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So..I've got a piece of aluminum

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So..I've got a piece of aluminum

Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:42 pm

While we were in Perth we picked up an "offcut" of aluminum. It's roughly 7" x 1', so it's a rather substantial chunk of metal. He even aged it for us..all for the price of a carton (secondary aussie currency).

One end is deformed from being cut with a guillotine, while the other was water or laser cut and is quite smooth (has stampings which need facing off), however there are a few dings in it which need smoothing out.

Image
Image
(Guillotine cut side on top)

Now, what the hell am I going to do with it?
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:45 pm

that is a crappy piece of metal :)
I say melt it down, or if you cant, shove it on a lathe and actually make it a cylinder. If you cant do that, cut it into a block.
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Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:53 pm

Notthe prettiest thing I've seen. I dunno really the only thin I could think of would be to turn it down or something
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:05 pm

It is a cylinder, and nearly perfect at that:

One end is deformed from being cut with a guillotine


The other end is fine.

I have other metal to melt down. I can guarantee it's a very good piece of metal once the surface corrosion has been removed.
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Unread postAuthor: CS » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:05 pm

First I'd try cutting it into discs. In processed shapes like that you will get more strength then if you were to cast. But from shavings/ leftovers I would try some castings. Things like QEV bodies come to mind.

Not sure if lost foam casting will give you the strength for a pneumatic component, but if you could... Straight-forward process making something out of foam first (a lot easier to work) then casting it. I haven't done anything to amazing: replacement handle for a drill handle, my name, and couple tests cnc machining foam pieces 1/4" over size, then when casted coming back and machining that piece. Saves a lot of cut time, probably only beneficial for production parts though.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:13 pm

6" piston valve?
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Unread postAuthor: bradisfun » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:25 pm

I say, new chamber? That could be nasty!
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Unread postAuthor: McCoytheGreater » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:38 pm

Build a 6" barreled gun, turn it to fit. Shoot it out. It's a solid block. Can't hurt it that much.
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:17 pm

Only thing I can see to do is to make a high pressure chamber.
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Unread postAuthor: turner » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:53 pm

you could melt it down into slugs for a cannon
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:21 pm

Aluminum isn't really ideal for making projectiles with. I have lead which I can use for that purpose. I also have some aluminum from cast down transfer cases which has some chunks of coal, steel etc (which will come off as slag when cast) which I can use for general casting, though I could keep turnings and offcuts from this to use for higher purity casting.

First I'd try cutting it into discs.

I was thinking of doing that, use the end bits (with the dings etc.) to spin some things such as coasters, shallow bowls etc. Then use some of the unmarred part to make a block for a radial (I picked up a vertical mill slide for my lathe). Some 1 1/4" square stock will do for cylinders, and I can use some 1" aluminum rod for cylinders (or another material if I decide to run it on gas- rather than compressed air).
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:36 am

Don't melt it, you will have to re-heat treat it for it to keep its strength.

Chuck it in the lathe and get out that cylinder that's inside it!
After that, you should just keep it until you get an idea of what to make out of it.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:02 am

If you are bored, cut it into disks and make tanks from it, like they do comercially, all you need is a press with say 300tons of force and you are all set...:D

EDIT: Darn british keyboard...
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Unread postAuthor: velocity3x » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:02 am

Save it! You'll know what it was meant to be when the right project comes along.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:05 am

psycix wrote:Don't melt it, you will have to re-heat treat it for it to keep its strength.

Chuck it in the lathe and get out that cylinder that's inside it!
After that, you should just keep it until you get an idea of what to make out of it.


Good idea, I'll put the outside jaws on tomorrow morning and clean it up a bit. Perhaps slice a few junks off and spin them into random (eatingware) as Christmas gifts.
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