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Mark Wilson 04-26-2002 08:33 AM

Silver Bromide
i have been using silver bromide on my glass art for many years as it leads to some very beautiful effects. i have been buying it from a local glassblower, but for a number of reasons, i would like to make it myself. i believe that he uses silver nitrate and another chemical (possibly sodium bromide). does anyone know the process to make silver bromide that they would be willing to share. thanks in advance.

Henry Halem 04-26-2002 10:05 AM

RE: Silver Bromide
Your in luck. My book Glass Notes has a complete description of how to make exactly what you need and then some.

Pete VanderLaan 04-26-2002 10:06 AM

if you don't have it, buy it. Page 99 3rd edition. It can also be found in Bob Helds' NCECA manual printed back in the sixties. The manual you won't find, get the book, it has other silver recipies as well.

You need 112 grams silver nitrate and 78 grams of sodium bromide. Mix each one separately in a pint of tepid water. Henry says distilled, I use the tap. Once the crystals have totally dissolved pour one into the other while stirring briskly. Make sure the second container is big enough to take the liquid from both beakers.

This will immediately turn into a yellow green sludge that is no longer photosensitive. The sludge will occupy the entire space you gave it.

This is also an exothermic reaction, generating heat, so make sure the water is tepid, not hot because it will get hotter. You don't want to break your containers.

Pour the sludgew into filter paper in a funnel, I use paper towels. Once the liquid is passed thru, squeeze the paper towels ( use lots so they don't break). Take the silver bromide baseball you have just made out and break it into the desired sized chunks. Dry them out at under 400F. Guess why. ( OK, it will melt).

Now this stuff is insoluble in anything that I have ever tried and you will come up with tons of unusable crumbs. Save them and the next time you make bromide, pour them into the bromide beaker and then into the general mix. They will become trapped in the new batch.
Someday I will figure out how to explain making your own silver nitrate which is easy and dangerous. I have yet to pass an OSHA test for my technique. It does reduce the cost of silver nitrate by about half. :dog:

Pete VanderLaan 03-10-2003 10:59 AM


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