Foundry Part 3


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  • When using scrap metal, it is important to make sure and remove as much of the impurities as possible. A lot of the casted aluminum pieces that I have started with have a ton of corrosion on them. Add to that a lot of dirt, grease and grime that you can never get 100% rid of. This means it is important to skim the dross off the top of the melt before pouring.

  • After some searching on the Internet, I found that commercial foundries use a chemical combination of Potassium Chloride and Sodium Chloride as a fluxing agent to help remove the junk from the melt. Conveniently this mixture can be found in your local grocery store only there it is called "Lite Salt". Our store carries the Morton's brand. I add about three teaspoons of the stuff to each melt, adding it in a little at a time as I add more scrap into the melt. It really does make a difference.

  • This is a shot of me skimming the dross off of the top of the melt through the exhaust port. Note the use of the face shield. The exhaust gases are way to hot to look down into the furnace unprotected.

  • This is what the dross looks like coming out of the furnace. I use an old cast-iron skillet to dump it into until it cools off. You can see the skimmer is just a stainless-steel teaspoon (Walmart - 6 for 99 cents) welded onto some more of my stock of 1/2-inch round bar. I drilled several holes in the bottom of the spoon so that the aluminum can get through while catching the dross.

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This site last modified on Saturday, January 15, 2005 11:58:41 PM