March 28, 2020, 07:19:28 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: Chemistry of Guitar  (Read 145 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Corbin

  • Very New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Chemistry of Guitar
« on: March 26, 2020, 09:37:00 AM »
Hey guys,

I have never posted on a forum before so excuse me if I don't exactly know what I'm doing.

I am making a project (online now) on the chemical composition of guitar strings. I know the materials, such as the phosphor bronze, the high carbon steel etc. (I'm not exactly well versed in chemistry terms) I was trying to find diagrams, or even like a formula for some of these composites? I apologize it's hard to ask for something when you don't know what you're asking for. I would greatly appreciate some help in figuring out what I am looking for, and getting like a diagram to put into this project.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Offline AWK

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7118
  • Mole Snacks: +501/-84
  • Gender: Male
Re: Chemistry of Guitar
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 09:48:23 AM »
Search patents.
AWK

Offline billnotgatez

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3912
  • Mole Snacks: +212/-56
  • Gender: Male
Re: Chemistry of Guitar
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 03:03:55 PM »
What were your results when you typed in GOOGLE

Quote
how guitar strings are made

Then let us know what you do not understand from the results

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3343
  • Mole Snacks: +282/-57
Re: Chemistry of Guitar
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 11:15:29 AM »
Hi fellow musician, welcome here,

are all those strings made of metal? On some instruments (harp, bowed strings...) the core is polyamide, catgut or some more recent material, spun with a metal wire, sometimes two.

Alloys have a "composition" rather than a "formula". Some alloy elements are miscible in any proportion, for instance Cu and Ni, so we couldn't give a chemical formula like CuNi2 like we do for H2O. Other elements do make compounds in fixed proportions, for instance Fe3C, and these compounds can precipitate in the alloy, but the crystals they form are dispersed in a matrix of different composition. Exceptionally, the matrix can have nearly-fixed proportions like TiAl, but then it dissolves alloying elements or contains precipitates, in variable amount.

All together, the composition of an alloy varies continuously, so we don't give a formula for it, with integer coefficients on the numbers of atoms, but a composition, with decimal proportions of the mass of the elements.

If you search the Web for "high carbon steel" or "phosphor bronze", some designations suggest a composition, like XC90 or 42CrMo4, while other don't. Each economic zone has (several) different systems of naming, and the alloys are not fully equivalent. When you know a designation, the manufacturer's data gives a range of alloy composition. Many "high carbon steel" and "phosphor bronze" alloys exist, and usually the string manufacturer doesn't tell which one he uses.

The processing history of the string is as important as its composition. Musical strings must be extremely resistant, because usually they shall propagate the sound faster than air does, and when the instrument doesn't need that, the string's core is overspun with metal wire so the core is extremely stressed nevertheless. For steel, 342m/s means 920MPa tensile stress, but 1.3*342m/s is better, and the string needs margins, so well over 2000MPa is desired. This is obtained by cold-drawing the wire extremely. The process was invented for music instruments, especially pianos, and later aeroplanes and other activities used the "piano wire" too.

One manufacturer here
https://www.roeslau-draht.com/en/products/data-sheets/
guaranteed 2790MPa, wooooooow.  :o

My ramblings about music strings there
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/117420-string-instruments/
http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=98904.0

Offline Corribus

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2857
  • Mole Snacks: +450/-21
  • Gender: Male
  • A lover of spectroscopy and chocolate.
Re: Chemistry of Guitar
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 11:34:22 AM »
What about the most critical thing: the material affects the combination of overtone frequencies that contribute to the sounds of notes played!
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Corbin

  • Very New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Re: Chemistry of Guitar
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 12:37:24 PM »
Thank you guys so much for the *delete me* I have since finished my project genuinely with the help of all of you, exception 1 haha. I genuinely appreciate the time you guys took out of your day to answer, let alone read the post (billnotgatez didn't lol). Happy quarantine everyone.

Sponsored Links