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I Forge Iron

acid and aluminum

Double Y

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I found and old used up fire extinguisher that I planed on making a gong out of. Turns out the bottle is aluminum....

I found this out after I emptied the bottle, but I still figured it would work. So I cut off the bottom and decided to soak the barrel of the bottle in my bucket of meuratic acid I use to remove mill scale....

I just learned aluminum doesn't like acid!

When I first put the bottle in the bucket nothing happened at first so I left it there and went on about my other projects. I came back to the bucket about two hours later to a bubbling cauldron of doom!

Looks like at least a 1/16 of the barrel has been eaten but only in the spots the paint had already been taken off.

I am soaking the barrel in a tub of water after I liberally washed it down.

I think it will still make a gong, but how big of a mistake did I make and could of it been dangerous?

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Well at least you started with a thicker container than I did; I had a dilute solution of muriatic in a tin foil pan with an old rusty hunk of steel I was cleaning for a project. It started fizzing a bit so i thought it was working; pretty soon it started fizzing a lot and I just got it out of the garage when it ate completely though the pan......close one!

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Yeah, Al is LOVED by acid, LOTS! Bubbles are generally hydrogen and occasionally other noxious to poisonous gasses.

Next time use paint stripper and proper safety gear. Rubber gloves, apron, eye protection, etc.

I don't know how good a bell aluminum tanks will make, it's generally a pretty "thunky" metal. A good old fashioned steel oxy bottle will make your ears bleed :o and sound good doing it.:blink:

Frosty the Lucky.

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On a good note about aluminum and acid...

During my 3rd tour in Iraq I burried some coax and network cable a couple inches down after running it through some thick walled aluminum square tube (tanks driving over wires have a habit of ruining communications...). The dirt in that area was very acidic and we were close to a sewage pond so the dirt never really dried out. After 15 months of exposure to this weak acid, I pulled up the tube when we were pulling out - the acidity had made some beautiful patterns of pock-marks that was accented nicely with a fine wire brush cup on the grinder.

I'm not suggesting sending aluminum work to get buried in Iraq - just than acid can be used to "age" aluminum and gives some unique finishes. Just be sure to be safe and use all necessary PPE.

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