Melting soda cans for fun & mebbe profit?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by epicelite, Oct 31, 2008.

Oct 31, 2008
  1. epicelite
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    Member epicelite Equal opportunity ass kicker.

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    So I have saved up a s**tload of soda cans, and I want to melt them into blocks for fun!

    So like, I know how to make the fire with coals and a fan and stuff, but what to melt the cans in?

    Can I use this?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=150307137884

    Cast iron has a WAYYYYYY high melting point rite?

    Then I can mold them into blocks with...?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=370104794638

    I know I would be spending more then I could make with the blocks of aluminum, but it still looks like fun!
     
  2. xalphax

    Member xalphax Internet killed the Ponystar.

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    o.....kay

    but for melting them you will need a really REALLY high temperature.

    like you would get with thermite.

    careful with that stuff!
     
  3. epicelite
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    Member epicelite Equal opportunity ass kicker.

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    All you do is take coals, and blow on them and they can get to like 2500-3000 degrees, I did my research on that.
     
  4. xalphax

    Member xalphax Internet killed the Ponystar.

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    i am thrilled for your results!
     
  5. arctic_flame

    Member arctic_flame GBAtemp ATMEGA8 Fan

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    You won't get a good result from drinks cans, and it's very difficult to heat something up to 933.47 K without a furnace.

    If you want to melt stuff for fun, make thermite.
     
  6. epicelite
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    Member epicelite Equal opportunity ass kicker.

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    You can build a little tower out of cinder blocks, then run a iron pipe or something into the middle with a hair dryer to blow air into it, then put the cast iron pot on top with cans.

    Simple.

    Where do I get a mold?

    LOL Maybe I can make a shell of a DS into a mold! XD
     
  7. arctic_flame

    Member arctic_flame GBAtemp ATMEGA8 Fan

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    I'll be the first to say that your idea won't work. (Especially not a hairdryer)
    Say you do manage to make a hot enough furnace to melt the cans, what could you do with it? Pick it up with oven gloves?

    P.S. Having "thermited" broken games consoles in the past, I can say from experience it melts things very quickly. You'll need to find an appropriate starter, such as Potassium Manganate VII IIRC.
     
  8. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Cans are usually aluminium (and a fairly cheap form at that as you can rely on internal pressure) so you can melt them quite easily as aluminium melts at low temperatures.

    "tin" cans are usually nickel plated steel (it is fairly obvious but use a magnet to test).

    To answer your question cast iron does have a fairly high melting point (certainly more than aluminium but it usually has a composition around the eutectic point of iron and carbon (quickly it is a point where metal freezes/melts without an intermediate stage and is usually a low temperature compared to the rest of the alloys of a metal). It would probably be higher than 1150 degrees C but cast iron is a somewhat generic term (the range of alloys covered by the term is huge compared to the rest of the basic steels) and with the temperatures you are playing at it will not do it wonders.
    Phase diagram for iron carbon system:
    http://www.calphad.com/graphs/Metastable%2...e%20Diagram.gif
    Original page:
    http://www.calphad.com/iron-carbon.html

    Secondly baking trays for moulding, maybe 4 hits if you are lucky and cool them during it.

    The other problem is the melt "sticking" to the mould on repeated use; iron alloys are used to cast aluminium but you tend to have to coat it with sulphur or something to stop it which I would not suggest you go looking for if you do not have a good reason (backyard chemistry is not one). See die casting for more on this.

    To this end I would look at a ceramic "mould" and a throwaway melting pot before doing it all over a short space of time (industry has a continuous process).
    You probably also want a way of removing as much paint as you can from the can (an acid bath should do it but you can also look to organic solvents) for you are not going to generate the best ingots and leaving that in is even worse.

    Have a look at http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/ while you are at it too.

    re thermite: it is a good reaction, get some rust (powder form is good so just scrape it off something rusty), some magnesium or some other method to generate heat fairly quickly (a proper sparkler or two is nice as it doubles as a fuse) and the aluminium (powder is good too).
    Mix it, light it and get out of there (it is not an explosive but it is hot and aluminium oxide powder is not the nicest stuff to inhale).
    Only problem here is that you are using your aluminium to do it and while it is a good cutting/welding reaction it is not a good heat source.
     
  9. epicelite
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    Member epicelite Equal opportunity ass kicker.

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    Can I use a empty home depot paint can?
     
  10. ryan

    Member ryan GBAtemp Regular

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    mold an aluminum replacement casing for ds lite and i'll buy it lol
     
  11. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Cans are usually low grade steel or aluminium, it probably could be done but I would not suggest it. You would also have to contend with the joins that are usually little more than an interference fit/compression join.
    If you do plan on coals and getting them to silly temperatures (blowing on them is the principle behind a blast furnace and the main reason they exist is to reduce the carbon content of steels so you do not have to hammer them so much) it will also frustrate your "paint can" plans (see the phase diagram I linked earlier, austenite is not the strongest of materials) and be overkill as aluminium has one of the lowest melting points of all the common industrial metals.
     
  12. Raika

    Member Raika uguu

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    When youre done please post pics of the molded cans! (it would be awesome [​IMG] )
     
  13. Mei-o

    Member Mei-o Generic Asian Kidâ„¢

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    Let's say you managed to do it, you got your steel blocks etc., what's next?


    Make something better, go start with this
    Warning: Spoilers inside!


    then eventually graduate to this, awesome, right?
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  14. InuYasha

    Member InuYasha Professional Coke Fiend

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    Sounds like your better off just turning the cans in for the 5/10 cents that'll you'll get then trying something that could either injury yourself or start some kind of fire......
     
  15. Mewgia

    Member Mewgia drifter

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    That's what I would do. Turn the cans in for money instead of wasting them on a project that probably won't work, and if it does it'll be useless anyway.
     
  16. Lee79

    Member Lee79 Hyper...Active...Team Fortress 2 Addict

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  17. cardyology

    Member cardyology GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You can set off the thermite reaction with a sparkler....

    ...it's nearly nov 5th!! [​IMG]
     

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