Recently, a customer inquired as to why he could not buy a
Custom Aurumite 14k, 14k white gold, or platinum flute with drawn tone
holes.We had the chance to speak with
Powell’s President, Steven Wasser, to find the answer…
Closer view of the Signature flutes.
Mr. Wasser explained that the reason why drawn tone holes
were not an option for flutes made from these metals is because of the metals’
ductility.Ductility is essentially the
metal’s capacity to be drawn out into a different shape (without
breaking).If a metal has a high level
of ductility, it would have the capacity to withstand the tone hole drawing
process.In this process, Wasser
explains “the tubing is pulled out of a small hole in the flute body into a
tall ‘chimney’ to form the tone hole.It is then rolled over and flattened to create the surface for the pad
to close against” (from the post Tone Holes - Drawn or Soldered?, May 16, 2012).
Super close-up on drawn tone holes.
All metals have a ductility level, and both white gold and
platinum have reduced ductility – therefore, they do not flow the same way a
much more ductile metal like silver would.Aurumite is comprised of two different metals – one outer layer of
silver, and one inner layer of 14k gold.Silver and gold have differing levels of ductility, and the layers will
want to move at different rates (with silver wanting to move faster than
gold).Although a numeric value is not
always given for a metal’s ductility, a certain level is needed for the metal
to be successfully drawn into tone holes.Wasser states that a “100% success level is needed,” so if even one tone
hole does not form properly in the drawing process, drawn tone holes would not
be an option for that particular metal.In this case, it would be the Aurumite 14k, 14k white gold, and platinum.