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I Forge Iron

Can I use Perlite to anneal steel?

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I have dozens of cubic feet of perlite because I have a greenhouse business. I thought perlite might be a good alternative to vermiculite, which is hard to get in my region. Is there any down side to using it? I know it's high in silica but I'm not sure that steel heated for annealing would be hot enough to melt it.

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Vermiculite is a puffed mica; perlite---mined about 2 miles from where I am sitting, is a volcanic rock that is processed to make the gardening stuff.


And yes it works well for annealing; Sunday I threw in a couple of handfuls of it on top of the firebrick in my forge that a student had sludged with flux, seemed to help and I had no bentonite handy.

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