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Aluminum Copper Alloy Experiment

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vtsteam:
Since David (Meldonmech) in his QCTP build thread and Andrew mentioned alloying copper with aluminum to increaase hardness, I did a few lookups online (and in a book I have) and found an alloy that looked interesting using 6% silicon and 4% copper, so decided to try it with scrap onhand.

I used a 14 oz piston for silicon content (likely about 12%) and 14 oz 6061 extrusions, which would bring the silicon level to about the 6% needed, and 1.2 oz of copper tubing for the 4% copper. I flattened it and rolled it together to reduce oxidation. Here are the ingredients:



vtsteam:
I wasn't sure if the aluminum would dissolve the copper directly, or whether the copper should be molten first, so I tried melting the copper to start with. After about 25 minutes and the copper glowing bright orange, it still wasn't molten, and being impatient, I started dropping some of the aluminum in. When a good heel was going I added more and eventually the piston, and had a brimfull crucible as a result.

The copper did dissolve in the aluminum, so I probaby could have saved much time and fuel had I just put them all together to begin with.

Sea.dog:
I'm new to this forum and this will be my first post.
Re the comment you make about aluminium and copper reminded me of a demonstration of eutectic alloying that our metalwork master showed the class back in the 60s.
He heated a strip of copper to a dull red then applied a thin piece of aluminium wire to the surface.It melted onto it and he then proceed to poke a hole through the strip thereby demonstrating how alloying changes the melting point.

I've enjoyed catching up on a lot of the posts since Doubleboost recommended the site and am learning a great deal. I'm keen to make a small furnace myself as the last casting that I did was 50 years ago!

Graham

RobWilson:
Interesting Steve  :thumbup:  how dose your new alloy machine ? 


Rob

chipenter:
I found out about the copper by mistake droped a piece of copper pipe in the furness , by the time I bent a pice of wire the fish it out half it had melted , so I added all my offcutts the resulting poure turned very nicely on the lathe into pullys .

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