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Microstructural Kinetics Group

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy
 
Development of new precious-metal BMG compositions
Kinetics of Amorphous Materials

Biography

PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge (Queens' College). Kindly supported by the Goldsmiths' Charity and Assay Office, London. Researching Bulk Metallic Glasses (BMGs) based on precious metals for use as materials for Jewellery.

M.A. in Natural Sciences (Class I) – University of Cambridge

M.Sci. in Materials Science (Class I) – University of Cambridge

Recipient of Part IA Rolls-Royce Materials Prize (Top two in first-year undergraduate course) and Part II CEGB Prize (2nd in year for final year study (M.A.)).

Research

My research interest is improving the tarnish resistance of gold-based bulk metallic glasses (BMGs). The partitioning of elemental copper and internal oxidation of silicon leads to abnormally fast tarnishing of these alloys.

Gold-based BMGs are an exciting development for jewellery, specifically those which are Hallmark compliant (18 K i.e. >75 wt.% Au). They offer the possibility of more wear and scratch-resistant jewellery pieces, whilst also opening up new possibilities for design through thermoplastic forming processing (i.e. processing like plastics).

Publications

Key publications: 
  1. Owain S. Houghton, "A search for long-lasting luster and fineness: Developments in Bulk Metallic Glasess in Jewellery" in The Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology 2020, Met-Chem Research, Albuerquerque, New Mexico, USA, 2020.
  2. Owain S. Houghton, A. Lindsay Greer, "A Conflict of Fineness and Stability: Platinum and Palladium-Based Bulk Metallic Glasses for Jewellery: Part I", Johnson Matthey Technology Review, 2021 LINK .
  3. Owain S. Houghton, A. Lindsay Greer, "A Conflict of Fineness and Stability: Platinum and Palladium-Based Bulk Metallic Glasses for Jewellery: Part II", Johnson Matthey Technology Review, 2021 LINK .

Teaching and Supervisions

Teaching: 

I supervise students at Queens' and Robinson College for the Part IB Materials Science Courses (Natural Sciences Tripos).

Goldsmiths' PhD Studentship: Metallic glasses based on precious metals
 Owain  Houghton

Contact Details

Email address: 
34357
Not available for consultancy

Affiliations

Classifications: 

Latest news

From meteorite to magnet

2 November 2022