Re: alloying


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Posted by joewizard on January 03, 19100 at 11:25:28:

In Reply to: Re: alloying posted by bpfink on January 03, 19100 at 07:30:55:

[i hope this isnt being posted twice.. if it is, i apologize.]

Thanks for the tip. I'll keep looking. Finding some would sure speed up this project. The idea of being able make alloys is also attractive, for the long haul. I suspect that some alloying techniques may be the sort of thing that people keep to themselves. Hopefully, what i need is or was common knowledge.

My local metal recycler/junkyard has a couple of skinny guys armed with torches who pounce on anything that looks like it has some copper content. It is cut free, put into the copper bin, and shipped out fast (probably to pay this month's rent :) Once i found 4 spa pumps and got a bit of silicon bronze, but the pickings are slim. I did buy about 50 pounds of electrical bus bars, pure copper except for the silver plating. He would not let me into the small woodshed they came from to look around.. On occasion they have saved things for me.. it sure won't hurt to ask.

A fine aluminum casting alloy is plentiful, of course, in engine cylinder heads, and the like.

There is lots of diecast zinc, variations of Zamak, as the base casting of carburetors, for instance. What attracts me to die cast zinc is the precision and detail it's capable of reproducing, and the comfortable working temperature. However, that stuff freezes very slowly in a pattern's thick sections, and the large crystals spoil the surface.. so far no success in getting a good zinc casting using the investment method. Maybe it needs a cold steel mold. A cold plaster mold doesn't cut it. If anyone has ideas about this, i'd sure be interested.

Most of the rest of a carburetor is a aluminum die cast alloy.. also puzzling to work with.

Metal recyclers can be a great source for many things. The local one services a few large manufacturers who often upgrade long sections of assembly lines, tearing out the old, and dumping it for the scrap value. It's not at all uncommon to see a 500$ valve assembly or expensive automatic control system, mostly in perfect working order, laying around in the dirt. I usually get that type of thing for around the estimated metal value, or for a couple dollars if its not worth cutting up.

If they trust you to not break your neck rummaging around, a scrap yard can be a gold mine.

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