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Melting aluminium help!?

So I tryed melting some cans with a propane torch and they didn't exactly melt, been told they aren't the best for melting. I think I have some think aluminium wire lying around so I will try melting that , Anything else/ideas. I don't really know what i'm doing with aluminium. I have inkots trays steel ladels ect from my dad. We have done lead plenty of times but never aluminium.

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tom10122 (author) 4 years ago
THanks guys, used some thick aluminium wire and a ladel to get it to pool and take the mold properly
If all you have access to is old cans, try crushing them as compactly as possible. The reduced surface area will help them to hold in the heat and melt instead of oxidize. It will still take an awful lot of cans to amount to much metal.
rickharris4 years ago
To successfully melt metals you need a very hot environment all over not just locally.

Assuming your not just melting tiny bits for fun the usual way to do this is with a crucible which is heated in an insulate furnace.

These are not difficult to build and at home for a temporary set up may be no more than a small cave made from fire bricks - Note I said FIRE bricks. - They are not the same as ordinary house bricks.

a crucible for aluminium could be a stainless steel cup or even a stainless ladle - NOTE try to avoid plastic handles or you won't have them for long.

In an enclosed space propane should get hot enough if the flam is reasonably large.

A lot of house hold DIY propane torches giv a fine flame that isn't spread enough.

Final warning - Aluminium melts at about 630 deg C - If you get this on your skin or in in you shoe or on you lap your going to hospital.

With reasonable care this should be fairly safe. Cans are a poor source because they contain so little metal and it is contaminated with paint.

For large scale smelting car pistons, alloy head and old wheel and an often used source in the model world.
I was going to point out the large number of instructables to the right .

One more safety point I believe is to keep water a safe distance away as any drops into the molten metal can cause steam explosions.

Being contained and concentrated heat is why it melts in the wood stove. With out containment or a super hot flame most of the heat just goes up up and away.

I have been collecting junk aluminum whenever I come across it. Sometime in the future I have plans to move to a bigger scale and experiment more with it. One nice thing is aluminum is not toxic unlike lead , at least as far as current science knows.
Vyger4 years ago
With aluminum cans the heat gets transferred away so fast to the rest of the can that it will not get hot enough. Also the cans are a different alloy and finally the metal oxidized when its that thin so you will get a lot of aluminum oxide. If you try something more dense you can do it although a propane torch really doesn't get hot enough. MAP gas might work better.
Old computer heat sinks melt great, and so do the cases of hard drives, and the heat sinks from power supplies. But you can't just heat up one spot. They have to get hot all the way through and then they melt almost all at one time. Once you get some melted metal and you can keep it liquid you can add stuff to it like wire and it melts fast right into the molten pool.

I melted a bunch of it, first by accident and then I refined the technique. It melts in the coals of my wood stove. I found a bunch of it that melted and ran through the coals and solidified. Then I worked on trying to make a sort of art doing it. I can only do it in the winter time when its pretty cold because I have to get the stove pretty hot. Finally I started melting it in steal cans stuck in the coals and fanned to get really hot. I got enough at one time that I poured it into
tuna cans and made pucks.


Melted!.jpgMelted2.jpgMelted3.jpg
Re-design4 years ago
Aluminum melts at 1200 F and lead melts at about half that.