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Thread: Telling the difference between zinc and aluminum

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    wayne1956 started this thread.
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    Telling the difference between zinc and aluminum

    As most of us know neither zinc (cast) nor aluminum are magnetic. They both also show a shiny silver color if you use a file on them, and neither spark if you use a wheel on them. So how can a person definitively tell the difference between the two? Most of the time I can tell generally by the weight in relation to the size, but sometimes the weight is just so that I cannot for sure say one way or another. Anyone have a tried and true method to tell these two from each other?



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    Bear is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    I know how, Zink starts with a Z! what about a hardness test, isn't Al fairly soft?

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    Sirscrapalot is offline Keeper of the Cooler!
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    lol..Bear your a freaking trip buddy.

    I have nothing useful to add other then the above, carry on!

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    I find some small heat sinks in boards that I think are zinc. I don't accumulate much of them, and my yard does not buy zinc, so they end up in my aluminum. Shhh.

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    My yard checks with a file. They say zinc is a duller gray, aluminum is more white.

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    KeyCityRecycling is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by erewen View Post
    I find some small heat sinks in boards that I think are zinc. I don't accumulate much of them, and my yard does not buy zinc, so they end up in my aluminum. Shhh.
    Ask your yard if they buy "Die Cast"

    That is the more common term for zinc.

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    wayne1956 started this thread.
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    Thanks, I will try filing again and double check the shades.

    Quote Originally Posted by freonjoe View Post
    My yard checks with a file. They say zinc is a duller gray, aluminum is more white.

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    newattitude is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Usually the die cast (zinc) is a darker grey color. Sometimes you just can't go by weight. I recall when I started the yard guy mentioning 'swirls' or something but all I heard was ''wah wah wah.''

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    The yard I bring my cast alluminum to lets me throw Zinc in with the cast and pay me cast price. One yard I know of only pays .10 per bl for Zinc.

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    wayne1956 started this thread.
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    Dang, 10 cents a lb is horrible. I get 25 cents at the yard I usually go to.


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