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Thread: Hi-tek powder shelf life?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    MA
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    Hi-tek powder shelf life?

    I am going crazy trying to figure out why my hi-tek isn't working.

    I used this same exact hi-tek powder purchased December 2017 for thousands of bullets last winter without any problems.

    Here's my process:

    -My oven temp is 390-400F pid controlled.
    -I mixed up a new batch (actually 3 different times) using 10 grams of powder and 50ml of acetone.
    -I use 1/4tsp (1.25ml) of mixture for 2 pounds of bullets for first round, 1/2tsp(2.5ml) for second round.
    -I swirl in a bucket until almost dry but stop before all the acetone is evaporated, the bucket is still a bit wet.
    -I dump the bullets onto a wire basket and place on a fan for 12 minutes to dry.
    -I put in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. I tried 10 minutes and 15 minutes, no difference.

    After baking I let the bullets cool and the coating wipes right off with acetone and a paper towel.

    I tried diluting the mixture 10ml at a time until I got to 120ml of acetone in 10 grams powder, no luck.

    I tried bullets from a different batch in case I had contaminated lead, no luck.

    I tried letting the coating dry for over an hour before first baking, still no luck.

    I'm thinking the powder is no good. I tried 3 different containers/colors of hi-tek and all three have the same exact problem. The powder is just over a year old, was stored in a cool, dry place for the past year. The powder looks fine, not lumpy at all.

    Any suggestions on what else I could possibly try before I give up on hi-tek?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Ausglock's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    NSW North Coast, Australia
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    2,439
    Mate. You lot are now in Winter up there.
    We are in summer down here.

    Everything you say you are doing is fine......BUT...
    Have you really really got Acetone?? Real acetone. Not thinners etc etc... UN1090 Acetone??
    How old is it? Has it been stored sealed?

    Also.... just because the bullet "feel" dry, doesn't mean they are. Especially in bloody cold, freezing Sepo land where you are.

    Get yourself a fan/heater and place it over or under the tray of bullets to warm them BEFORE placing in the PER-HEATED oven.
    The bloody bullets need to be warm when you put your hand on them.
    HITEK powder does not "go off" I have powder here in plastic jars from 2014 when he started testing the powder. It still works fine.
    Today I coated and baked 35,000 9mm bullets. Zero fails.
    It works, Just follow the instructions..
    Or don't. I have been doing this for 6 years, so have a fair bloody idea of how to make it work.

    So go buy a bloody fan heater. they are cheap.
    Hooroo.
    Regards, Trevor.
    Australia

  3. #3
    Boolit Master




    HI-TEK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark2215 View Post
    I am going crazy trying to figure out why my hi-tek isn't working.

    I used this same exact hi-tek powder purchased December 2017 for thousands of bullets last winter without any problems.

    Here's my process:

    -My oven temp is 390-400F pid controlled.
    -I mixed up a new batch (actually 3 different times) using 10 grams of powder and 50ml of acetone.
    -I use 1/4tsp (1.25ml) of mixture for 2 pounds of bullets for first round, 1/2tsp(2.5ml) for second round.
    -I swirl in a bucket until almost dry but stop before all the acetone is evaporated, the bucket is still a bit wet.
    -I dump the bullets onto a wire basket and place on a fan for 12 minutes to dry.
    -I put in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. I tried 10 minutes and 15 minutes, no difference.

    After baking I let the bullets cool and the coating wipes right off with acetone and a paper towel.

    I tried diluting the mixture 10ml at a time until I got to 120ml of acetone in 10 grams powder, no luck.

    I tried bullets from a different batch in case I had contaminated lead, no luck.

    I tried letting the coating dry for over an hour before first baking, still no luck.

    I'm thinking the powder is no good. I tried 3 different containers/colors of hi-tek and all three have the same exact problem. The powder is just over a year old, was stored in a cool, dry place for the past year. The powder looks fine, not lumpy at all.

    Any suggestions on what else I could possibly try before I give up on hi-tek?

    Mark2215
    Have you contacted your supplier and discussed things?
    I am finding it very difficult to accept your assertion that 3 separate powders are no good.

    Acetone/quality/type may be a possible culprit.

    The first coat is of paramount importance to make sure it is dry. In cold/cool conditions, casts are normally pre warmed to about 10C above ambient conditions. Using solvent coatings, chill alloy when drying off. This cooling/chilling will trap moisture. When placed into oven, the trapped moisture expands about 1000 times its volume. It simply lifts film from alloy, film heat sets, but comes off alloy with wiping action.
    Drying for 1 hour when it is cold, does not guarantee adequate drying.
    Test bake only a few, before loading the oven.


    What is alloy temperature when you are taking out baked casts?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    St. Francisville, Louisiana
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    HI-TEK - "What is alloy temperature when you are taking out baked casts? "

    If the Hi-Tek is wiping off, It sounds like the bullets were not brought up to proper temp for the minimum cure time. Your temp probe on your PID may be off. If you can get some, try painting one boolit with some 400 deg Tempilaq. It will melt and get shinny when the surface of the boolit gets to 400.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  5. #5
    Boolit Master




    HI-TEK's Avatar
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    Temperature confirmation

    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjim View Post
    HI-TEK - "What is alloy temperature when you are taking out baked casts? "

    If the Hi-Tek is wiping off, It sounds like the bullets were not brought up to proper temp for the minimum cure time. Your temp probe on your PID may be off. If you can get some, try painting one boolit with some 400 deg Tempilaq. It will melt and get shinny when the surface of the boolit gets to 400.
    Farmerjim,
    That is a great idea. I had a look at various Tempilaq products on Ebay. The specific one suitable for around 200C was out of stock.
    They had a few very close to confirm things.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pleasant Hope MO
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    838
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark2215 View Post
    I am going crazy trying to figure out why my hi-tek isn't working.

    I used this same exact hi-tek powder purchased December 2017 for thousands of bullets last winter without any problems.

    Here's my process:

    -My oven temp is 390-400F pid controlled.
    -I mixed up a new batch (actually 3 different times) using 10 grams of powder and 50ml of acetone.
    -I use 1/4tsp (1.25ml) of mixture for 2 pounds of bullets for first round, 1/2tsp(2.5ml) for second round.
    -I swirl in a bucket until almost dry but stop before all the acetone is evaporated, the bucket is still a bit wet.
    -I dump the bullets onto a wire basket and place on a fan for 12 minutes to dry.
    -I put in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. I tried 10 minutes and 15 minutes, no difference.

    After baking I let the bullets cool and the coating wipes right off with acetone and a paper towel.

    I tried diluting the mixture 10ml at a time until I got to 120ml of acetone in 10 grams powder, no luck.

    I tried bullets from a different batch in case I had contaminated lead, no luck.

    I tried letting the coating dry for over an hour before first baking, still no luck.

    I'm thinking the powder is no good. I tried 3 different containers/colors of hi-tek and all three have the same exact problem. The powder is just over a year old, was stored in a cool, dry place for the past year. The powder looks fine, not lumpy at all.

    Any suggestions on what else I could possibly try before I give up on hi-tek?
    What is the ambient temperature when you are doing the "I dump the bullets onto a wire basket and place on a fan for 12 minutes to dry"?
    To be sure the first coating is dry enough to bake the should be 140 deg F for 15 min, I run my oven at 420 deg F and check with a digital K type thermometer.

    I am still using some coating I got in 2012 and works fine.

    I have even placed my trays of coated bullets on a wood stove in 32 deg F weather until they reached 140 deg F and 140 deg F is almost to hot to hold on to very long.

  7. #7
    How clean are your boolits before coating? HiTek won't adhere to a contaminated surface -- you addressed this

    Do you size before coating? HiTek is a stain and needs open pores in the lead for adhesion the sizing process closes those pores

    How old is your Acetone?

    New batches of HiTek need to sit for 30-45 min so the solvent can totally absorb into the powder

    Are you mixing the solution again thoroughly immediately before you measure and apply each coat of acetone (HiTek goes out of solution quickly and needs to be mixed before each use)

    How long are you swirling? if the sound changes your swirling to long

    #1 source of failure coating isn't 100% dry before baking == Try doubling the time in front of the fan then place the tray of coated boolits on top of your countertop oven on spacers for 1 bake cycle (Apr 12 min) to pre-warm

    You said your oven is PID controlled -- sometimes PID's fail put an oven thermometer in the middle of you bake shelf and double check that.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Petander's Avatar
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    Finland
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    Oven problem maybe?

    Or drying - it's snow and winter here, I dry my bullets on top of an oven for 45 minutes, they have been 50C ( 120 F) for a while at that point. I use no drying fan in winter because the room is about refridgerator temp now.

    FWIW I have Zombie Green mixed solution (from powder) in a bottle that was made eight months ago,it is still working normally.

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