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Determining composition of scrap Zinc/Alum alloy

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  • rogers92026
    I have been separating some of my scrap aluminum from scrap zinc based upon the calculation of density or specific gravity. I want to try casting at lower
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 16, 2007
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      I have been separating some of my scrap aluminum from scrap zinc
      based upon the calculation of density or specific gravity. I want to
      try casting at lower temperatures in Zinc. I calculate the density
      based upon the weight of the sample and the weight of the water that
      it displaces (Perhaps Archimedes principle or something).

      I ran across a handfull of solid kitchen faucet handles (Delta) that
      are quite dense, making me think that they were primarily zinc. They
      have a density or specific gravity of around 6.35 versus 7.14 for
      zinc and 2.7 for aluminum. The metal is shiny-white (not brass), non-
      magnetic and doesn't spark when ground. It cuts fairly readily
      although it may possibly load up the saw teeth a bit. There were a
      couple of small isolated spots on the material where the
      metal "rotted" leading me to think that this cannot be stainless.
      The base metal was copper plated and then (probably) nickle plated
      prior to electro-painting white. If it were just aluminum and zinc,
      it would equate to about 82% zinc and 18 percent aluminum. But this
      seems to be kind of a strange ratio. Most Zamak and die casting
      metals don't have nearly this much aluminum. I haven't yet melted
      these, so I don't know the melting point.

      Has anyone else melted down solid (non-brass) faucet handles? If so,
      how did it work? Does it make sense that they may be only 80% zinc?

      Bruce
    • Daniel C Postellon
      I ve melted some faucet bonnets that seemed to be a zinc alloy. Plated zinc seems to be common in the decorative parts of plumbing fixtures. I suppose they
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 16, 2007
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        I've melted some faucet "bonnets" that seemed to be a zinc alloy. Plated
        zinc seems to be common in the decorative parts of plumbing fixtures. I
        suppose they could be bismuth or other alloys, though.
        > I have been separating some of my scrap aluminum from scrap zinc
        > based upon the calculation of density or specific gravity. I want to
        > try casting at lower temperatures in Zinc. I calculate the density
        > based upon the weight of the sample and the weight of the water that
        > it displaces (Perhaps Archimedes principle or something).
        >
        > I ran across a handfull of solid kitchen faucet handles (Delta) that
        > are quite dense, making me think that they were primarily zinc. They
        > have a density or specific gravity of around 6.35 versus 7.14 for
        > zinc and 2.7 for aluminum. The metal is shiny-white (not brass), non-
        > magnetic and doesn't spark when ground. It cuts fairly readily
        > although it may possibly load up the saw teeth a bit. There were a
        > couple of small isolated spots on the material where the
        > metal "rotted" leading me to think that this cannot be stainless.
        > The base metal was copper plated and then (probably) nickle plated
        > prior to electro-painting white. If it were just aluminum and zinc,
        > it would equate to about 82% zinc and 18 percent aluminum. But this
        > seems to be kind of a strange ratio. Most Zamak and die casting
        > metals don't have nearly this much aluminum. I haven't yet melted
        > these, so I don't know the melting point.
        >
        > Has anyone else melted down solid (non-brass) faucet handles? If so,
        > how did it work? Does it make sense that they may be only 80% zinc?
        >
        > Bruce
        >
      • john amy
        Obviously, what you want is a spectrometer. For the uninitiated, the spectrometer is an instrument which burns a very small sample with an intense source of
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 16, 2007
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          Obviously, what you want is a spectrometer. For the uninitiated, the spectrometer is an instrument which burns a very small sample with an intense source of heat such as an arc, and divides the light produced into its component colors, and measures the strength of each color. The last time I had samples tested with one of the devices, the machine was as big as a small room, and produced a 10 inch strip chart which displayed a spike for each element found in the sample. I then had to compare this output to specifications for various alloys until I found what I had. Now for the fun part. I was watching "Dirty Jobs" on the tube the other day, and they were at a scrap metal yard. They had a hand held device which they could hold against a piece of unknown metal, and it immediately produced the name of the alloy. 7071 al as I remember. Another miracle of modern science!

          John
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Daniel C Postellon<mailto:postello@...>
          To: hobbicast@yahoogroups.com<mailto:hobbicast@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 3:03 PM
          Subject: Re: [hobbicast] Determining composition of scrap Zinc/Alum alloy


          I've melted some faucet "bonnets" that seemed to be a zinc alloy. Plated
          zinc seems to be common in the decorative parts of plumbing fixtures. I
          suppose they could be bismuth or other alloys, though.
          > I have been separating some of my scrap aluminum from scrap zinc
          > based upon the calculation of density or specific gravity. I want to
          > try casting at lower temperatures in Zinc. I calculate the density
          > based upon the weight of the sample and the weight of the water that
          > it displaces (Perhaps Archimedes principle or something).
          >
          > I ran across a handfull of solid kitchen faucet handles (Delta) that
          > are quite dense, making me think that they were primarily zinc. They
          > have a density or specific gravity of around 6.35 versus 7.14 for
          > zinc and 2.7 for aluminum. The metal is shiny-white (not brass), non-
          > magnetic and doesn't spark when ground. It cuts fairly readily
          > although it may possibly load up the saw teeth a bit. There were a
          > couple of small isolated spots on the material where the
          > metal "rotted" leading me to think that this cannot be stainless.
          > The base metal was copper plated and then (probably) nickle plated
          > prior to electro-painting white. If it were just aluminum and zinc,
          > it would equate to about 82% zinc and 18 percent aluminum. But this
          > seems to be kind of a strange ratio. Most Zamak and die casting
          > metals don't have nearly this much aluminum. I haven't yet melted
          > these, so I don't know the melting point.
          >
          > Has anyone else melted down solid (non-brass) faucet handles? If so,
          > how did it work? Does it make sense that they may be only 80% zinc?
          >
          > Bruce
          >





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        • jesse Brennan
          Could be a high aluminum casting alloy ---ZA 27 has 27% aluminum ( for strong thin sections)and ZA 12 has 12% aluminum . for info on zinc alloys
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 16, 2007
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            Could be a high aluminum casting alloy ---ZA 27 has 27%
            aluminum ( for strong thin sections)and ZA 12 has 12% aluminum .

            for info on zinc alloys check: http://www.eazall.com

            jesse


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          • Jeshua Lacock
            ... For those that might be interested - I came across an excellent article on how to build a spectroscope with a CD-ROM, aluminum tape, and a shoe box.
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 17, 2007
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              On Jul 16, 2007, at 4:56 PM, john amy wrote:

              > Obviously, what you want is a spectrometer. For the uninitiated,
              > the spectrometer is an instrument which burns a very small sample
              > with an intense source of heat such as an arc, and divides the
              > light produced into its component colors, and measures the strength
              > of each color. The last time I had samples tested with one of the
              > devices, the machine was as big as a small room, and produced a 10
              > inch strip chart which displayed a spike for each element found in
              > the sample. I then had to compare this output to specifications for
              > various alloys until I found what I had. Now for the fun part. I
              > was watching "Dirty Jobs" on the tube the other day, and they were
              > at a scrap metal yard. They had a hand held device which they could
              > hold against a piece of unknown metal, and it immediately produced
              > the name of the alloy. 7071 al as I remember. Another miracle of
              > modern science!

              For those that might be interested - I came across an excellent
              article on how to build a spectroscope with a CD-ROM, aluminum tape,
              and a "shoe" box.

              http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/light/cd_spectroscope/
              spectroscope.html


              I have not built one yet (on the list of toys), but it seems like it
              can be useful. Add a used/cheap digital camera and optionally some
              opensource spectral analysis software and I imagine you would be
              capable of doing some pretty decent science at the homestead.

              In addition to burning the samples as John suggested, it is my
              understanding that you can analyze anything that "glows" (if using a
              camera you can increase the exposure) - hint your melt , and
              including your emissions in great detail - in case you have ever been
              curious to "see" the invisible or if ever you might have ambitions to
              go commercial...


              Cheers,


              -Jeshua
            • Jack
              Another way of determining the composition of an alloy is to use a MASS SPECTROMETER. Details of building such an instrument are to be found in the JULY 1970
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 19, 2007
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                Another way of determining the composition of an alloy is to use a
                MASS SPECTROMETER. Details of building such an instrument are to be
                found in the JULY 1970 issue of Scientific American.

                As with an optical spectroscope, a mass spectrometer can determine
                WHAT is in the alloy, but NOT how much of each constituent. To find
                out how much of each constituent is in the alloy, you will need to
                resort to chemical and/or electrochemical processes.
                Jack




                --- In hobbicast@yahoogroups.com, Jeshua Lacock <jeshua@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > On Jul 16, 2007, at 4:56 PM, john amy wrote:
                >
                > > Obviously, what you want is a spectrometer. For the uninitiated,
                > > the spectrometer is an instrument which burns a very small
                sample
                > > with an intense source of heat such as an arc, and divides the
                > > light produced into its component colors, and measures the
                strength
                > > of each color. The last time I had samples tested with one of
                the
                > > devices, the machine was as big as a small room, and produced a
                10
                > > inch strip chart which displayed a spike for each element found
                in
                > > the sample. I then had to compare this output to specifications
                for
                > > various alloys until I found what I had. Now for the fun part. I
                > > was watching "Dirty Jobs" on the tube the other day, and they
                were
                > > at a scrap metal yard. They had a hand held device which they
                could
                > > hold against a piece of unknown metal, and it immediately
                produced
                > > the name of the alloy. 7071 al as I remember. Another miracle of
                > > modern science!
                >
                > For those that might be interested - I came across an excellent
                > article on how to build a spectroscope with a CD-ROM, aluminum
                tape,
                > and a "shoe" box.
                >
                > http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/light/cd_spectroscope/
                > spectroscope.html
                >
                >
                > I have not built one yet (on the list of toys), but it seems like
                it
                > can be useful. Add a used/cheap digital camera and optionally some
                > opensource spectral analysis software and I imagine you would be
                > capable of doing some pretty decent science at the homestead.
                >
                > In addition to burning the samples as John suggested, it is my
                > understanding that you can analyze anything that "glows" (if using
                a
                > camera you can increase the exposure) - hint your melt , and
                > including your emissions in great detail - in case you have ever
                been
                > curious to "see" the invisible or if ever you might have ambitions
                to
                > go commercial...
                >
                >
                > Cheers,
                >
                >
                > -Jeshua
                >
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