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bbs70
12-23-2008, 01:44 PM
I need help identifying this metal.

A week ago I purchased several hundred pounds of lead from a scrap yard.
The lead was brought in by a single indivual (The yard doesn't remember who he was ).

Whoever had this lead was a Boolit caster evidently because I found about 100 or so cast unlubed bullets, a lot of ww ingots from a home made mold, and some regular ww.

In with all of this I found 5 ingots that were cast into Lyman molds.
I have no idea what type of material they are.

I tried to melt one with a benzomatic torch and nothing happened.
I put one on a grinder to see what type of sparks they gave off, NONE.
The area I tried to grind shows what looks like lead.
I asked the people at the scrap yard if they had any idea what they were, they said they were lead as far as they knew.
They have a golden color on the outside and a lead color inside.

I don't want to use them until I find out what they are.
Any help is appreciated.
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f12/gopherdust/My%20Stuff/PC220002.jpg

Heavy lead
12-23-2008, 01:46 PM
Rats, betcha thought you had some gold there, didn't ya?

fishhawk
12-23-2008, 01:51 PM
when casting up the pure lead to ship out this summer to folks on the board i had some pure that must have just hit the right temp. cause they turned a nice gold color in the ingot mould steve k

johnly
12-23-2008, 02:00 PM
I'd try to measure the density of the material to help identify the material.

Weigh an ingot
Fill a container of water to the brim.
Place the ingot in the container and catch the excess water in another container.
Weigh the water

Water weighs 1 gram per cubic centimeter.
Divide the ingot weight by the water weight and the number should be the density of the material.

I'm guessing that its tin, as my pure tin ingots have that same color when cast.

John

runfiverun
12-23-2008, 02:06 PM
i have seen tin give off a goldish tint when melted too.
but that looks like spray paint to me.
if the benzomatic wouldn't melt it you need to do a bit more investigating.
maybe melt in your smelting pot and put a thermometer in it at the lowest temp it will hold.

Morgan Astorbilt
12-23-2008, 02:16 PM
Take them to a scrap dealer that has one of those Mini-Quant type assay machines. A quick pass will give the complete breakdown of the ingredients.
Morgan

bbs70
12-23-2008, 03:04 PM
Rats, betcha thought you had some gold there, didn't ya?

I should be so lucky.:???:

uncle joe
12-23-2008, 03:09 PM
+1 on what Morgan says. My local scrap guy has a very expensive little hand held spectrometer that will tell you exactly what it is. Just take one that you have ground on so he can get a good reading. Any scrap dealer that accepts scrap from local industry should have one of some kind that will help.
JE

GLL
12-23-2008, 06:17 PM
Just a bit TOO gold to me ! I agree with the gold spray paint guess ! :)

Wash one with acetone and see what happens !

What happens to the gold color when hit with the torch?

Does the freshly exposed area scratch with your fingernail?

Jerry

jnovotny
12-23-2008, 06:55 PM
looks like someone was playing with spraypaint

bbs70
12-23-2008, 07:37 PM
+1 on what Morgan says. My local scrap guy has a very expensive little hand held spectrometer that will tell you exactly what it is. Just take one that you have ground on so he can get a good reading. Any scrap dealer that accepts scrap from local industry should have one of some kind that will help.
JE

I live in the sticks, no industry around here, I doubt if the scrap yards here even know what a spectrometer is.

I kinda think also someone was playing with a spray can, but I was thinking along the lines of certain metals turning color when cast.

I did my own high tech hardness test (Hammer and screwdriver) I can barely scratch it with the driver and the hammer barely puts a dent in it.

As for as what happens to the gold color when the torch hits it.
Absolutely nothing, no little beads of lead, no burning of the surface, nothing.
I had the torch on high and held it there for about 5 minutes and when I was done it looked like it had before I started.

We have freezing here in Illinois right now, but Friday it is suppose to get up to 50 degrees.
So, I'm getting my cast iron pot out Friday and try to melt one of these little thing along with some ww lead to see what happens.

If you guys hear a loud noise, you'll know its either that it didn't work or its the sound of the jail cell door closed on our Governor.

Illinois, where our Governors make our license plates.:mrgreen:

Morgan Astorbilt
12-23-2008, 08:14 PM
Maybe an Alchemist was in the process of turning lead into gold, when he got interrupted?:kidding:

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
Morgan

mrbill2
12-23-2008, 09:13 PM
If you can't melt it with a torch, you won't be making bullets with it, so !

Firebird
12-23-2008, 09:49 PM
I'd do a density test, just to get some more information about what alloy it could be.
Stereotype or monotype are very hard, and lighter than pure lead. Either would be a great find as they have lots of antimony that would let you harden a lot of lead. Otherwise it could be something like zinc or cadmium(DANGER!!!), though I have no idea what those metals would be doing in a Lyman mold. Especially the cadmium as that stuff isn't safe to melt as it forms poisonous fumes; but it does melt at about the same temp as wheel weights and is heavy, though not nearly as heavy as lead.

uncle joe
12-23-2008, 09:57 PM
Somewhere on this forum there is a test that sounds pretty good for measuring hardness. It involves a ball bearing or other hard ball and an ingot of known composition 'pure lead' I think. and a vise used to make a dent in both pieces. I am not sure how to best search for it but it is here somewhere with the formula needed to determine hardness.
JE

housedad
12-23-2008, 10:23 PM
I'd be willing to bet that they are castings of 80% or better antimony. The rest lead or zink to reduce the melting temp to something a pot could melt.

Then again, maybe it could be the sulfer showing from the guy trying to melt down battery lead. Some folks are crazy that way.

JIMinPHX
12-24-2008, 02:15 AM
Maybe an Alchemist was in the process of turning lead into gold, when he got interrupted?:kidding:

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
Morgan

My college chem teacher claims that he has been able to change a platinum-iridium compound into gold. Of course the base material is more expensive than gold is & the beta decay produces an isotope of gold that is radioactive, so it's not really that desirable of a thing to do.

HeavyMetal
12-24-2008, 03:07 AM
Considering the current temp in Ill. I'm not sure 5 min. with a propane tourch is going to heat these ingots up enough to do anything with them!

I will say that trying to melt these in known lead is not a good idea because you may wind up losing a spot of lead if these turn out to be zink or some other contaminet!

However I will suggest a small cast Iron pot, bought used at a goodwill store, on the kitchen stove and fire that baby up to max for 20 minutes or so. If that don't melt them nothing will!

You also won't add a contaminent to your casting pot, which MAYBE IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE!

I do suspect, as others have mentioned, that someone was playing pirate with "Gold Bars" and I figure thats what you will find when you melt these on the stove!

randyrat
12-24-2008, 07:37 AM
First do the drop test.. It's a very highly refined scientific test that can be performed at home.
Take one golden ingot and one of the other ingots that you beleive are WWs. Drop it on concrete and listen for the noise.... There will be a Ding Ring, Ting or a thud. The higher the pitch the harder your alloy is... Then you can compare. Practice and you'll get good at it.
I always keep an ingot of WWs and an ingot of a harder alloy handy so i can compare.
If it is so hard that you can't scratch it with a knife don't use it.
[/INDENT]

Tom W.
12-24-2008, 08:08 AM
Kinda looks like Babbitt....My ingots turned gold when I melted them down, and they were as hard as, well... something other than lead...

357tex
12-24-2008, 10:22 AM
Years ago I cast 125lb of soft lead ingots that looked just like yours.Pretty gold color,they came from a shower pan that someone gave me.At the time I had lots of ww & telphone cable lead.I dumped the pan out in the pasture,to deal with later. 20 years later I got around to it.In this east Texas suger sand it was covered up grass growing over it.It took a rip plow and a little time to find it.When melted and cast it was gold.My ingots were not fluxed good enought.I was in a hurry,the pot was not hot enought.They had alot of sand still mixed in 6 mo. later I remelted and did it right,It went from gold to just plane lead,wish I had saved one ingot to display.
Yours may be like mine cast with a poor fluxing job.:D

Rusty Shackleford
12-25-2008, 08:16 AM
I use RandyRats drop test. You can hear the difference between linotype, WW's and lead. If it was me I'd drop one, listen and use accordingly.
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Meatco1
12-25-2008, 06:01 PM
If you can melt them down, cast a couple of bullets, send one or two to me, and I'll be happy to test for hardness with a Cabinetree tester.

Perhaps, that will at least give you a clue, other than that, Iím certainly clueless.

Richard

rhead
12-25-2008, 06:18 PM
Put a ball bearing between one of the ingots and another one of known hardness. Press them in a vise hard enough to get a good dent. Measure the two dents. The square of the diam. time the hardness of the known will equal the square of the diam. times the hardness of the unknown.
They look like they had been spray painted to be gold bricks as props in a play.