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What is Stainless Steel?
Can stainless steel rust? Why? (I thought stainless did not rust!)
What is a tungsten carbide ring?
What is Pewter?


What is Stainless Steel?
Like all types of steel, stainless steel is not a single metal but an alloy that is a material made from two or more separate elements alloyed or "melted" together. What all steels have in common is that their major "ingredient" (alloying element) is the metal iron, to which a small amount of carbon has been added. Stainless steel was invented early in the 20th century when it was discovered that a certain amount of the metal chromium (usually a minimum of 11 per cent) added to ordinary steel gave it a bright shiny gloss and made it highly resistant to tarnishing and rusting. This rust-resisting property which we call “corrosion resistance” is what sets stainless steel apart from most other forms of steel.

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Can stainless steel rust? Why? (I thought stainless did not rust!)
Stainless steel is rust resistant not because it won't react with oxygen, but because when it does it forms an oxide layer that protects the underlying metal. Regular iron forms flaky rust that allows oxygen to get to the rest of the metal. So stainless can rust if there is something that removes the oxide layer as it forms.

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What is a tungsten carbide ring?
Tungsten carbide is a combination of tungsten and carbon, producing a very hard metallic like “ceramic” material. You could call it “metal” but for the process used to make the material. Recently, as you know, “tungsten” rings have come onto the marked, hot on the heels of titanium jewelry bands. Both metals are quite durable but the look is different both in color and overall hardness. Also, though titanium is quite durable and hard, the metal is extremely lightweight. Tungsten bands are not nearly so light. Try on one of each sometime and see the difference in look and heft. Because the material is so hard, the surface finish is not scratched in normal wear to nearly the extent of gold jewelry. Also, because the material is so hard, if for some reason the ring must be removed from an injured or swollen finger, tungsten cannot be simply sawn through as with gold or platinum jewelry. One method of removing a tungsten band from the finger is to place the ring(and finger) into a vice and squeeze gently on the band until it crushes. The vice will not go further and the finger is ok in this “horrific sounding” process. A sharp hammer blow can do the same thing but will not likely spare the finger! Tungsten carbide is very hard but is brittle compared to normal jewelry metals and materials. Gold will bend and tungsten will not. The material will break before it will bend. Obviously, a tungsten carbide band cannot be resized and must be purchased in correct size to start with. As for price, while you might get a similar band of titanium in the $100-200 range, the tungsten ring will be closer to $300-400.

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What is Pewter?
Pewter is a metal alloy, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder consisting of copper and antimony, acting as hardeners, with the addition of lead for the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint. The word pewter is probably a variation of the word spelter. Our products dont have Lead in them.

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Last Updated: 16 Jul 2008 15:29:30 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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