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I Forge Iron

flux in melted metal question

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I've been reading for a couple days and cannot find the answer to this question.

Always wanted to melt and cast metal.  Figured I might as well give it a go, since I am awaiting hardener, and have a garbage can filler with copper.  I have been reading a lot about it.  I keep reading reference to putting flux, or charcoal, or other stuff on top of the molten metal.  Why are they doing this?

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Molten copper has a powerful affinity for oxygen and oxidized copper is junk so it's really important to either keep oxy away and or deoxidize it. Flux in a crucible does two things, it floats impurities to the surface and makes an air tight cover, a prophylactic oxy barrier.

Adding charcoal is a deoxidizer it's one of the few things that has a stronger attraction to oxy than copper does.

I'm not a caster but that's the general purposes of the two additives to the process. If you join a casting forum you'll have better info available. There are good casting books available as well.

I'm sure I'm not telling you something new when I say molten metal is dangerous in the extreme and not something to be taken up casually.

Frosty The Lucky.

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