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Aluminum or Magnesium?

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  • kiwi
    replied
    Here is what you are looking for:

    Below is the URL

    http://www.oxinst.com/wps/wcm/connec...metal+analysis

    Find a scrap yard that has one of these hand held instruments.

    A quicker solution might be to phone 1-847-439-4404 and ask if there is someone close to you that has one.

    Just an idea.

    Nick

    Leave a comment:


  • Edsnet
    replied
    Mag test

    I saw on speed channel today . Vinegar reachs with magnesium and not with aluminum. Poor a few drops of vinegar on metal if a change occurs it is mag.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blackbird455
    replied
    Well, did you ever find out what you were dealing with?

    Leave a comment:


  • Blackbird455
    replied
    Hey XRAY..............

    You could do all this stuff involving experimentation with chemicals left over from your meth lab.........or.........

    You could go to a recycler, and have them shoot it with a spectrometer.

    In the scheme of things, it is a non destructive test.

    I believe that it is a micro diameter laser that vaporizes a few surface particles , and then sniffs the particles out.

    I do know that SOME laser spectrometers can even tell you the EXACT alloy , not just the name of the metal.

    10% rule guys, try to be 10% smarter than the metal you are working with.

    Leave a comment:


  • Randy Forbes
    replied
    Originally posted by Showdog75 View Post
    Seems like I read that vinegar will start to bubble up on magnesium .
    Yes, this works.

    Put a few shavings of each in separate drops of vineager; the aluminum will do nothing, and the magnesium will react.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bodybagger
    replied
    Titrate with Muriatic Acid

    Here's a simple test based on the stochiometric reaction of these metals with HCl.

    You'll need an acurate balance capable of measuring to the nearest .01 grams or so...

    Cut a sample of at least 1/10th of a gram of your unknown metal and weigh it accurately. Cut a sample of at least 1/10th gram sample of known aluminum. Place each in a separate nonmetallic container with about 50 ml of distilled water.

    Using commercial 20 degree baume Muriatic Acid (which is 10.17 molar hydrochloric acid), and using a small syringe or other accurate volumetric measuring device, add precisely 1 ml of the acid to each container and stir, giving it time to digest the sample.

    When the bubbles have stopped (perhaps 5 minutes later), remove the partially digested samples.

    This amount of acid will digest 0.124 grams of magnesium but will only digest 0.091 grams of aluminum. If they weigh the same after the reaction, they are aluminum. If the unknown is much lighter than the known aluminum sample (or completely gone), it is likely magnesium.

    Leave a comment:


  • Burnt hands
    replied
    Magnesium vs aluminum

    Xray,

    You have picked a good quick method to test for magnesium with the shavings test. The camping stores have magnesium fire starters for just this use.

    This should separate magnesium from alum.

    I don't know of a valid method of determining the exact alloy type except thru the use of a Niton xray gun. This is very expensive equipment and I have nobody near me who has one.

    I can offer this: if you determine your alloy is magnesium, I have a 3/8" thick plate of mg AZ31B. I will slice a piece off for you to try to tig weld if this helps.

    If your piece is alum, it may be easier to find the proper tig alloy.
    I defer to others on this forum for their expertise.

    good luck

    Leave a comment:


  • griff01
    replied
    Originally posted by Xray View Post
    I don't believe that Ts-Off-Road was trying to mislead anyone. I believe that he was just making a point that if a person is careless with ANYTHING (including thoriated tungsten) then you can get injured, sick, or die from it.
    Point taken.

    Griff

    Leave a comment:


  • Showdog75
    replied
    Seems like I read that vinegar will start to bubble up on magnesium .

    Leave a comment:


  • jamscal
    replied
    You may be able to weigh the material vs. what it displaces in water to find the...I forget the terms. specific gravity? I don't know. Anywho, compare this number to the periodic table of elements and get your answer.

    Magnesium seems to oxidize to a duller/darker gray than aluminum.

    You might also try to burn some shavings.

    You can also try to form a puddle with the tig torch and no filler, just to make sure you can do it.

    Still popping and going crazy? It might be a zinc casting.

    -James

    Re: Thoriated: I try to be pretty safe, but every shop I've worked at has 2% thoriated.

    -I've never seen a specific warning about radioactivity on the package, and only know that it is mildly radioactive via the internet. (I'm sure they have the standard: "This causes cancer in California" warning though)

    -I'll regrind my tungstens a few times a day long before I work in a paint shop.

    -I was looking at the warnings on a box of mig wire the other day and was pretty scared by that too.

    -The Earth is mildy radioactive.

    Leave a comment:


  • Xray
    replied
    Originally posted by griff01 View Post
    The thoriated tungsten being radioactive is not a myth. If you want to use it by all means, go ahead. But don't mislead others.

    Griff

    I don't believe that Ts-Off-Road was trying to mislead anyone. I believe that he was just making a point that if a person is careless with ANYTHING (including thoriated tungsten) then you can get injured, sick, or die from it.

    Leave a comment:


  • griff01
    replied
    Originally posted by TS-Off-Road View Post
    A lot of myths flying around here!

    It's kinda like lead in paint - If your dumb enough to eat it.....
    The thoriated tungsten being radioactive is not a myth. If you want to use it by all means, go ahead. But don't mislead others.

    Magnesium welds ok. But as with aluminum, you need to know the base metal grade to be sure to get the right filler. Anything else is a guess.

    Griff

    Leave a comment:


  • Xray
    replied
    I appreciate everyone's comments, but I'm still waiting for an answer to my question of how to dertermine what type of metal I have. I suppose I could shave off a few splinters of metal with a knife, and then try to burn it with a propane torch. If it glows very brightly while burning, then it probably is magnesium. Does anyone know of another way to test metals in order to determine what they are? I know with various grades of steel you could determine a lot about their makeup with a spark test by grinding them and seeing the color, brightness, and types of sparks that fly off. That basically shows how much carbon is in the steel. But what about testing Aluminum? Is there a simple test that can help you determine the type of Aluminum that you are about to weld?

    Leave a comment:


  • Randy Forbes
    replied
    Originally posted by TS-Off-Road View Post
    Magnesium welds fine. You need magnesium filler for it though. Don't leave any grindings or shavings laying around, those WILL burn!
    I agree. I repaired three (3) vintage go kart magnesium wheels yesterday. I've also done BBS (BMW) & Ferrari wheels. The BBS was a joy to weld on, quite free of contaminates. Ferrari and old McCulloch wheels are more challenging to get a porous-free interface of old & new.

    The filler rod is expensive (last purchase $92/Lb.) but a pound goes a long way! Trick is to find a supplier willing to sell less than 10 Lbs!

    I saved all the shavings from turning a repair (lathe swarf) in a paper bag and threw it on a bonfire. VERY bright white, but quickly burnt itself out. Don't try that in your shop! So yes, keep the area clean from shavings and grinding dust.

    Magnesium oxidizes very quickly, so any repairs need to be cleaned back to bare metal. I usually use a carbide "tree" in a die-grinder for this. It helps to direct the chips away from your clothing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Xray
    replied
    Originally posted by KBar View Post
    Back in the 60's we used to play with the different metals in science class. Our teacher would sneak in the back room and pull out his flask on occassion, we didnt see him for 15 minutes so we would play with different things, mercury was fun and we almost burnt the lab up. Yes, science was fun
    What else is there besides welding and riding??? Hmmmm..... I can think of one thing, but I might get kicked off this forum if I mentioned it!

    Leave a comment:

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