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Nickel source for upping crucible steel, what kind of scrap?

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I've been asking myself what I would use to up the Ni in crucible steel if I wanted to make my own high contrast crucible steel damascus.

I'd like something high in Nickel, and low in everything else, so I was looking at SAE 2515. In what kind of applications would this be found as scrap? Roller bearings?

Other suggestions? I doubt I can find any FeNi or pure Ni locally. And I haven't been struck by any meteorites lately.

 

We are the knights who say Ni!

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Damascus, the real deal, is Wootz crucible steel with traces of certain elements, mainly Vanadium, IIRC. The 'pattern' is the crystal structure in the steel. Look up Al Pendray on the 'net for the story of recreating this mystery metal.

 

What we commonly refer to as Damascus now is actually pattern welded billets made up of layers of flat stock, or powdered metals in a can, usually fused under a power hammer.

 

I suspect you are asking about layered steel billets. The higher nickel stock is usually L6 steel from old saw blades, or bought new. It has enough nickel content to not etch too darkly, but still make a functional blade. It is also in the same price range as other steels.

 

For purely decorative work, pure nickel is available. It makes a really stark contrast pattern with most steels. It just will not hold an edge in use. Pure nickel is also several times more expensive than copper.

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Yes sorry for contributing to the wrong use of "damascus" steel, it is so common to just say it here when meaning pattern welded steel, it's second nature. But you are technically correct, the best kind of correct :)

 

The goal here is to avoid bought steels like L6 and 15N20, and make a homemade version of it based on bloomery material. In light of this meteorite would be ideal, but for trial runs and such it would be great to sort out the sources, and 2515 looks like a good candidate. If pure nickel can be bought in small quantities that would be of interest.

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I would have thought that Norway would have L6 in the scrap stream from timber operations---as mentioned saw blades, especially large bandsaw blades used to saw logs often are L6 or similar.

 

Scandanavia was a major source of Nickel historically,  The Flåt Mine was once the largest nickel mine in Europe.  (In Aust-Agder Norway)

 

While the differentiation makes for more precise discussions on them I would point out that Damascus Steel has been used to refer to both Wootz and Pattern welded for longer than "The United States of America" has been used to refer to us colonials over here on this side of the pond.

 

Language does tend to get more precise *or* more imprecise over time.  We often will argue little details on the naming of sword types where original documents would just say "and he grabbed his sword and smote him!"

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Oh, that's very interesting, and a possible weekend trip also! I don't think we've ever had a Nickel smelting plant here though, maybe we just exported the ore to Britain or Russia?

However, after reading this: http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/469da18048855b7f891cdb6a6515bb18/nickel_PPAH.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

I think its out of the question to go the "ore" route. If going for making pure nickel as a first step, then partly because of the significant roasting, plus the blast desulfirizing afterwards, mainly because of the fumes, it could be doable but not cheap.

And the other method of just dropping nickel ore in an iron bloom smelt. Again with the roasting, the fumes now freely flowing from the stack and still it looks like one would get high sulfur since it's not refined.

 

PS. There actually is one, "Xtrata Nikkelverk" in Kristiansand, been there since 1910, maybe I'll have to have a look

It was once called Falconbridge, and this rings a bell, how could I forget?

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two thoughts that occur to me might be adding either some nickel baring steel to your melt, in the form of L6 in the US or more likely for you either 15N20 or 75ni8. Or maybe (if feeling flush with cash!), buy some meteorites with nickel (some have a few % others more like 30% Ni) in then and add that. 

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Pure nickel, meteorite or something like 2515 would be preferable, since the target percentage would be in the area 1-2%. L6 and 15N20 is approx. 2%, so then there's no room for the bloomery material. Also L6 has chrome in it and I was looking for a chromeless or low chrome alternative

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How big a load are you trying to do?  Fumes that are trouble in large amounts may be ignorable in small amounts.

 

Have you talked with a local University's Metallurgy or Material Science Department?  They may have a source for pure nickel and if interested in your project contribute some.

 

Wikipedia: "Limonite type laterites (or oxide type) are highly enriched in iron due to very strong leaching of magnesium and silica. They consist largely of goethite and contain 1-2% nickel incorporated in goethite"

 

I wonder if there is any uptake of nickel in the bloom when refining Limonite nickel ores?  Goethite was a common iron ore used in the bloomery process...

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In the meantime I would suggest you build skills that allow 100 % success on welding two different kinds of steel into billets...then learn about welding in a can..there are tips on this site that will guide you along the way,,,even a few pointers in the the knife making tutorials in the blade making section.

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Sometimes you can also find meteorite swarf being sold---the cuttings from sawing and drilling meteorite for making jewelry from it.  Ni content but much cheaper as it is a "waste" item.

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I have a nickel anode from an electroplating works, probably about 4kg

Those are very high in sulphur.

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i have had some success in using coins from around the world as raw materials for projects, primarily in the copper and nickel alloy families.  unfortunately from a cursory googling canada seems to be the most prominent user of pure or high percentage nickel coinage (their nickel, go figure :P) but have since switched to plated steel.

 

i also found a fairly detailed thread on coincommunity.com, titled "Which countries have issued pure nickel coins?" and there were several european countries on that list.  so it might be worth an evening on google to see if there are any recent mint years that might be able to be found in the scrap or second hand stream in the wake of the euro.  

 

dunno if its as prevalent in your part of the world, but its pretty common for schools near me (sub college/university level) to have 'penny drives' or other fundraising campaigns, and after a few years of this my school used to end up with jars of non US coins, washing machine and chuck-e-cheese tokens, and other assorted garbage that is a total grab bag of nation and denomination.  so that has been a good source for me in the past.

 

also, i dont know if its possible or economically practical to separate cupro-nickel alloys into the base metals, but the british twenty pence is currently and has been 84% nickel and 16% copper since its introduction (1971?), so if you can tolerate some copper in the mix you could go that route.  the ten pence is 75% nickel 25% copper up until 2011, after that they switched to nickel plated steel.  so perhaps if you look up the content of the nickel plating and alloy of the steel you could just short your charge the correct amount of iron and replace it with enough plated coins to bring your nickel content to the right place.

 

that bullion block of 99.9% off ebay looks like the best route to my eye, much better bulk deal than any of the sheet, wire, or casting shot i have seen.  shipping might be the torpedo though =/

 

thats going to be a pretty cool project, looking forward to seeing it come together in the pictures that you will certainly provide us  :D

 

staff addition from Chinobi for clearity

Beyond edit date but I made a mistake in my numbers so I wanted to clear the air.

The compositions i shared earlier are backwards and should read 84% copper/16% nickel for the 20P and 75% copper/25% nickel for the 10P. The nickel plated steel 10P is correct as written.

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of course only some meteorites are iron/nickel...

 

Just hope the next "hint" isn't one like the one that produced the Sudbury deposits!

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I used to buy powdered nickel in a barrel , its high though. works like previous poster said for contrast . Its the only metal that when alloyed properly it it used in the turbine props on jets . Only alloy that can withstand heat of 3000f for 16 hrs without warping .

 

I saw this on TV nat Geo ... I was surprized nickel was that tough .... James

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not my area but howabout nickel shimstock?

I've played around with it and its readily avalable

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Beyond edit date but I made a mistake in my numbers so I wanted to clear the air.

The compositions i shared earlier are backwards and should read 84% copper/16% nickel for the 20P and 75% copper/25% nickel for the 10P. The nickel plated steel 10P is correct as written.

My apologies for the mixup =

Sources (royal mint website):
http://www.royalmint.com/discover/uk-coins/coin-design-and-specifications/twenty-pence-coin
http://www.royalmint.com/discover/uk-coins/coin-design-and-specifications/ten-pence-coin

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