O.T. Lead / Babbitt Identification.
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  1. #1
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    Default O.T. Lead / Babbitt Identification.

    Is there an easy way of telling visually the difference between Lead and Babbitt

    lt-indus-62-.jpg ?
    Upcoming Auction has a large box of Ingots listed as Babbit but to me it looks like lead.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by redlee View Post
    Is there an easy way of telling visually the difference between Lead and Babbitt

    lt-indus-62-.jpg ?
    Upcoming Auction has a large box of Ingots listed as Babbit but to me it looks like lead.
    Thanks
    Lead would most commonly already have a grey surface. Hard to fight that. Those have to have some other metal in them protecting the surface against Oxidation.

    Babbitt is a possible.

    Even so, lead holds its value by weight, what with being easier to re-refine than produce new (regulations, etc.) so if bought "right" low risk of monetary loss. Same again with Tin or Antimony, FWIW.

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    That is most likely Babbitt in my opinion. As noted, lead in air will oxidize pretty quickly to a dull gray color. Babbitt is a very "white" metal also - and those ingots look the part. Also doubtful that the folks selling would confuse tin or etc. for Babbitt I should hope.

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    Cut off a sliver and melt it. Lead near 400F, Tin Babbitt near 900F

    I am sure someone will correct these to the more exact, but there is quite a difference

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    it might also be zinc for wire rope smelter sockets it looks a lot like that

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    Babbitt bars always have the manufacturer's name and babbitt type cast into the top of the bar. The ASTM specification lists four lead based and four tin based babbitts in common use. The SAE specification lists six lead alloys and 10 tin alloys. Left over babbitt from the melting pot, salvaged babbitt from old bearings and chips from the lathe are recycled by pouring into a mold and then sending it back to the manufacturer for credit on the next purchase. The recycled babbitt will have an unknown composition and oxides that prevent it from being reused without refinement.

    The low temperature metal alloys used for holding parts would also be poured into a mold after use.

    My guess is you either have recycled babbitt or possibly tin bars. The tin bars that I have encountered do not have a manufacturer's mark. At best there is some purity label. If the auction is at a former plating or metal casting company then there are many more possibilities.

    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Also doubtful that the folks selling would confuse tin or etc. for Babbitt I should hope.
    "Playing dumb" and "suggesting" it's the higher priced product, just to up the
    auction price.

    Auctions are selling "as is" so there is no complaining of mis-representation
    with the product description as written.

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    Tin can be identified mechanically. If possible to flex the ingot (across the narrow "Vee" perhaps) Tin will make a distinct creaking sound...called "the cry of tin".....
    Agree about the ingots being marked if original material from a supplier if babbitt....

    Cheers Ross

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    "Playing dumb" and "suggesting" it's the higher priced product, just to up the
    auction price.

    Auctions are selling "as is" so there is no complaining of mis-representation
    with the product description as written.
    Good point. I'm too honest for my own good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Good point. I'm too honest for my own good.
    Ya.

    "This hankey was once touched by Elvis"

    Opening bids at $10k

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    By the color it looks like tin.

    Babbitt will be harder than lead.

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    So if its Tin or Zinc ,is their any value or use for it.
    Im sure by picking it up I can tell if its Lead or Babbitt

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    Quote Originally Posted by redlee View Post
    So if its Tin or Zinc ,is their any value or use for it.
    Im sure by picking it up I can tell if its Lead or Babbitt
    If you have to ask, not very likely.

    And you might pay over the "real" mark to begin with.

    Primary metals and castable shot and ingot alloys are the provence of specialists who can operate off feel and smell as well as precise assay, live well on slender spreads.
    Johnson-Matthey was once one of my suppliers. Re-refiners as well. Never an exclusive, though. That, too is a speciality.

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    Wild guess- all the above is spot on. From the LOOK of it, its either tin or tin based Babbitt. I've been pouring tin based Babbitt for over 40 years, so I kinda know what it looks like when poured into ingots. IF its either one, the tin has some scrap value. Would I pour a bearing with it, without knowing? no, but I would certainly use it for pouring soft hammers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan from Oakland View Post
    I would certainly use it for pouring soft hammers.
    Grew up in an era we'd have a store-bought 'kit' - mold and ready made handles - for lead deadblows so as to recycle right in the shop. Folks back then knew better than to chew on them, but they surely did look as-if all too soon.

    Much prefer a selection of Brass, soft Copper, PLASTIC - even rubber - strikers instead, lo these many years, since.

    Now and then, wisest to pad an item, regardless.

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    Unless it's identified it's scrap, looking at the photo it could be anything from boron to uranium, it's going to have to get analysed to be worth anything, OES, XRF or whatever, even melting point leaves as many questions as answers, could be utectic, and therefore binary alloy chuck somthing else in and who knows., could even be cerromatrix bending alloy, die setting alloy, stuff for sprinklers etc.
    Trouble is the analysis is expensive and you would have to do every peice to be sure.
    Mark

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    Had some made in China ....Babbitt .....no markings....

    Looks like soft hammer material....


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