Instructables

Step 2: Science + disclaimer

How does it work?
In it's most basic form the microwave is being used to generate heat to an element which then melts the metal, while not arcing the magnetron to the metal to be melted.

The microwave I used was an 850W microwave (model: GE 3850W3W081A), I used regular bricks to build the hearth to keep the crucible and a silicon-carbide material as the heating element (I also used building insulation to try and keep the heat directed inwards, a terrible terrible mistake). The insulation was an addition I incorporated after reading another smelting article and attempting to blend methods to achieve more effiecient results. However I didn't anticipate the reactions of all the elements together in my microwave. The outcome was a success, and a failure.

Next, I had to choose metals that I were readily available to anybody and wold have a low enough melting point to be melted in a regular microwave. For this experiment I chose 2 types of common plumbing solder, 50/50 blend of tin/lead and silver solder, having a melting point of 180-190 °C (360-370 °F) and 450 °C (840 °F) respectively. There's other metals that could be smelted this way, like zinc (and plutonium?). Maybe you can find other metals with low melting points, here's a good place to start.

To help focus the energy of the microwave I used silicon-carbide, which is a microwave susceptor: meaning it absorbs microwave energy and turns it into heat energy. Silicon-carbide can be found in block-knife sharpeners, but I found they were too expensive. Instead, I used a silicone-carbide rubbing stone for under $14 found at the hardware store.

The crucible I used was metal with a higher melting point that the melting I was attempting to smelt. My crucible was a regular stainless steel measuring cup (melting point of 1510°C [2750°F])

To recap:
Microwave: 850W
Tin/lead solder: 180-190 °C (360-370 °F)
Silver solder: 450 °C (840 °F)
Microwave susceptor: silicon-carbide rubbing stone
 
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State502 years ago
I don't know who had cancer, because I read this after the thing had been censored and cut-up all over. Silica dust can result in lung irritation called silicosis. Constant irritation, due to external influences or toxic chemicals externally or internally made from the environment or stress can trigger cancerous growth abberations in cells. Having said that, I pray for the person with the cancer, that God would act on their behalf for their salvation and healing - in Jesus' name.
SIRJAMES093 years ago
Respect for others is a huge thing with me, always has been & always will be.

Having said that, I have removed all my posts because after rereading them, they sounded(to me anyway) anything but respectful.

I apologize to anyone whom I have offended or made to feel less than the person they are. That is not me, That is not how I do things, that is not my way.

I do not agree with this instructable, and that is all I will ever say on this matter.

My apologies to all.
SIRJAMES093 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
it seems there is a "be nice" policy on comments, which didn't filter your comment out. I did google your comment and it was very interesting reading. sirjames09, you should try it. its way better to be close to right then to just "feel" rightous. Good luck on your ongoing education.
Wildrat3 years ago
Hey Man,
Add a colon to your link in your "start" link for melting points of metals.
Again I like this. It has me thinking about another project I have been thinking about for a couple of years. I'll give you a clue though. Your water bucket would be turned into an oil bucket, although water will work fine also.