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Paper, 'The liquation of gold and platinum alloys' by Edward Matthey

Reference number: PP/15/13

Date: 1890


Matthey writes: 'It is a well known fact that when molten alloys of certain metals are cooled, some of the constituents separate and become concentrated either in the centre or in the external portions of the solidified mass; to this segregation the name of liquation is given. It is specially noticeable in the case of silver-copper alloys, and its importance is now being widely recognised in almost all branches of metallurgy. In the case of gold, however, the phenomenon of liquation does not appear to have been much observed. Gold alloys, to the value of many millions sterling, pass annually from hand to hand upon the results of assays cut from the external portions of ingots, which assays cannot, of course, be trustworthy, if the centre of the bars differs in composition from the external portions. Peligot has recently endeavoured to obtain evidence of liquation in gold-copper alloys, and has concluded that it does not exist. Roberts-Austen, who has devoted much time to the study of liquation, has also satisfied himself that gold-silver alloys do not rearrange themselves on cooling.'

Annotations in pencil and ink. Includes one page of diagrams.

Subject: Metallurgy

Received 17 January 1890. Communicated by the President [George Gabriel Stokes].

A version of this paper was published in volume 47 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'The liquation of gold and platinum alloys'.

Reference number
Earliest possible date
Physical description
Ink and graphite pencil on paper
Page extent
7 pages

Creator name

Edward Matthey

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Edward Matthey, Paper, 'The liquation of gold and platinum alloys' by Edward Matthey, 1890, PP/15/13, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 01 March 2024

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    Dates: 1882 - 1894

    The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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