Recycling scrap aluminum

Discussion in 'Lost foam casting' started by garyhlucas, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. garyhlucas

    garyhlucas Copper

    I have a whole bunch of scrap 6061 and quite a few pieces have stainless bolts broke off in them. I am thinking just tossing them in a crucible and the stainless will sink to the bottom allowing me to pour a part and then drain off the extra aluminum and dump the stainless junk at the bottom. Any problem doing this? I’d like to clean and cast in one go to reduce how much propane I burn.

    Getting ready to pour the same pump housing I did before without adding the silicon to see how it compares.
     
  2. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    It's probably not a deal killer, but it would be better if you could minimize it. Lots of people pour with steel crucibles and although not recommended it suits their needs just fine. I dont know much about metallurgy or iron pickup but I understand that stainless doesn't hold out against liquid aluminum any better than other steel. One method of minimizing how much steel goes in is to load your crucible with clean material and while its heating up place an end or area containing a bolt over the exhaust hole. Once the metal is hotshort you can pull or knock the bolt out with pliers or a rap on the ground or what have you. Then place it into the crucible and on to the next. A little prep of the material with a bandsaw and bimetal blade might be helpful as well. It's more goofing around but I'd rather prevent it than have to deal with it in the bottom of the crucible.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Pete
     
  3. Rasper

    Rasper Copper

    For what it's worth, stainless alloys with molten bronze like sugar dissolving in hot coffee. Steel is far slower. I made some stainless skimmers back in my early days. They didn't last one melt. Steel skimmers last for years.

    Richard
     
  4. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver Banner Member

    If you don't overheat it I think it will work just fine. I try to grab bolts with my tongs and hang onto them and let the aluminum melt around them but with aluminum they will stay in the bottom unless you grossly overheat it. You may affect the metallurgy but I doubt you'll notice it.
     
  5. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Ive been using a stainless steel skimmer for years and still haven't totally worn it out. I also melted down something that had some needle bearings in it. Those buggers went partially into suspension (my assumption) and wound up in my casting, I didnt find them until I machined the casting. For what its worth I would try to get the metal as clean as possible before melting it down, breaking it down while hot short is a good idea, or maybe use a filter during your cast.
     

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