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Ammonia smell copper aluminum melt

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    cab082cab610cab started this thread.
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    Ammonia smell copper aluminum melt

    I have been melting down aluminum and copper separately. I keep The metal pucks I've made in a glass jar. I open it this morning and the smell of ammonia takes my breath away... Can anyone tell me why this is? Did I make something poisonous? Also, the copper puck in the jar is now black...



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    CopperMiner's Avatar
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    It looks like an aluminum + copper chloride reaction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cab082cab610cab View Post
    I have been melting down aluminum and copper separately. I keep The metal pucks I've made in a glass jar. I open it this morning and the smell of ammonia takes my breath away... Can anyone tell me why this is? Did I make something poisonous? Also, the copper puck in the jar is now black...
    The ammonia smell is not coming from that jar of metal pucks, aluminum and copper are often alloyed together.

    Aluminum copper alloy
    is the earliest cast aluminum alloy used in the industry. Its main performance characteristics are high room temperature and high temperature mechanical properties, simple casting process, good cutting performance and excellent heat resistance. It is the basis for the development of high strength aluminum alloys
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    Once again, you are correct. But really offer nothing to the4 question .

    I'm gonna guess you are using a pickle jar? Just a guess.

    Kinda like how used baby diapers smell like amonia after a while. Where's the amonia spigot on a baby?


    Quote Originally Posted by alloy2 View Post
    The ammonia smell is not coming from that jar of metal pucks, aluminum and copper are often alloyed together.

    Aluminum copper alloy
    is the earliest cast aluminum alloy used in the industry. Its main performance characteristics are high room temperature and high temperature mechanical properties, simple casting process, good cutting performance and excellent heat resistance. It is the basis for the development of high strength aluminum alloys

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    Quote Originally Posted by IamTheGreatest View Post
    Once again, you are correct. But really offer nothing to the4 question .

    I'm gonna guess you are using a pickle jar? Just a guess.

    Kinda like how used baby diapers smell like amonia after a while. Where's the amonia spigot on a baby?
    I did offer to the question, the ammonia source should be investigated further as it's not coming from the jar of metal pucks. What your suggesting is impossible as the ingredients to make pickles will not make ammonia.

    Vinegar and salt makes up the brine and alum is used to make the pickles crunchy.

    Even if he had used a flux containing ammonia chloride at the chloride stage will not recreate ammonia gas.

    Alum is added to pickles to create the classic crispness and crunch of a good dill pickle.

    Ammonium chloride is used as a flux in preparing metals to be tin coated, galvanized or soldered. It works as a flux by cleaning the surface of work pieces by reacting with the metal oxides at the surface to form a volatile metal chloride
    Last edited by alloy2; 10-12-2021 at 11:04 AM.

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    ammonium chloride wouldnt survive a melt. Alum residue in a jar would produce a sulfur smell as it would free sulfur in the process of reacting with the copper. Moisture would have come from the cooling process if anything at all. I can get into the chemistry if you like but the alternatives, a true ammonia like smell would mean the copper melted was actually C14500 machineable beryllium copper. If it was melted WITH the use of a flux then an acid reaction from the jar would produce Beryllium chloride. So lets hope not.

    Most likely is you melted dirty pipe with salt residues, and if you did that you likely also melted mineral residues and thats where the reaction came from in the jar with sufficient moisture and bimetal contact. This is the most likely scenario unless you melted bare bright or virgin copper product.
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    Or you put it in a pickle jar that had a metal lid that never comes "clean"

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    uh sure, it is a component of this inquiry so it would qualify as "the jar" just the same. People make the scientific significance of the insignificant, in this case the source of the alum doesn't actually matter because we dont know if he was smelling sulfur or ammonia. I suspect he was smelling sulfur which is the better and more logical outcome here. Food grade "Alum" has no chemistry in which it could produce a chlorine smell in a reaction unless we consider machinable copper.

    Now, for everyone here, and I do mean everyone. If your into casting, only cast copper from wire or virgin pipe. Never ever use bus bar, contactors or anything else. Beryllium is no joke, as a amalgamate no big deal. But you definitely should not melt it...exhibit A right here for everybody to take note of. Is it likely you can melt it and never experience this, sure. But hey, please don't. Beryllium hydroxide (the worst), chloride and sulfate are all possibilities with the exposure of common acids, and all of those compounds are heavy duty carcinogens.

    Side note: Also don't break microwave magnetrons...that pink or white ceramic device is beryllium oxide, and if you shatter it, the ceramic powder is incurably carcinogenic. The same item is present in a xray machine, which has a cavity klystron with thorium in it. The ceramic is beryllium oxide again.

    Be safe peoples, have a good week.

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