Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Need Help Identifying Hollow Chrome Plated Steel Bars


Recommended Posts

What kind of metal are these? Cheap steel? They're around 3-4mm thick and I have 30 in my shed, they're from my grandfather (he passed away).

I want to grind some or maybe even heat them to use for projects. I assume it's safe since they're rusting it means no zinc plating right? Should I strip the coating off first as a precaution?

mYeee3v.jpg

wEw6ky0.jpg

UOHl9LN.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Structural steel tube is probably just going to be mild steel. What's the OD?

Chrome plating (the title) vs zinc (your question) are two different things. Either way, because of the rust, it probably has neither. "In rust we trust".

However, if you want to check for yourself for galvanization dip it in some white vinegar, if it bubbles, there is a zinc coating, if not, no zinc. Chrome won't bubble either, but I don't think that is chromed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the warnings, good to know! At the moment I need to cut a slot down one of the pipes with an angle grinder. Can you guys advise me how to proceed?

Should I just sand off the chrome paint / plating where I want to cut? Is paint stripper / vinegar a better option?

Frazer - OD = 1".

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fibers from ceramic blanket doesn't require more than a decent quality dust mask fitted correctly of course.

Chrome dust or worse hexavalent chrome from being heated is much  more serious, N95 isn't even in the ball park. You need to find out what cartridge your respirator uses to block metal vapors. I gave up trying to explain to supply their idea of a dust mask wouldn't work against welding and paint fumes and made them buy me a 3M White Cap 3 supplied air welding helmet, air pump and extended intake hose. I put the intake hose outside and wore that heavy beast but didn't have to breath the B A D stuff anymmore.

I'm not suggesting you buy a supplied air system, just get the right thing, what you do to damage yourself now will really start to get you in your 40.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a search of the American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienist’s. 
This is the group the researches the chemicals used in manufacturing processes. The resource will help explain the risks.

I agree with Frosty - not worth it. Unless it is Zinc, it will be highly dangerous to heat. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help Frosty, dealing with metal vapors sounds slightly terrifying I'd prefer to avoid that :D

https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/40744O/3m-respirator-cartridge-and-filter-selection-poster.pdf

Is the 3M 6001i a suitable mask?

Should I maybe strip off the chrome before grinding instead? I see there are some methods floating around using acids or electrolysis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apex, if you can dissolve the chrome off, your solution will be a pretty strong toxic waste!

Chrome is most dangerous in it’s hexavalent ionic state. Don’t plan on using it in a forge, worst possible situation there. Right now, the chrome is in a stable form, heating it to high temperatures will change that. Forge, plasma cutter, torch, welder, heavy grinding - all bad. Light grinding is not good either. Dust has a very high surface area and will react quickly. I can’t say for sure if the result will be hexavalent or trivalent form of ionic chrome, but you really don’t want either floating around you or others. Large chips aren’t a problem. So, hacksaws, carbide burrs, drills, etc. are fairly safe. Just clean the chips up, you don’t want them embedded in you skin. 
 

Lots of other uses...

All, I’m not an expert, so if I‘m miss interpreting something just jump right in...

 

David

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even just touching the bars puts little specs of chrome onto my fingertips (because the rust is slowly flaking it off). Kind of a shame because it's so much metal that would be useful for projects, it is what it is though! Thanks guys, appreciate you helping me out. I won't grind or cut them. I'll find a safe use for them one day.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies for the misleading? Perhaps just bad advise. From where I was sitting it really didn't look like chrome to me. Now that I'm looking at it again it does look more reflective in your pictures than I saw initially. My mistake.

It is 1 inch tubing though so I'm sure you'll find a use for it eventually. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...