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pot detritus

nemesisenforcernemesisenforcer Member Posts: 10,513 ✭✭✭
So when I melt down my WW, I flux, stir, and skim the clips off obviously. I periodically flux and stir like I'm supposed to, but if I go for an extended session, "dirt" for lack of a better term turns up on the surface of of the alloy and won't flux or mix back in.

I just got back from putting my pot up after letting it cool down and it was on top and just dumped out.. It's the consistency of mildly sandy dirt and has flakes of yellow in it.

What is it and what should I do with it?

Comments

  • brier-49brier-49 Member Posts: 6,645 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ash from everything that burned up. Just skim it off.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,980 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you are seeing a yellow deposit it could be arsenic coming out of your alloy, use some caution with it. Fluxing is helpful to remove dirt and impurities, the dirt floating on top of your melt is a good sign that you are fluxing well. [:D]

    Scoop it off and dispose of it outside.
  • nemesisenforcernemesisenforcer Member Posts: 10,513 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bpost
    If you are seeing a yellow deposit it could be arsenic coming out of your alloy, use some caution with it. Fluxing is helpful to remove dirt and impurities, the dirt floating on top of your melt is a good sign that you are fluxing well. [:D]

    Scoop it off and dispose of it outside.




    Aresenic? Awesome.
  • XXCrossXXCross Member Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    And if it's black it's probably the antimony. Lead alloys are not true "alloys" at all and the components seperate quite easily.
  • Bill JordanBill Jordan Member Posts: 1,402 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Wow; we used to call it "seeds and stems".
  • nemesisenforcernemesisenforcer Member Posts: 10,513 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by XXCross
    And if it's black it's probably the antimony. Lead alloys are not true "alloys" at all and the components seperate quite easily.


    It's black to gray, but dry and the texture of dirt. it seems to be most prevalent when I melt down a batch and when it's been cooking for awhile, but the melt is relatively clear and clean after and before those stages.

    I keep my Lee 10lb. bottom pour pot at 5.5-7 so I don't think it's getting too hot and separating out everything.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,980 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nemesisenforcer
    quote:Originally posted by XXCross
    And if it's black it's probably the antimony. Lead alloys are not true "alloys" at all and the components seperate quite easily.


    It's black to gray, but dry and the texture of dirt. it seems to be most prevalent when I melt down a batch and when it's been cooking for awhile, but the melt is relatively clear and clean after and before those stages.

    I keep my Lee 10lb. bottom pour pot at 5.5-7 so I don't think it's getting too hot and separating out everything.


    Arsenic is good in bullet alloy, it helps bind the alloy together and adds hardness. If you have a pyrometer you might want to check your temps. It sounds like you might be a bit on the hot side.
  • XXCrossXXCross Member Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Um....I don't really want to get into a long drawn out discussion on metallurgical issues...however, The material in question (arsenic, antimony,copper, silver, even gold are coming out of the solution because it is not hot enough. All of those other elements have melting temperatures that are higher (much higher) than lead. At the higher temps where the alloys are formulated, these elements form a solution with the various components in suspension. At lower temps (like those used in bullet casting) the elements have time to separate from the mix and the lightest float to the top of the pot. (the gold sinks) If you were to leave the pot unattended for an extended period of time, you'd end up with a lead-tin mix and all the other stuff floating on the top. The only way to get the antimony back into solution would be to heat the melt to a near red heat and then flux. Doubt you have the means to do that..
  • demo-dandemo-dan Member Posts: 109 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Schooling needed!!!!!
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