Aluminium Melt Failure

Things rarely go well the first time something is done.  This is no exception.  I have been wanting to start melting aluminium soda cans and learn the skills I need to do metal casting in my back yard.  I have a basically continuous supply of aluminium from soda cans.

Coffee can crucible filled with aluminium cans in fire.

Coffee can crucible filled with aluminium cans in fire.

This attempt failed, but just barely.  I used a steel/iron coffee can crucible to hold the aluminium cans as they melt.  I built up a good coal base from wood logs and forced air into the fire with a stand fan.  This got the can a nice glowing orange and the cans did start melting, but it didn’t get quite hot enough.  I never got a good molten pool of aluminium.

Aluminium stuck in the coffee can.

Aluminium stuck in the coffee can.

In the end, I took a hammer to the can to try to extract the aluminium from the coffee can crucible, but this failed and just crushed the can.  I think that next time, I will use some of the charcoal that I have made to get things going hotter than this time.

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