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Thread: A possible way to remove zinc from molten lead

  1. #41
    Boolit Bub comershooter's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I was told to melt lead at 650 since zinc melts at 787 that way you just skim
    them off.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
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    I like to seperate all my wheel weights buy hand feel, and sound . the zinc has a hi pitch sound almost as high as iron .. steel will stick to a magnet or has the symbol fe on it .. zinc has zn on it .. and stick on ww lead is @ 99% lead ,usually good for black powder or slow bullets . they now have zinc and steel stick ons so be carefull .. lead is heavy and has a dead ring or dull sound ,,, some use pliars to test for zinc as zinc will not deform as easily as lead it is very hard... this may help to allieviate zinc contaminations in the pot.. hope this helps
    Last edited by badbob454; 10-26-2010 at 12:37 AM.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master rattletrap1970's Avatar
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    If you melt below the melting point of Zinc you will not have a problem. Really.. It's that simple.

    I kinda pimped out my Lee Production Pot.

    1. I have a digital 1/16 Din Omega Thermometer with a thermocouple in the pot.
    2. The Thermometer is powered by a 24v Din mounted power supply.
    3. The production pot is kept on it's highest setting and is "plugged in" to a relay that is kicked by the thermometer.
    4. The relay is connected to the wall.
    This allows me to very accurately control the melt.

  4. #44
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by rattletrap1970 View Post
    If you melt below the melting point of Zinc you will not have a problem. Really.. It's that simple.
    This statement just made my day. The last smelt of the afternoon I found silvery oatmeal floating but luckily I've been keeping tabs on the temperature. Was just under 650 so I figure with the above being said, I'm still good to go. Newbie with ww. I know what I'll be looking harder for.
    This Doesn't Suck!

  5. #45
    Boolit Master 161's Avatar
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    I went to the drug store today, the pharmacist (SP?). Was a classmate of mine so I didn't feel like an idiot when I asked for surfer. He gave me a 4 oz bottle of flowers of sulfur that was about to expire. There is no content label, just says sulfur sublimed powder usp. Will this work in a small test patch in my 20# pot?
    Thanks
    Warren

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Chemists here correct me, but lead and tin also form sulfates, but maybe not just by being mixed with sulfur. IIRC from college inorganic that sulfur transfers from one metal to another, changing one into the SO4 and leaving the other as elemental metal, I remember playing with copper sulfate and tin but never lead sulfate in the lab.

    I really shouldn't care how this works if it works!

    Someone have a contaminated alloy they'd like to try this on?

    Gear
    The article speaks of forming sulfides, not sulfates. I think it is the ease with which the Zn will combine wight he S that makes the sulfide formation possible. This sulfide would not be soluble I. The melt so it can be skimmed off.
    I am sure some lead and tin are lost also but sometimes you need to make a sacrifice to save the larger share of your melt.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    A possible way to remove zink from molten lead' easy skim it off berore the melt reaches 675 degrees. If you screw that simple task up, you`r on you`r own

  8. #48
    Boolit Bub
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    From a chemistry point of view the zinc is a much more reactive metal than are the others mentioned. The electromotive series is a relative scale that lists elements from most reactive to least reactive. Here is the list starting with zinc: zinc>chromium>iron>cadmium>cobalt>nickel>tin>Lead>hydrogen>antimony=arsenic=bismuth>copper. While sulphur may react with a small amount of the tin and lead, it will largely react with the much more reactive zinc metal.

    The suggestion to separate the zinc weights from the lead weights should be done first. Then separate out any zinc that slipped through by adjusting the temperature of the pot to melt the lead but not the zinc which will float on top. Finally, eliminate the residual zinc with the sulphur treatment. That should leave you with an alloy/lead containing very little zinc.

    The melting points of pure metals: lead 327.3ēC , zinc 419.5ēC, steel ~1375ēC The specific gravity of pure metals (how heavy they are compared to the same volume of water) lead 11.3, zinc 7.1, steel ~7.7 . That's near room temperature. At a higher temperature the numbers change a little but both solid zinc and steel (the cllps) will still float on liquid lead.

    No one has suggested distilling the zinc off. It could be done as zinc boils at 907ēC while lead boils at 1750ēC. OK, that's a stupid suggestion but it's fun to throw it out there for the back yard distillers to contemplate.
    Last edited by GunStuff; 12-04-2011 at 10:22 PM.

  9. #49
    Boolit Bub
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    i have been looking over this thread the past few days and I had an idea that popped into me head today. This is a little excessive and time consuming but I think it just might work. I mention this to try and spark ideas from others.
    So as stated HCL will react with the zinc and not this lead. This we know. The problem becomes that we have ingots and dunking them into CHL will only treat the surface area of the slabs. My thought was to make as much surface area as possible then treat the mix in HCL.
    If one were to melt the mix to liquid form and take a ladles worth at a time and CAREFULLY toss it onto a cooler surface (like a piece of sheet medal) the mix would harden almost instantly. This would create much more surface area for treatment in HCL and much less area that would be shielded from the HCL. You would just gather all of these thin pieces of mix and drop them into HCL and let the zinc bubble to hydrogen leaving only the lead and other alloys behind.
    I realize this would be time consuming, and might not even work that well, but like I said just trying to spark some thought.

  10. #50
    Boolit Mold
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    What if you just used a lower temp as zinc melts higher then lead does?

  11. #51
    Boolit Bub
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    I would like to remind folk, as is was mentioned, that sulfur is commonly used as an insecticide. As simple as flowers of sulfur, in a box, with a wick. You will have bugs falling from the sky- or at least the ceiling. Make sure you are not downwind, and have lots of ventilation. Lots and lots.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master Markbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfl1950 View Post
    What if you just used a lower temp as zinc melts higher then lead does?
    That is a good plan. Now for those of us that have melted ingots that may (read definitely do) have zinc in the mix, this thread is for them. I didn't want to have to try sulphur (the neighbors will NOT be happy) but apparently this is the best way to clean up what already has a little zinc problem. Had I known it was this big a problem I would have been more careful separating the zinc wheelweights in the first place. Thank goodness I have seen this so that I will take that time for the rest of the buckets I have!

  13. #53
    Boolit Bub
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    This has been a very informative thread and I make sure to separate the zinc and iron ww before I melt them. In post #1 there was a statement that no one has picked up on that I would like to explore: " Zinc, lead, and tin do not alloy well, lead will unite with only 1.6 per cent of zinc, and above that proportion the metals are only mixed when melted, and on cooling partially separate."

    So only 1.6 % of the zinc will incorporate with the lead and the excess should also float on top of the lead which could be skimmed off. It's like oil floating on water except here both layers are silvery which makes seeing the zinc layer problematic. However if you think you have zinc just skim off some of the top layer.

    The remaining 1.6% could be diluted to 0.8% by melting in an equivalent of pure lead. Now you have twice as much contaminated lead, but what are the negatives of this alloy for casting and shooting? I don't know. I would certainly do some skimming before treating the remaining 1.6% with sulfur.

  14. #54
    Boolit Master


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    You can get sulphur at any garden store. It is very inexpensive.
    Two or three dollars for five pounds.
    You only need a few tablespoons for a 20 pound pot.



    I have use this method.

    It works:

    I CANNOT ADEQUATELY DESCRIBE THE FUMES.

    Do this outside. Away from the house.
    If there is no wind, have a large fan running.
    Be sure you stand up wind.

    BE CAREFUL DO NOT LET THE FUMES GET IN YOUR EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH.

    BE CAREFUL.


    .
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the
    government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    - Henry Ford

  15. #55
    Boolit Master Markbo's Avatar
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    This is a repeat of a post in another thread: I think the problem is using a Propane turkey fryer, the temp gets above 600° whether I plan on it or not. Think of a 2/3 propane tank - my smelting pot - almost full of wheel weights. By the time the liquid is visible or enough that it floats what's on top of it, that temp in the bottom (and yes I do use a top) has exceeded zinc melting temperature. I have no doubt about that. Leaving some lead in the bottom & slowly adding weights will reduce the possibility of contamination as will pre-sorting the weights.

    Having done the sulfur stuff this weekend I'd prefer to not have to do that any more. It was not pleasant and I had to wait for the time and the right weather - clear and quite breezy - to do it. Sooo... I also spent time this weekend sorting through all my wheel weights and got roughly 50/50 lead and other - 3 x 5 gal buckets of each. I have segregated the lead and will sell off the other. Was sorting all the weights a pain? Sure was. But not as bad as the constant wondering 'if' my melt is contaminated and why I can't get bullets to fill out nicely. Now that I know I have cleaned out these ingots I can also know that my stock is good and hopefully not have the casting issues I had in the past. I will post a thread about my findings in due time.

    Like someone said in another thread, this ain't rocket science. But it sure does make it easier when you know a lot more about it!

  16. #56
    Boolit Master
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    It will smell like a giant fart. Your wife will love it!!

  17. #57
    Boolit Master



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    Keep a little of the sulfur around for chigger and seed tick protection. If sprinkled in one's socks and on the inside of pants legs, it works wonders. Not the best smelling, especially when combined with a bit of sweat, but it does work better than most any other repellent for those times when one must wade right on in there regardless of the creepy crawlers.
    RICK
    NRA Benefactor Life Member/VFW Life Member

  18. #58
    You can get 99.95 sulfur powder in 10 lb. bags from fertilizer stores online. It is also not very expensive, I forget exactly how much it costs though. I use it as an ingredient in home made black powder

  19. #59
    Boolit Bub
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    You can get it by the pound from amazon 15.50 for 5 lbs. http://www.amazon.com/5-lb-Sulfur-po...eywords=sulfur.

  20. #60
    Boolit Bub
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    I have 50lb of melted cww. I used a LP burner and am sure the zinc is in the lead. I just blended in 1/2 lb of sulfur in 6 to 8 attempts. Have lost maybe half of the amount in the pot. Will the sulfur stop? How do I know when all the zinc is removed?

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