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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Very interesting! Follow the link to claim your prize!
    So now the trick is how to manufacture the alloy, machine it, and be able to actually use it in an uncontrolled environment.

    Unfortunately, arsenic is toxic and also a carcinogen though probably manageable with proper precautions but I doubt the EPA will allow it even in the small amounts the alloy would require.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy2 View Post
    So now the trick is how to manufacture the alloy, machine it, and be able to actually use it in an uncontrolled environment.

    Unfortunately, arsenic is toxic and also a carcinogen though probably manageable with proper precautions but I doubt the EPA will allow it even in the small amounts the alloy would require.
    Every human has over a gram of arsenic in their body as a trace element, I'm pretty sure 0.37% won't be an issue considering there are many more products containing larger amounts, like treated green timber logs used for playground equipment. BTW I have had arsenic related skin cancers from years of photocopier repair as the optical drum was arsenic triselenide and had to be polished by hand when serviced. Just about every machine these days has cheaper organic compounds for the optical drum, if your copier has an aluminium drum with what looks like a glassy graphite coloured substance then that is arsenic triselenide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAG 180 View Post
    Every human has over a gram of arsenic in their body as a trace element, I'm pretty sure 0.37% won't be an issue considering there are many more products containing larger amounts, like treated green timber logs used for playground equipment.
    AFAIK, arsenic has been removed from almost all wood products since 2003. That is why the lumber rots much faster than the dark brown pressure treated lumber. The ground in sites that utilized the good treated lumber is now considered contaminated.

    Yes I agree the amount is small and likely inconsequential for most exposures but the issue is that it contains arsenic which then by default has all of the warnings and restrictions attached to it.

    The .37% is fairly high percentage though. That is 3.7 gm in 1kg. The treated lumber would have likely had a lesser amount then that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy2 View Post
    AFAIK, arsenic has been removed from almost all wood products since 2003. That is why the lumber rots much faster than the dark brown pressure treated lumber. The ground in sites that utilized the good treated lumber is now considered contaminated.

    Yes I agree the amount is small and likely inconsequential for most exposures but the issue is that it contains arsenic which then by default has all of the warnings and restrictions attached to it.

    The .37% is fairly high percentage though. That is 3.7 gm in 1kg. The treated lumber would have likely had a lesser amount then that.
    It's still used around here for power poles at least, according to Wikipedia CCA treated timber uses 0.6% to 6% of copper chrome arsenate so I'd expect the arsenic content at the higher end to exceed 1% or so. Still for aeroplane use skinning the rudder thing you would think a coat of paint would prevent any exposure problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAG 180 View Post
    It's still used around here for power poles at least, according to Wikipedia CCA treated timber uses 0.6% to 6% of copper chrome arsenate so I'd expect the arsenic content at the higher end to exceed 1% or so. Still for aeroplane use skinning the rudder thing you would think a coat of paint would prevent any exposure problems.
    They were even taking it out of our power poles for a while but I think that recently changed in that the poles were failing prematurely.

    I think the land of down under still has some common sense about many risks that we no longer tolerate here in the USA. California has a lot to do with this and Proposition 65 mandating a warning on anything that can cause cancer or reproductive harm.

    This is likely enough liability exposure to make most companies flee from even considering anything to do with an alloy containing arsenic.

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    Well, now you've done it. The collective wisdom here is so good, you've scared me into keeping the aluminum. Even though a finished part is nothing like a thin chip, and would be far harder to ignite, this gadget has power electronics, flammable coatings and adhesives plus a positive high velocity air flow. I can imagine a scenario where something shorts out or burns up, igniting something easy to ignite, which get one of the smaller magnesium parts going, followed by the whole thing going up. I like to sleep at night. Reminds me of a joke- I want to die peacefully in my sleep, just like my granddad did, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

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    Wait - are you saying that adding arsenic didn't seal the deal?

    Well, it was fun while it lasted. Back to my plans to make magnesium Easy Bake Ovens...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Hoffman View Post
    Well, now you've done it. The collective wisdom here is so good, you've scared me into keeping the aluminum. Even though a finished part is nothing like a thin chip, and would be far harder to ignite, this gadget has power electronics, flammable coatings and adhesives plus a positive high velocity air flow. I can imagine a scenario where something shorts out or burns up, igniting something easy to ignite, which get one of the smaller magnesium parts going, followed by the whole thing going up. I like to sleep at night. Reminds me of a joke- I want to die peacefully in my sleep, just like my granddad did, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
    You really think a top fuel engine on 98% nitro methane with a couple hundred volts DC at 40 amps firing every few milliseconds is a passive environment? Oh and the air rushing through it about 3000 CFM at 35 psi. Corrosion is perhaps the most significant issue with mag, we used HAE coatings then, my guess there are way better coating now.

    Steve

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    Some of my parts have sections more like thin ribbon, and my risk tolerance is very low. That said, what parts of a top fuel car are made of magnesium? I see things like valve covers, but not the block or anything in the combustion path. OTOH, everything I know is from the dark ages when God's dog was a pup and the earth was still cooling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Hoffman View Post
    Some of my parts have sections more like thin ribbon, and my risk tolerance is very low. That said, what parts of a top fuel car are made of magnesium? I see things like valve covers, but not the block or anything in the combustion path. OTOH, everything I know is from the dark ages when God's dog was a pup and the earth was still cooling.
    You must have missed my post about mag superchargers, also mag fuel injector hats, manifolds etc. Cast mag was tried in a lot of stuff in the late 60's-70's. When the L.A. basin was still hot & heavy with aerospace the people and materials were all in both racin and spacin.

    Steve

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    When you look at it, for decades now magnesium has been in pretty much all automobiles to some extent...some more than others, upto and including engine blocks lol. We had a BMW with a mag block catch on fire and it just wouldn't go out.

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    Agreed, there’s some magnesium part in nearly every modern car I’ve ever seen on fire. Both Crown Vic’s and the new Dodges have magnesium steering wheel hubs, Mercedes uses it for seat and sunroof motors. The newer stuff must be much more heavily alloyed than older magnesium parts. I know that heavy use of magnesium was a major contributor to the fire that very nearly destroyed the Birmingham Motorcycle museum about fifteen years back.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    30 years ago I worked for a military contractor in Minneapolis. I machined magnesium in a Mori Seiki turning center. A few things I remember about it...
    We got it in bar form ...probably 1.5" diameter or so. the parts we made had a .001" tolerance on a diameter and it was relatively difficult to achieve because we were not climate controled....the temp could affect that stuff ALOT.It grew and shrank like mad. We would have the coolant removed from the machine and we used some sort of cutting oil, the claim was that there was less oxygen in the oil than the water soluble coolant. We only had 1 bar of stock at a time at the machine...I imagine due to fire hazard. We had a 55 gallon drum of what looked like carbon powder to smother a potential fire. Program would stop after about 6 or 8 parts (bar feeder) to empty chips from machine.We never left it run unattended.
    And yes....as a 20 something I liberated many bar ends and some chips for weekend bon fires

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    Magnesium was also a big factor in the 1955 Le Mans tragedy. My Dad was one or two bleachers away from the bleachers that were slaughtered.

    When the rest of the car landed on the embankment, the rear-mounted fuel tank exploded. The fuel fire raised the temperature of the remaining Elektron bodywork past its ignition temperature, which was lower than that of other metal alloys due to its high magnesium content. The alloy burst into white-hot flames, showering the track and crowd with magnesium embers, made worse by rescue workers unfamiliar with magnesium fires who poured water onto the inferno, greatly intensifying the fire. As a result, the car burned for several hours.


    1955 Le Mans disaster - Wikipedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Hoffman View Post
    Well, now you've done it. The collective wisdom here is so good, you've scared me into keeping the aluminum. Even though a finished part is nothing like a thin chip, and would be far harder to ignite, this gadget has power electronics, flammable coatings and adhesives plus a positive high velocity air flow. I can imagine a scenario where something shorts out or burns up, igniting something easy to ignite, which get one of the smaller magnesium parts going, followed by the whole thing going up. I like to sleep at night. Reminds me of a joke- I want to die peacefully in my sleep, just like my granddad did, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
    Make it from Beryllium

    Density similar to magnesium, tensile strength good as CrMo steel, 5x stiffness of aluminum...

    Toxicity could be a slight downside

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Wait - are you saying that adding arsenic didn't seal the deal?

    Well, it was fun while it lasted. Back to my plans to make magnesium Easy Bake Ovens...
    I made a magnesium AR-15 upper and lower....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9finger View Post
    I made a magnesium AR-15 upper and lower....
    And your name is 9finger...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    And your name is 9finger...
    It would have been 7 finger but two got put back on....all from a 13" southbend though....actually from me being an idiot, but whatever. The magnesium was originally the landing gear of a modern fighter jet, but it didn't fit any of my vehicles so I had to do something with it, being a machinist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9finger View Post
    It would have been 7 finger but two got put back on....all from a 13" southbend though....actually from me being an idiot, but whatever. The magnesium was originally the landing gear of a modern fighter jet, but it didn't fit any of my vehicles so I had to do something with it, being a machinist.
    Yeah, my dad tried to lighten his hand with a table saw when I was young, it gave me an appreciation for keeping things attached.

    Neat on the mag, any idea of the alloy? I wouldn't have thought it was appropriate for any part of landing gear but the wheels themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Yeah, my dad tried to lighten his hand with a table saw when I was young, it gave me an appreciation for keeping things attached.

    Neat on the mag, any idea of the alloy? I wouldn't have thought it was appropriate for any part of landing gear but the wheels themselves.
    It is the actual wheel...no idea, but it oxidizes really, really fast, and is actually pretty hard to light on fire, even chips with a propane torch. It machines like balsa wood though. I imagine it's heavily alloyed. That said, once you do get it lit, it makes a great fire. You just can't see anything afterwards. It doesn't have the tolerance fluctuation that low alloy magnesium has. I've got a little chunk left.


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