK based forum, and we are no strangers to bad news.
    Regards, Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2022


    Yeah, you’re right.
    It’s funny, I didn’t know this was a UK based forum, so I really thought I was doing something there by using “how to suck eggs” ������


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Tungsten tools for platinum soldering. And yeah, refining it isn't a backyard chemistry job. Arguably gold refining isn't either for a number of reasons...

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