Import Soul Wouldn’t it be nice if things just worked

12Nov/090

Melting Aluminum

I had some spare time last weekend and decided to see if i could melt down the aluminum cases of some old hard drives. I intended to (if i managed to melt it) be able to mold some metal puzzles.

To start i broke up the hard drive casings into small chunks and as it turns out they are surprisingly brittle and could be broken apart using a hammer with little difficulty (jar in right of photo). I then set up a small barrier out of some old firebricks to try and keep the heat in and placed some chunks into a spare steel food can and used a torch to try and melt them.

The setup and tools

The setup and tools

The melting begins

The melting begins

not much to look at but thats it melted, supriseingly the black coating on the pieces is still partialy intact

Not much to look at but that's it melted, surprisingly the black coating on the pieces is still partially intact

The metal cooled too rapidly and very little made it down the length of the can and into the mould, even so the little bit that did make it in managed to heat the WET clay enough to crack it (i have tried similar things with clay that has dried for about a week and that cracked under the heat too)

The metal cooled too rapidly and very little made it down the length of the can and into the mold, even so the little bit that did make it in managed to heat the WET clay enough to crack it, i have tried similar things with clay that has dried for about a week and that cracked under the heat too

The outcome of this was no practical use, just a big blob of melted aluminum and some shapes

The outcome of this was no practical use, just a big blob of melted aluminum and some shapes

Some of wich looked pritey cool

Some of which looked prity cool

Well this kind of turned out as a failed project, but i plan to have another go at it another time with a better insulated crucible to keep the heat in better and keep the molten metal hot.

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