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Thread: Zinc Removal with Sulfur Report

  1. #121
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    Just tried some KNOWN PURE 100% lead in the pot with sulfur added (1/2 tsp/5#) and got black crud from PURE lead. Not sure what it is combining with, but is definitely not zinc! And it is really black and heavy for a flux "floater".

    Smell reminds me of hell.....4th of July and making fireworks.....Yellowstone mud pots....all those good "sulfury" things.

    As far as testing COWW......use the old "bell ringer" method. I keep a large 1" steel rod about 8" long on the bench when sorting. Banging zinc on it sounds almost musical! It rings. Lead will sound totally dead. That is the best way I have found to tell them apart....other than just reading the label on the side that says ZN!!!!!!!! I even find SOWW's that are Fe....steel/iron! Beware if you are paying good $$ for Pb and there are a bunch of Fe ones in there.

    Happy meltin!
    You have made a form of lead sulfide - basically the same as the crud that is left in a automobile type lead acid battery after its well past its usable life.

  2. #122
    Boolit Bub
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    Please take the time to read Lyman's book on bullet casting.

    A wealth of information .

    Pictures of the result of Zinc contamination as well.

    Regards,

    Steve

  3. #123
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    DeputyDog25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Copper sulfate works much better, doesn't have the terrible fumes. It adds Cu which goes into the lead just like sulfur. Cost is the same. Add just a little at a time (tea spoon in a 40# pot) When it turns white, mix it in, add more. You're done when white crystals stay on top. After all the zinc is removed, let it cook for 1/2 hr, add uncontaminated lead to get the % Cu you want. It will remove tin, not antimony. 4 pennies into 10# pure will give you about 2 cups of fine brown powder. You should wear a dust mask when doing this, no respirator needed and it doesn't flame up.

    Popper, where can you get the Copper Sulfate, I think I am going that direction rather than the fumes, flames, and whatever else sulfur might do.

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  4. #124
    Boolit Master Markbo's Avatar
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    Good questions. And pennies are about 98% zinc & 2% copper. Seems you'd be spinning your wheels using oennies.

  5. #125
    Boolit Man AllanD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltaenterprizes View Post
    A physics teacher I spoke with about this said sulphuric acid( Battery acid) would work to identify zinc wheelweights. The zinc would react the lead would not.

    Hydrochloric Acid would react more tellingly with Metallic Zinc...

    To get Copper Sulfate go to the plumbing department of you "Big Box store"
    (Lowes or Home Depot) and look for something called "Root Kill"

    (Read the ingredients)

    Do not add the blue crystals directly to hot metal, blue crystal Copper Sulfate is in the Pentahydrate form
    (Look up "water of crystallization") and if heated suddenly this water comes out, often violently...
    Last edited by AllanD; 07-31-2015 at 09:19 PM.

  6. #126
    Boolit Man AllanD's Avatar
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    Borax should be "Safe" to add to molten metal as simple Borax is the basic flux for brazing or gas welding

  7. #127
    Boolit Bub
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    I've found laundry "borax" is a safe flux agent, but be aware it has water bound up in the mineral, too. Let it puff up on the surface - it puffs to about 4x bigger volume and is very fluffy. After puffing up, it readily grabs dirt from the alloy and carries it to the surface. I've not seen it affect any of the alloyed metal content. It "dries" the wall of the pot very quickly, so usually some wax or 2 cycle oil is needed to keep the pot walls wet enough to keep alloy from sticking to the walls. Takes a VERY hot lead pot to make this form of borax go molten like brazing flux does, however.

    Borax will NOT pull zinc out of the alloy (which I thought was the topic of this post)!
    Last edited by garrisonjoe; 11-27-2015 at 02:07 PM.

  8. #128
    Boolit Bub
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    FWIW I used a respirator that I keep for using with a blaster. It did NOT help much! Those sulfur fumes are no joke. I wore my respirator, stayed up wind and held my breath when I had to get close to spoon off the dross.
    Sulfur dioxide gas is NOT removed by a standard dust/silica respirator like would be used for sand blasting (or sanding). You need a specialized acid fume cartridge which neutralizes the SO2. After my 5 years experience of running a large Arizona copper smelter back in the 70s, sulfur fumes are nothing to be cavalier about - this stuff can cause serious respiratory burns, and can asphyxiate you in high concentrations. Please be real careful with this, and be aware the SO2 smell will attract attention at very low concentrations. SO2 is pretty hard to oxidize to the next state (sulfur trioxide, SO3) - but if it does, it is certainly toxic and a lung and eye destroyer, as it rapidly combines with body moisture to make strong sulfuric acid.

  9. #129
    Boolit Master
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    Gents... Believe garrisonjoe is correct. "any old" respirator will not provide the level of safety needed for gaseous fumes. You will need a properly selected 'acid gas' cartridge for the protection needed. Or, 'get the right cartridge for the gas' you may be exposed to. Dust masks are for dust....not gases. And, here too, you need the 'right dust mask for the dust' to which you maybe exposed.

    And, here too, cartridge masks do NOTHING for oxygen deprivation.

    What you don't know can hurt you.

    Nose Dive

    Cheap, Fast, Good. Kindly pick two.

  10. #130
    Boolit Master
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    Gents... Believe garrisonjoe is correct. "any old" respirator will not provide the level of safety needed for gaseous fumes. You will need a properly selected 'acid gas' cartridge for the protection needed. Or, 'get the right cartridge for the gas' you may be exposed to. Dust masks are for dust....not gases. And, here too, you need the 'right dust mask for the dust' to which you maybe exposed.

    And, here too, cartridge masks do NOTHING for oxygen deprivation.

    What you don't know can hurt you.

    Nose Dive

    Cheap, Fast, Good. Kindly pick two.

    PS:... be very careful about what you put in your smelt pot. Some of the chemical solutions offered on these pages become very dangerous when we bring up the temp. Protective clothing, properly selected breathing protection, eye protection are in many cases, well, MANDATORY to prevent blindness, burns, and lung damage. ND

    PSS: ...be ware, the person you hurt, may not be you.

  11. #131
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I tried using sulfur to get zinc out of lead. It was the most futile thing I have ever done. The lead bubbled with awful bubbles. Then it turned into something like metallic tar or metallic bubble gum. Then it turned onto black powder. The most disgusting stuff.... If it works for you good but for me it is NOT the thing to do. I read up on sulfur in lead and it seems that the big smelters have a heck of a time getting it out. They have to roast the lead to get the sulfur out. A process that is not done at home by any means.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  12. #132
    THis is a very infromative post. Thanks all.
    For sudden the worst turns the best to brave. (from "Prospice" by Robert Browning)

  13. #133
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Copper sulfate works much better, doesn't have the terrible fumes. It adds Cu which goes into the lead just like sulfur. Cost is the same. Add just a little at a time (tea spoon in a 40# pot) When it turns white, mix it in, add more. You're done when white crystals stay on top. After all the zinc is removed, let it cook for 1/2 hr, add uncontaminated lead to get the % Cu you want. It will remove tin, not antimony. 4 pennies into 10# pure will give you about 2 cups of fine brown powder. You should wear a dust mask when doing this, no respirator needed and it doesn't flame up.
    Can you please explain a little bit more. I am lost, you go from adding Copper Sulfate crystals to "after zinc is removed" Does that mean once the crystals are mixed in you have to skim the dross which will contain Zinc? Also you completely lost me where you say to add pure lead to get desired percentage of copper? What does that mean? Do the crystals add copper to the lead mix? You also talk about 4 pennies per 10# pot.... Are you saying I need to add 4 pennies to the pot? Why? What kind of pennies? Copper or Zinc? Because all modern pennies are Zinc, so I assume you mean copper pennies? Ok, so we are adding Copper to the mix and that's somehow suppose to remove Zinc? Please explain thoroughly.

  14. #134
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    Can you please explain a little bit more. I am lost, you go from adding Copper Sulfate crystals to "after zinc is removed" Does that mean once the crystals are mixed in you have to skim the dross which will contain Zinc? Also you completely lost me where you say to add pure lead to get desired percentage of copper? What does that mean? Do the crystals add copper to the lead mix? You also talk about 4 pennies per 10# pot.... Are you saying I need to add 4 pennies to the pot? Why? What kind of pennies? Copper or Zinc? Because all modern pennies are Zinc, so I assume you mean copper pennies? Ok, so we are adding Copper to the mix and that's somehow suppose to remove Zinc? Please explain thoroughly.
    Do a quick search on adding copper to your mix, popper has done quite a bit of testing and goes into much more detail there. Yes getting copper in the mix is one of the goals, the other is to get the zinc out.

  15. #135
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Sulfur in you alloy is GOOD, hardens the alloy. As a process, it STINKS. and will continue to stink if you recycle those culls. Some Zinc is good, hardens the alloy too.
    Whatever!

  16. #136
    Boolit Man AllanD's Avatar
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    I use Muriatic Acid to clean my big cast iron smelting pot each and every time.
    It will clean cast Iron down to bare metal but be cautious with the virulent yellow solution
    (Iron III Chloride) that often results it will vigorously attack Copper, Nickel & Zinc.

    Iron Chloride is used commercially to etch excess copper off of printed circuit boards.


    BE CAREFUL Muriatic acid (aka Hydrochloric Acid or HCL) reacts VIOLENTLY with metallic Zinc as well as many zinc compounds.

    the only substance I personally know of that is more aggressive against rust on Iron or steel is Hydrogen Floride/HydroFloric Acid,
    but it is very dangerous in other ways as well.

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  17. #137
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I don't know much about chemistry but I know that hydrofloric acid will dissolve GLASS. Yeah, I would say be careful indeed.
    AKA hans.pcguy

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