Recycle Project - Aluminum Can Cast (St. Louis Cardinals & Pittsburgh Pirates))

About: I am currently a HS Student who likes to work on any project, even if that involves having to learn something new!

Intro: Recycle Project - Aluminum Can Cast (St. Louis Cardinals & Pittsburgh Pirates))

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.

Step 6:

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.

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    2 Discussions

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    JohnK577

    5 weeks ago on Step 5

    No need to apologize you're miles ahead and far better than you think. How many kids your age know what a crucible is let alone a sprue and then take the piece to the milling machine to finish. In learning those skills you will never be out of a job, because you can fix what the CNC sent to the scrap pile, automation is secondary to skill, it can't happen without you.

    Good luck and stay on path

    1 reply
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    Chris ArevaloJohnK577

    Reply 13 days ago

    Thanks for the message! I plan on working on some more projects in the future (Woods + Possibly more metals projects)!