The following table outlines common problems and causes when soldering, plating, and stone setting Swarovski products, and offers advice on how to avoid them. Further details and more extensive descriptions can be found in the section marked with a
The solder joints crack.
The jewelry piece has restricted movement.
The metal surface is defective.
The metal surface is uneven.
Defective finishing on the soldered areas.
Corrosion occurs on the metal.
1, 2, 3, 4
The crystal chips off.
The crystal becomes discolored.
10, 11, 12, 13
14, 15, 16, 17
|1||Too little solder is used. This weakens the solder joint, as the soldering gap is not completely filled.||Use more solder.|
|2||Too much solder is used. A large solder joint can result in cracks, because any force applied to the piece directly affects the solder.||Use less solder, especially in the areas close to the moving parts. Too much solder at these parts restrict their flexibility.|
|3||The flow of the solder is insufficient.||The following factors contribute to a sufficient flow of solder:|
- The flame needs to be strong enough so that both solder and cup can heat up to the required working temperature.
- To make sure the flux cannot vaporize, the soldering temperature must not exceed 280 °C (536 °F). A vaporized flux means that the solder is not able to cover the metal surface.
- The melting temperature of the solder must not be higher than 280 °C (536 °F).
|4||The metal surface, solder, flux or solder mold is dirty.||Special attention must be paid to use clean (and above all grease free) metal surfaces.|
|5||Exposure to the finishing process has been too long.||The exposure time for functional and flexible elements should be kept as short as possible. Optimizing the polishing processes and the use of high quality electrolytes is also recommended.|
|6||Insufficient cleaning after soldering.||Incorrect cleaning has a negative impact on the finishing process. Carefully check the cleaning process.|
|7||Poor quality of polishing. The metal surface shows irregularities like burns or an orange color.||Careful polish the product and take care that the processor plating baths are set up correctly.|
|8||Unsightly finishing on the solder areas can have several causes: |
-insufficient cleaning after the soldering process
-the use of sulfuric acid in the pickling process (if lead-containing solder has been used)
-the absence of or incorrect use of copper plating.
|Carefully follow the soldering steps described in this chapter.|
|9||Insufficient rinsing or using contaminated rinsing water can cause tarnishing or corrosion.||The transfer times between the individual stages of the process should be kept as short as possible. Rapid tarnishing of silver can be prevented by using effective tarnishing protective systems (e.g. coatings, wax, lacquer etc.).|
|10||Poor quality of solder mold.||The solder mold must be designed in such a way that hardly any pressure is needed to position the Cupchain segment into the mold. The crystals may be damaged if there are high levels of mechanical stress on the cups, or if the cups are deformed.|
|11||Thermal shock during the soldering or cooling process can cause tension in the crystals.||Avoid extreme differences in temperature during and after the soldering and cooling process.|
|12||When using polishing drums, the surface of the crystals can be damaged through hard polishing components in the rotating machine.||Mechanical stress levels should be kept as low as possible. Check the quantity of articles used, the polishing agents and time, as well as the rotating speed and the height of the fall.|
|13||Using barrel plating can damage crystals in heavy or sharp Cupchains due to the Cupchains' size or shape.||In general it is recommended that Cupchain jewelry should be finished on a plating rack. If using a barrel plating, choose the best type of drum and optimize the rotation and the fall height. When the drum is between the different stages of the finishing process and contains no liquid, the items being plated inside the drum may damage each other.|
|14||The soldering temperature is too high.||If the soldering flame is too strong or the soldering times are too long, there is the danger to overheat the solder joints. This can damage the crystals. It can be helpful using a solder that melts at a lower temperature.|
|15||Too much solder is in the cups. This can damage the crystals' foiling and subsequently leads to discoloring.||To make sure the right amount of solder is used, remove one crystal from the cup. If there is any solder left in the cup, reduce the amount of solder. This can be achieved by using a solder wire with a maximum diameter of 1 mm or by reducing the time the solder is in contact with the cups.|
|16||Incorrect cleaning with ultrasonic can damage the foiling of the crystals.||Take care not to use the ultrasonic too intensively or for too long time.|
|17||Faults occured during the finishing process.||Check the alkalinity, currency density, exposure times and temperatures of the plating baths used. Further mistakes could be incorrect rinsing and post processing techniques.|