Patent Granted for Research in Developing Tarnish Resistant Silver Alloys


Yet another groundbreaking achievement for the researchers at SRM University-AP! Prof. Ranjit Thapa, Dean-Research and Professor, Department of Physics, Prof. G S Vinod Kumar, Professor and Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Ms Harsha K, PhD scholar, continue to make their mark in the university’s excellent research legacy by having their patent “Tarnish Resistant Silver Composition and a Process for its Preparation” being granted by the Indian Patent Office. This innovative research team has used density functional theory to explain the tarnishing of silver. Their work also focuses on finding alloying elements that protect silver.


The research is on the development of tarnish-resistant silver alloys from an experimental and computational perspective. With time, silver atoms on the surface of the metal undergo sulphidation and form Ag2S molecules. These particles will accumulate to form a layer whose thickness goes beyond 10nm, and then the human eye will start to find a discolouration on the surface of silver, which is tarnish. The stain colour changes from light yellow to dark brown. This reduces the lustre of silver and makes them aesthetically non-pleasing. The silver jewellery and articles manufacturing industry suffers from this tarnishing as it leads to the loss of material and money and ruins intricate designs made of silver. The research study attempts the problem by alloying silver with appropriate elements, which are computationally checked and verified. The team works with alloying elements such as Cu, Zn, Ge, Ti, Zr, Mg, Al, and Be. Along with tarnish resistance, the proposed alloys maintain high reflectance, good hardness, and excellent workability when spinning.


Figure.1 The images of different silver alloys after accelerated tarnish test in as-cast condition (first row) and after undergoing passivation heat treatment at 450°C for 1 hour in the presence of oxygen (second row).

Practical implementation/social implications of the research

  • Stainless silver is in demand as customers want their precious metal articles to be kept for a longer time as heirlooms. So, the product that we could develop out of our composition will be making more demand for silver.
  • It can increase the market potential of silver.
  • It can lead to more innovations in the jewellery industry.


  • Waman Hari Pethe
  • Ashlyn Chemmannur

The team would continue to work on the scope of research to develop more tarnish-resistant compositions, improve the tensile strength, scratch resistance, surface hardness, and workability of silver alloys and find novel elements which can add to desirable properties of silver.


Figure.2 Reflectance of alloys (a) before tarnish test (b) after tarnish test

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