Author Topic: Melting large amount of aluminium  (Read 6550 times)

Offline NeoTech

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Melting large amount of aluminium
« on: July 03, 2015, 04:21:46 AM »
So i have been collecting car scrap for a while now. And the big thing with collecting car scrap is that its not only aluminium, and have alot of crud on it, so it needs to be "scrap" melted once before it can be put to good use and melted into ingots once more.

So how would one go about doing this? I have been thinking of making a flowerpot or something with a clay lining and hole in the bottom with some kind of screen for sorting the worst out in the first melt.. anyone had a similar idea to be able to melt down laaarge amounts of scrap.
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Offline NormanV

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 07:07:25 AM »
I had half a dozen car wheels to melt. I obtained an oil drum beat the bottom to a hollow and cut a hole in the centre and four holes in the sides near to the bottom for draught. I placed the whole thing on some bricks to allow an ingot mould to fit under.
I lit a big wood fire and piled the wheels and some other castings in. After some time molten aluminium ran out and I was able to catch it in the ingot mould. I had to work quickly as once it starts to flow it's quite fast. I did not have many steel part in the castings but you could put a mesh at the bottom of the oil drum to hold them back.
I have read of someone using the same idea but standing the drum above another drum full of water thereby producing little pellets of aluminium which I am sure would remelt faster than my loaf sized ingots.

Offline NeoTech

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2015, 03:18:10 PM »
Ah nice let it pour into water. Just hope u get no inclusions i guess. But i have a half barrel i can try it with.
Machinery: Optimum D320x920, Optimum BF20L, Aciera F3. -- I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. http://www.roughedge.se/blogg/

Offline glumpy

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 12:15:50 PM »
I use a waste oil burner I made and have build tutorials on my Channel for.  I do a lot of scrap ally from cars, mainly Cylinder heads and Manifolds.  A cylinder head takes about 6 Min in an open drum I use for a furnace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQf5ybsPS3g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1YB8Ou8ufk

The benefit of melting things like this particularly heads is that it takes all the ally away and leaves all the steel bits you don't want.  I have found using bricks in the drum not only helps contains the heat but also strains the liquid ally very well of dross and other contaminants such as steel pieces.

There are lots of other burner and melting Vids on my channel so have a look around and see what is useful to you.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 12:53:37 PM »
Hi Glumpy, welcome aboard  :thumbup:

That's a mighty powerful melter that you have there  :bugeye:

Now remind me, what's that country in the antipodes that has bush fires  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline SwarfnStuff

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2015, 03:17:39 AM »
Well. to me, and I assume Glumpy, it's just called, "Home"  :lol: , OZ, Downunder the home of Vegemite.  :beer:
John B
Converting good metal into swarf sometimes ending up with something useful. ;-)

Offline glumpy

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 09:29:24 AM »

Now remind me, what's that country in the antipodes that has bush fires  :scratch:

Oh, I think that would be the United States!
They have this place I hear is really wacky and surreal called Calipornia.
I have seen it on the news, they have some real Hum Dinger bushfires there.

We are lucky here. Occasionally some ones backyard BBQ gets a bit out of hand and flares up a few thousand acres of trees but it's all part of enjoying summer really.

Something you'd probably be amazed at.... we have SAND on our beaches.  None of those rocks and stones, nice soft, golden sand.
Sometimes it gets in your budgie smugglers but better a bit of sand stuck in ya crack than a bunch of Rocks!
  :)

Offline ausdier

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 03:55:12 AM »
when I melt ally, I just try and get all non ally parts off and then put the rest into my crucible.
I find that once I have poured the ally off the other metal parts can then just be tipped out.

Offline NeoTech

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 11:19:43 AM »
I use a waste oil burner I made and have build tutorials on my Channel for.  I do a lot of scrap ally from cars, mainly Cylinder heads and Manifolds.  A cylinder head takes about 6 Min in an open drum I use for a furnace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQf5ybsPS3g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1YB8Ou8ufk

The benefit of melting things like this particularly heads is that it takes all the ally away and leaves all the steel bits you don't want.  I have found using bricks in the drum not only helps contains the heat but also strains the liquid ally very well of dross and other contaminants such as steel pieces.

There are lots of other burner and melting Vids on my channel so have a look around and see what is useful to you.

Thanks, this was awsomely. =)
And its just that i get easily hold of old heads, manifolds, generators and other car parts from modern car by scrap diving in a local autoshops bin. =)
Machinery: Optimum D320x920, Optimum BF20L, Aciera F3. -- I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. http://www.roughedge.se/blogg/

Offline glumpy

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 08:59:04 AM »
when I melt ally, I just try and get all non ally parts off and then put the rest into my crucible.
I find that once I have poured the ally off the other metal parts can then just be tipped out.

Wow!
You sure do like your ally!
Numbers and weighed every bar and looks like over 100 bars.  Is there a reason you are stockpiling so much? Do you do metal casting or have some other use for it?

I was stripping manifolds as they are easy to get to the non ally bits but time consuming. The heads were too much of a hassle to think about stripping them so I melted them whole.  I now do the manifolds the same as the ally just drains off and  leaves all the little plugs and bits and pieces behind.

I want to do an aluminium plate. I was going to do 1000mmx500x60 but I'm having second thoughts.
I figured out haw many litres of ally this would take and what it would weigh. Who says ally is lightweight??

I think I'll reduce the plate to 600x 500 instead.  Still going to take 18L of ally. Ally is 2.6kg per litre so it's still going to be a substantial Piece.  I thought I had a bit of ally in stock till I worked this out, now I'm not so sure! 
There are still a load of manifolds I have to melt down and I think I'll put it in the scrapper furnace and let it run into a cut down drum of water. This will make pellets I can then load into something like a 9Kg gas bottle I can get enough volume in to do the plate.  I'd like to make that a tilting furnace but not really sure how to go about heating something that size.  It's not that I don't have the power, I can pull up probably 750Kw where I am with burners now, but it's getting it into the ally and without blowing a hole in the steel  gas bottle.

Plenty of thinking to do.

Offline NeoTech

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 03:47:33 AM »
Its that making a big plate is one of my goals as well i need a large 800x750x50mm piece of aluminium. And buying that is just insanely expensive.
The big problem with melting heads and intake manifolds is the high content of silica, its really harsh to the tooling when milling it.
Been pondering if there is anyway to slag out the silica with some additive.. purifying it back to aluminium. Then do a series of  heat treatments so it ages.

A T4 can be achieved basicly by letting the plate sit in room temperature for a couple of months. A T5 is something like 180C for 12 hours. I know you can do this to a T6 as well but dont have the temperatures or time.. anyone that can fill the gaps ?? =)
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Offline trevoratxtal

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 04:14:03 AM »
Well. to me, and I assume Glumpy, it's just called, "Home"  :lol: , OZ, Downunder the home of Vegemite.  :beer:
John B
:offtopic:
Hello John I see on the News. :lol:
 that Vegemite is to be banned in some areas as it is a dangerous ingredient in some drink. :beer: :drool:
You folk should have stuck to Marmite and let the Brits export it to you.
Us Brits fight back. :bang:
Just Joking. :) :loco:
I love this post on Aluminium smelting. :clap:
Trev

Offline ausdier

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2015, 01:40:50 AM »
Wow!
You sure do like your ally!
Numbers and weighed every bar and looks like over 100 bars.  Is there a reason you are stockpiling so much? Do you do metal casting or have some other use for it?

I have about 400kg worth of bars.
These are a combination of Extrusions, Cans, Wheels and Engine Components.
I have plans to start casting components soon.
I just want to finish my CNC Router first so I can make some patterns.
I will also be melting my stockpile of copper and brass soon as well.
My crucible for the ally holds about 10kg max.

Offline glumpy

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2015, 11:18:03 PM »
Hello John I see on the News. :lol:
 that Vegemite is to be banned in some areas as it is a dangerous ingredient in some drink. :beer: :drool:

I hadn't heard about this so looked it up.
Yet another sensationalist media beat up crock of ship. Classic case of a another inconsequential politician dreaming up  a load of rubbish to get some media attention to his cause and be seen to actually be doing something so as to justify his position and perks.
 
They garbage the media and politicians come out with is why I refuse to watch the news or take any interest in politics.
It's all a joke and insult to peoples intelligence.

We always had Marmite and Vegemite in the house when I grew up. Personally I preferred Marmite myself but they are pretty damn close anyway.


For ally I could get a LOT of wheels here but I can get $13-16 ea for them so I cash them in at the scrapyard. Last load I took in the ute netted $330. For that I'll stick to the other bits that they only pay steel prices for unless you spend the time stripping them all down. That said, there is quite a few Kg of ally in a wheel so if you needed the stuff and was cheaper than buying other scrap ( wheels are worth more per KG than regular casting ally here) they would be a good bulk source.

Offline mattinker

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2015, 05:47:17 AM »
Wheelium is a strong, high quality easily cast alloy. I don't remember what casting group it was on, but Rex in Oregon (I think) did some tests and came to the conclusion that it's tensile strength approached that of mild steel! Hence the price difference!

Regards, Matthew

Offline NeoTech

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2015, 12:57:06 PM »
So after much experimentation..  Oil burner from a siphon nozzle, ala, dem americans patriotsupply thingymajigs. .. well it burns.. but is a ******* hassle to get it stable, and its sensitive for amount of air, sidewind, air pressure in furnace.. so when it goes out is a ******* hassle to get it going..

And then for oven i took a oildrum, cut slots in the bottom and just poked a hole into it and thought i could let it dripdown in the barrel below.
Well it turns out oil barrels are really thin.. And conduct heat reaaally well. So getting it over 300 C was nearly impossible..  So i was left with 2 engine heads and 2 transmissions casings fused together into crud.. i think i will go back to my old method of sledgehammer and melting 1l at a time..

A 0.75gps nozzle for waste oil, dont come nearly close a propane torch in this application. For getting em to work it seems a really well isolated and very very small container is needed.. Making it not so usefull for scrapping large amounts in a single run.
Machinery: Optimum D320x920, Optimum BF20L, Aciera F3. -- I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. http://www.roughedge.se/blogg/

Offline glumpy

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2015, 05:49:05 AM »
I have got into a few arguments with the people whom are spray/ Nozzle burner disciples. Your experience is repeated many times. I can't for the life of me understand why people pay so much for these things then have loads of trouble with them and unlike yourself, stick with them and champion them as the best solution for oil burning?   I would want the things to switch on and off like a lightbulb  for the cost, complexity and amount of support gear the things need.

I recently Dug out an old burner from about 5+ years ago from my mates shed.  It's dead simple and cheap to build and works great.
You can see a vid of it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SXKMRSIyPU

As can be seen it's just made from standard compression fittings and a 1/4 T piece. I have shot a detailed vid of how the thing is put together which will come out in a couple of days. The thing lights almost instantly with no preheating or buggering around on straight veg oil and is very controllable and stable.

I have no problems melting ally in oil drums,  I did the mini melter here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35zEoPvsy0Q  in a 60L drum and another one here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1YB8Ou8ufk  in a full size drum. These were with a drip burner as I can still get a lot more heat out of those than with anything else and more than I could need for practical purposes.

A .75 gph nozzle is less than 30 Kw.  I have seen more powerful Cigarette lighters! I can push 200Kw  out of my drip burners without thinking. Haven't measured the Spray burner yet but from guesstimation, I don't see 100Kw+n  being a problem.


Offline jcs0001

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2015, 12:29:38 PM »
Ausdier - that is one pile of aluminium.  Seems you could make a lot of machinery with that.

Glumpy - great videos.  Maybe I missed it but are you using waste vegetable oil or waste motor oil.  My brother had a big shop and built a waste oil burner to heat it with motor oil - quite amazing the heat he got out of it.  It was just gravity feed with no blower that I can recall as he wasn't wanting to melt anything.

John.

Offline glumpy

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2015, 08:46:08 AM »

Normally I use Veg oil.
I have run my vehicle on it for 11 years so there is always plenty around. I used to just put the crappy stuff I didn't want to put through my engine before but now doing the vids that's not nearly enough.

When I do an oil change on my vehicles, I will throw that in with the veg oil and put through the burner.  My father has a wrecking yard and is getting a bit over loaded on it so I'll take some drums up and get a heap to bring back. Will get rid of it for him and save my veg for the truck.

I prefer veg oil because the stuff smells so much better, is far easier to clean up in the event of a spill and doesn't stain and leave a stink in your clothes like WMO does. There is 10% more heat energy for a given volume of Engine oil over veg but when you are pumping out a couple of hundred KW or more, it's not like you are wishing you had more heat.  IF you do, just turn up the fuel a bit and you are there anyway.   :0)

I did a passive shed heater years ago but I somehow never got to film it and the thing got pulled apart for more dramatic stupidity.  I'll make another one soon in time to keep you guys up north warm for your upcoming winter.

Offline NeoTech

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2015, 09:43:44 AM »
Glumpy, i think i have messaged you on youtube regarding the same problems. And i can only agree with you, the siphon nozzles are hyped, and badly suited for the application of heating metal to melting temperatures. They are good at making controlled heat for heaters and such. Well its cuz what they are meant to be used for. The biggest restriction i have is the nozzle it self, and its what is sensitive to changes as well.

The distribution block for the siphon nozzle is a good piece of kit, simple to setup and use. But the nozzle.. well i have thrown my so far i could. And started to fiddle with making my own nozzles instead. All you really need is a conical shaped hole in the proper size, and a feed tube inside for the fuel so you seperate the air and fuel until the very end. But well one could make that distribution block by myself.. now when i know how it works.. or a t fitting with a couple of tubes and compression fittings.. its really a easy piece of kit.
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Offline Pete49

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Re: Melting large amount of aluminium
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2015, 11:30:41 PM »
Nice and simple setup as you say glumpy. I decided its the way I'm going after trying several different methods using lpg which is costing more than I care to spend. What hoses are those white ones you're using and where can I get some? I'm in Sth Australia if it helps.
cheers
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it