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Thread: Aluminum or Magnesium Scrap

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    Aluminum or Magnesium Scrap

    Okay Guys,
    Is there a good way to tell the difference in Aluminum or Magnesium scrap? I think I have aluminum but I'm not totally sure. I bought some transmission tails and valve covers the scrap place said were aluminum. I just would like to know if there is an easy way for me to tell the difference. Thanks for the help Ron

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    Chip Sweeper
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    Magnesium is "HIGHLY FLAMIBLE" carefully take a small piece and hit it with a torch. If its Magnesium it will "Caution, very, quickly burn.

    Aluminum will not react to simple flame, it will only melt with enough direct heat.

    Alan T.



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    Magnese will feel more 'brittle' than alum, and will be 30% lighter.

    And will burn..

    'Rekd

    Matt
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    BTW, if the tranny tails are off a VW, it's magnese..

    'Rekd

    Matt
    San Diego, Ca

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    Ya, it'll burn very hot and water will not put it out! Make sure you are in a well ventilated out doors type area and don't look at it burn.... it'll leave spots on your eyes for day and may cause perm eye damage.



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    lsfoils wrote:
    <<...and water will not put it out! >>

    In Navy fire fighting training they told us that water on burning mag would cause an explosion. Something about the chemical reaction producing hydrogen. The "only" way to extinguish it is smothering.

    robotic regards,

    Tom
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    "Time's fun when you're having flies."
    - - Kermit the Frog



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    hot hot hot!

    Ya, I remember this being described as one of the ways to "burn" water. It gets so hot that the water molecule "cracks" into its basic elements, oxygen and hydrogen....



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    Thanks to all for the suggestions. I can cut a small piece off with a saw and test it with the torch on a sand pile. I just sometimes don't feel comfortable taking the word of a guy in a scrap place I don't know, especially with something like this that could cause lots of damage if I get it wrong. Some call me paranoid, I like to call it being able to live to a ripe old age. Thanks Ron



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    Don't consider yourself paranoid. There's a very thin line between brilliant and stupid, as well as success and failure. Caution is mandatory.

    'Rekd

    Matt
    San Diego, Ca

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    Hi Matt,

    Maybe this would be a good time to suggest a Safety Forum...



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    Safety Forum

    Good suggestion. A safety forum is a great idea. I have never machined Magnesium but I did use a bar of it years ago. We shaved tiny slivers of it off the bar and used to build fires when camping. The only way to kill a piece of burning Mag. is to throw dirt on it and smother it out. Water is a definate no=no.

    Alan T.



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    GREAT idea! I'll set one up tonite.

    Thanks!

    'Rekd

    Matt
    San Diego, Ca

    ___ o o o_
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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