"Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers
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  1. #1
    Member Sodiac's Avatar
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    "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    FYI: Just found this interesting article:


    Hublot presents new alloys for watchmaking and jewellery, developed in collaboration with EPFL.

    On Thursday 15th December, in the Metallurgy department of the Hublot Manufacture in Nyon, Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot's CEO, and Andreas Mortensen, a Professor at EFPL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) unveiled a range of brand new alloys which are set to revolutionise the characteristics of precious materials and may also pave the way for new alloys to be used in the high-tech industry.

    This presentation focused on a genuine "fusion" of 24-carat gold (the finest of the noble materials and a natural product) and the very latest in high-tech materials expertise. Almost three years of collaboration and research have gone into achieving this impressive result: a completely new type of noble gold, with patents pending and graded 18 carat by the Central Office for Precious Metals Control. Hublot's 18-carat gold is the world's first scratch-resistant gold, and as such eliminates the age-old vulnerability of gold and its alloys.

    Hardness is a measure of a material's resistance to indentation; doubling a material's hardness means doubling the force required to produce a given indentation. Whereas "standard" high-quality 18-carat gold can reach 400 on the Vickers hardness scale, Hublot gold has a hardness rating of almost 1000 Vickers (most hardened steels are up to 600 Vickers). This makes Hublot gold the hardest in the world, and by some margin: it can only really be "scratched" by diamond.

    Components made from this material are produced using a complex process: boron carbide powder is formed by cold isostatic pressing in moulds very close in shape to that of the finished part, e.g. watch cases, bracelets, bezels, etc. This ceramic - one of the hardest in existence - is also highly refractory: the preforms are then hardened at very high temperatures to create a rigid, porous structure without altering the shape. After this, molten liquid gold is injected under very high pressure.h

    This operation is performed under inert gas pressure, at a sufficiently high temperature and pressure to ensure that the molten metal fills the pores in the ceramic, causing the two to "fuse" into a single new material.

    The resulting 18-carat Magic Gold must, like other 18-carat alloys, be composed of 750 parts pure gold out of 1000, but the inclusion of ceramic makes this gold scratch-resistant, unlike traditional 18-carat gold.

    Hublot has now passed the experimental stage for its new gold and acquired the means to produce the new material entirely in its own Manufacture, thanks to a high-tech foundry enabling processes such as refractory ceramic sintering and high pressure metal casting.

    The first watches made from Magic Gold will be presented at BaselWorld 2012.

    Sodiac
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  2. #2
    Member dkouzou's Avatar
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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    1. I thought hardened steel was at 1200-1500 vickers, not 600.
    2. Sounds like this gold material is subject to eggshell cracking.... and normal 18K gold's poor scratch resistance makes it easy to polish.

    edit: I totally misread the article... It won't be subject to eggshell cracking.
    Last edited by dkouzou; February 1st, 2012 at 21:23.

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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    Magic, eh? Did it come from the Golden Goose? If I trade a cow for a Magic Gold watch and then plant it in my backyard, will a vine grow so tall that I can climb up it to a giant watch castle on a cloud?

    Pardon my skepticism, but whenever I hear a product advertised that uses the word "magic" in it's name I think informercial and how they only tell the positives while avoiding any drawbacks.

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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    Interesting. A similar process used in dentistry for many years is to infuse a brittle Ceramic matrix with a more flexible molten Glass.

    I guess these cases will be more expensive than a 18K case?

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    Very interesting indeed. Curious about the result
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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    Quote Originally Posted by dkouzou View Post
    1. I thought hardened steel was at 1200-1500 vickers, not 600.
    2. Sounds like this gold material is subject to eggshell cracking.... and normal 18K gold's poor scratch resistance makes it easy to polish.
    Hardened steel is usually around 600 Vickers. For example, the Damasko "ice hardened" steel watch cases are claimed at 710 Vickers. So 1000 Vickers for gold is, well, magic.

    Sodiac
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    Seems like the increased hardness & scratch resistance would largely eliminate the need for polishing, much like the high shine finish found on tungsten watches. It also sounds like the material will avoid some of the failings of a treatment like tegimenting, where only the surface is harder. This material is a ceramic matrix infused with gold, so the entire piece is the same hardness. My guess is that there will be two major drawbacks- first, it will be relatively brittle and more prone to chipping and shattering, like most ceramics, and second, it will be obscenely expensive, since it's 18k gold combined with a seriously high tech manufacturing process. Still, it will be interesting to see how this can be used, "magic"or not.

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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    Infused ceramic matrixes ( Zirconia) are much harder and not as chip prone as normal ceramics.

    The system used by Siements/Sirona for the tecnician made crowns the core is the infused part. Hell to adjust, and almost indestructible.
    I suspect this new "gold" will behave the same.

  10. #9
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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sodiac View Post
    FYI: Just found this interesting article:


    Hublot presents new alloys for watchmaking and jewellery, developed in collaboration with EPFL.

    On Thursday 15th December, in the Metallurgy department of the Hublot Manufacture in Nyon, Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot's CEO, and Andreas Mortensen, a Professor at EFPL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) unveiled a range of brand new alloys which are set to revolutionise the characteristics of precious materials and may also pave the way for new alloys to be used in the high-tech industry.

    This presentation focused on a genuine "fusion" of 24-carat gold (the finest of the noble materials and a natural product) and the very latest in high-tech materials expertise. Almost three years of collaboration and research have gone into achieving this impressive result: a completely new type of noble gold, with patents pending and graded 18 carat by the Central Office for Precious Metals Control. Hublot's 18-carat gold is the world's first scratch-resistant gold, and as such eliminates the age-old vulnerability of gold and its alloys.

    Hardness is a measure of a material's resistance to indentation; doubling a material's hardness means doubling the force required to produce a given indentation. Whereas "standard" high-quality 18-carat gold can reach 400 on the Vickers hardness scale, Hublot gold has a hardness rating of almost 1000 Vickers (most hardened steels are up to 600 Vickers). This makes Hublot gold the hardest in the world, and by some margin: it can only really be "scratched" by diamond.

    Components made from this material are produced using a complex process: boron carbide powder is formed by cold isostatic pressing in moulds very close in shape to that of the finished part, e.g. watch cases, bracelets, bezels, etc. This ceramic - one of the hardest in existence - is also highly refractory: the preforms are then hardened at very high temperatures to create a rigid, porous structure without altering the shape. After this, molten liquid gold is injected under very high pressure.h

    This operation is performed under inert gas pressure, at a sufficiently high temperature and pressure to ensure that the molten metal fills the pores in the ceramic, causing the two to "fuse" into a single new material.

    The resulting 18-carat Magic Gold must, like other 18-carat alloys, be composed of 750 parts pure gold out of 1000, but the inclusion of ceramic makes this gold scratch-resistant, unlike traditional 18-carat gold.

    Hublot has now passed the experimental stage for its new gold and acquired the means to produce the new material entirely in its own Manufacture, thanks to a high-tech foundry enabling processes such as refractory ceramic sintering and high pressure metal casting.

    The first watches made from Magic Gold will be presented at BaselWorld 2012.
    Great info, thanks for sharing.
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  11. #10
    Member gaijin's Avatar
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    Re: "Magic Gold" watch case claimed harder than steel at 1000 Vickers

    It just boils down to less gold for more money. I don't want a ceramic sponge filled with some gold for twice the price.

    "So?"
    -Andrew Breitbart 1969-2012

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