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Aluminium

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  • Mike
    Hi Brian, ... toxicity,not necessarily,think,????????,if its cheaper than stainless and copper why do the white coats avoid it like the plague. it has
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 1999
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      Hi Brian,

      You wrote:
      -----people assumed i was referring to aluminium
      toxicity,not necessarily,think,????????,if its cheaper
      than stainless and copper why do the "white coats"
      avoid it like the plague. it has never been and never
      will be used commercially.

      I hadn't forgotten about your comments on aluminium - I wanted
      to do a little checking up before answering (and I'll be intrigued too
      with what Tony Ackland has to say). Turns out that although
      aluminium is relatively inexpensive, it's strength is way below that
      of stainless steel, even when the strength is increased by alloying.
      Small things like pots, pans, beautifully spun dome lids for stills, etc
      are all easily constructed and easier to work than SS - although
      welding either is a pain, simple gas welding of Al is easier than MIG
      welding of SS. However, large items as employed in commercial
      operations require more strength than aluminium alloys can provide,
      and have the added advantage that they are tougher all round and
      stand up to wear and tear better giving a longer life (Tony may have
      comment on that bit) Hence more cost effective. The huge tankers
      that hurtle past me every day on the motorway carrying milk to make
      deeelicious NZ butters and cheeses (rush out and buy some today!!!!!!)
      all use stainless steel tanks.

      No aluminium salts should come off with the vapour from an aluminium
      boiler as they all have very, very low vapour pressures. However, to be
      certain I'm not talking out of the back of my neck I tested some product
      and voila! No aluminium salts!! If you want to test yourself, it's easy -
      just get some household ammonia and add a few drops to your product.
      If aluminium salts are present they will deposit in a white precipitate that
      doesn't dissolve as you add more ammonia. Now do the same with
      caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) and you will get a white deposit again,
      but one which does dissolve as you add more caustic soda. Both
      ammonia solution and caustic soda should be readily available in either
      the supermarket or, if not, certainly at a pharmacy.

      I hope this is useful info for anyone using aluminium in their stills and
      who want to be sure that none is coming across with the product.

      All the best,
      Mike
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