This Project was a part of a school recycling project for my engineering class. The goal of this project is to take something that is readily available that is something that is normally thrown away or recycled.
One resource I was able to find were aluminum cans. The reason why I chose to use aluminum cans is because people use them everyday and recycle them. With high supply of cans floating around I decided to melt them down to create a St. Louis Cardinals and a Pittsburgh Pirates logo.
This is only my second time casting so its not perfect, and the initial cast has pores, and divot in the aluminum. But with a some milling it cleaned it up nicely.
Make sure you take proper safety precautions for you will be exposed to extreme heat and workshop tools.
Step 1: Collecting Resources
First, I started by collecting any aluminum cans (Pop, Beer, etc.). Eventually the cans took up too much space, so in order to conserve space, I took a metal place and smashed the cans so that I was able to store more cans, in the same amount of space. After some time, I collected over 5lbs of cans.
(Aluminum Can tops) - Ploumis, Paul. “US Scrap Aluminum Cans Prices Advances 12% to 0.56 in September.” Scrap Monster, 4 Oct. 2012
Step 2: Stamp It!
For this cast I used a hot wire foam cutter to create the two logos out. With foam, you do not have to worry about the sides of the heat treated sand collapsing. After I created the two logos, I packed the sand around them, created the risers and the sprues.
Step 3: Smelt It!
Next, I smelted all the cans down in the crucible and then add the flux to the liquid aluminum.
Step 4: Time to Pour!
After the aluminum was up to temperature, we poured the liquid aluminum down the sprues, and then poured the excess metal into the ingot mold.
Step 5: Cleaning Up the Cast
Next I took the metal to the mill to help clean up all the imperfections and give it a clean finish.
Im aware that I could have done more work like creating a mirror finish or sand down the sides, but I think with the milled tops and rough cast sides. I am content with the looks.