Professor R K Dube


A Sanskrit reference from the Chāndogya Upaniṣad in the form of a simile, dealing with joining of gold pieces by solid state diffusion bonding without the use of any external filler metal, is discussed. Both unrefined native gold and alloyed gold were used in antiquity. The presence of a base metal oxide film is detrimental to good quality diffusion bonding. The ancient Indian process used consisted of cleaning the surfaces to be joined, followed by heating them together in close contact. The generic term lavaṇa was used for substances used for cleaning the gold surfaces. Alternatively, lavaṇa substances were used to create a thin layer of pure gold on the surface by either depletion gilding or a cementation process. Such lavaṇa-treated gold pieces kept in close contact were heated leading to diffusion bonding. Availability of lavaṇa substances in the Sindhu (Indus) valley and adjoining areas is also discussed.


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How to Cite
Solid state diffusion bonding of gold: a Sanskrit reference from Vedic literature. (2021). Historical Metallurgy, 52(2), 73-82.