A homogeneous metallic mixture or solid solution composed of two or more elements. When molten metals are combined, the atoms of one metal will either replace or occupy interstitial positions between the atoms of the other metal to create an alloy.
Symbol: Sb; Atomic number: 51. Antimony is a chemical element that may be alloyed with tin to create pewter, solder and other alloys. It has a lustrous grey metalloid and can be found in nature. While antimony is a toxic element and should be handled with care, its properties make it ideal for use in metal alloys, ball bearings and electronics.
Symbol: Bi; Atomic number: 83. Bismuth chemically resembles antimony and is 86% as dense as lead, making it an ideal non-toxic substitute for the more harmful metals. Bismuth’s high thermal conductivity gives it a remarkably low melting point. It is often used in metal alloys and for cosmetics, medicines and medical procedures
Also called britannium or white metal. It is a pewter alloy with a relatively high ratio of antimony that is favored for its silver appearance and smooth surface finish. Typically 92% tin, 6% antimony and 2% copper, it is stronger than other pewter alloys and can be made by cold-forming the alloy in sheet form. Britannia is close in chemical composition to our 92-8 alloy.
Symbol: Cd; Atomic number: 48. A soft, bluish-white metal, it has a low melting point and is chemically similar to zinc and mercury. Cadmium can be toxic in certain forms and concentrations and should be handled with care. Due to a low coefficient of friction and its resistance to fatigue, Cadmium is often used in bearing and solder and low melt alloys. It can also be used in pigments, coatings and plating, although such uses have declined in recent years.
A manufacturing process whereby molten metal is poured into a mold to form a desired shape and then allowed to cool and solidify. The solidified article is called a casting. Casting allows complex shapes to be made in an economical manner.
Symbol: Cu; Atomic number: 29. Copper is a ductile metal that has high thermal and electrical conductivity properties. It is used in various metal alloys, including pewter, in relatively small amounts to avoid tarnishing.
The type of pewter used to create plates and dishes; called “flatware” to distinguish it from hollow-ware. Flatware pewter contains tin and copper, while hollow-ware can contain up to 4% lead.
An official mark struck on items to signify the purity and fineness of the metal. Historically used on precious materials, true hallmarks serve as a guarantee that the metal composition is as marked.
Symbol: Pb; Atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable metal, considered one of the heavy metals. When melted into a liquid, lead has a shiny chrome-silver luster. While inexpensive, lead can be poisonous to animals and humans at certain exposure levels. Lead can be alloyed with other metals and is typically used in building construction, batteries, bullets, weights, leaded pewters, solders and fusible alloys.
Pewter is a predominantly tin-based alloy, typically containing between 90-98% tin composition. Additional metals are added to create the pewter alloy, including antimony (1-8%) and copper (.25-3%) for strength and color. Modern pewter does not contain lead.
A fusible metal alloy usually made up of lead and tin. Its relatively low melting point makes it ideal for joining pieces of metal together. To solder refers to the process of connecting metals together with a solder bond.
Symbol: Sn; Atomic number: 50. Tin is the main element used in pewter and other metal alloys. It is ideal for use in alloys because it resists corrosion, is soft and ductile.