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I Forge Iron

What is this stuff?

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Now, i may be posting this in the wrong place, but i was not real sure where to post it. Any way here goes.

I found this piece of 3/8 round bar in my scrap pile. About 3' long or so an i figured i could use it for something, specifically for a foot on one of my garden stakes. Any way when i started heating it it turned yellow. Almost looked powder coated. The entire bar is rusted and i figured rust is my friend so i used it. When i saw the yellow i decided maybe i should not use it. Oh i layed heat to it one more time just to get the photo. I will post tommorrow if something from it has made me die to let yall know not to do it. 

Any way here is the yellow stuff and the second pic is just how the bar looks. (other end obviously)



As another note before i knew much about metals i put a piece in that was zinc plated and i do not remember it turning yellow so i do not think it is galvanized. 

I also figure it is better to error on the safe side and take it to the scrap yard on my next run if i have any question as to safety. But i would still like to know what it means. 




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Could be lots of different compounds (likely an oxide of some sort, since it appeared when you heated it), but it looks a lot like lead(II) oxide to me, also known as Litharge. Rather nasty stuff if that's what it is. Is there any chance it was coated in lead paint? Or directly lead plated?

The yellow could also be a cadmium oxide, if it had a zinc-cadmium alloy plating. Some zinc oxides also can be yellow, though I don't think they usually act quite that way. In any case, it's definitely not worth taking the risk of using it in my opinion. If you can see the yellow on any of the coal in the forge once it's cool, I would remove it and not risk burning it.

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Thanks for the input guys. I of course chucked it. I may of heated a zinc plated piece once, but that was a while back ago and i am provably lucky i was outside. But i have since learned my lesson and if it dont look right, smell right, or feel right, i do not use it. Have not tried taste test yet, may hurt my fillings also. 

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