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Thread: Danger in AL sludge??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    washington.........STATE that is.
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    Danger in AL sludge??

    I've been making prototype AL tuners, consequently I've cut a lot of stock in the bandsaw, there's probably a quart of shavings on and around.

    I have a small bandsaw, 64 1'2" band, I've been using around 32tpi so chips are fine.

    I've been dripping kerosene on the cut.

    I just move the stock and walk away, let 'er eat...... so every now and again I'll leave the lathe or mill go grab up 3-6 hunks.

    I don't wear gloves around shop machinery.

    A couple times I've carried the pieces over to blow/wash off and had a silvery sheen on my skin that doesn't easily wash off. Silvery like Testor's model paint back in the day.....very very fine.

    I'm old enough to have known people killed by everything from wood dust to thinners, I no longer wash my face in the solvent tank..... so I'm just asking..... do I need to wash off, put on gloves to pick up the AL or am I just deodorizing my hands????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    16
    When in doubt it`s better to err on the safe side.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    7
    Agreed.....start using gloves. Harbor Freight sells boxes of nitrile gloves at a nice price, and they're quite handy to have around.

    Aluminum powder is quite explosive in the right conditions.

    Roger

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
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    I researched this subject once

    and what I read said it's the dissolved Aluminum in water that is harmful and there was no danger from particles such as those from aluminum pots, etc.

    Pete

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    549
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    and what I read said it's the dissolved Aluminum in water that is harmful and there was no danger from particles such as those from aluminum pots, etc.

    Pete
    It is very difficult for particles of most metals to penetrate all that far though the skin.

    In many cases the solvents used to try and clean up the surface of the skin are actually the largest hazard.

    Isopropyl alcohol is rather safe, and denatured can be safe depending on what the denaturant is.
    Methyl alcohol is NOT a good one to be exposed to at all.
    It WILL penetrate into the body.

    SD40 alcohol uses Denatonium Benzoate the "bitterest chemical in the world" and it is NOT
    absorbed through skin to any great extent.
    It is used in perfumes and after shaves to make drinking them unpalatable.
    Or gasoline, or any number of denaturation.

    Actual Vodka works well also.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    54

    Vodka works

    Honest officer I haven't had anything to drink. I just used the vodka to wash my hands off!
    ;-O.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by llboers View Post
    Honest officer I haven't had anything to drink. I just used the vodka to wash my hands off!
    ;-O.
    LAFFin' here

    Maybe if I rinse it thru my system first??? Do like the itinerant workers do to wash their hands while picking your fruits and vegetables out in the fields....... (ANOTHER reason to never again eat a vench'table, me!)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    549
    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    LAFFin' here

    Maybe if I rinse it thru my system first??? Do like the itinerant workers do to wash their hands while picking your fruits and vegetables out in the fields....... (ANOTHER reason to never again eat a vench'table, me!)
    Peeing on your hands is NOT a recommended method.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    19
    Be aware of the fire hazard of such fine aluminum dust - do not let it dry, and do not create a dust cloud. Fine metal particles are much more flammable than bulk metal, and a flash burn releases a lot of energy in a short time. Be sure that you use coolant when making fines - the heat at the tool/metal interface may be sufficient for ignition.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2003
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    washington.........STATE that is.
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    Actually, as patriarch in a family of pyros I wish fine AL powder WAS easily made/kept explosive.... We go thru pounds of aluminum and magnesium powder and aluminum oxidizes so badly it's hard to keep it useful. I've got a 4lb bag of aluminum dust here in a vacuum-packed bag and just noted the other day that the bag was saggy.....bummer, there's 50bucks down the drain.

    Some days I wonder how the gub'mint still lets us silly mice pump our own gas.... I've heard even plain old gasoline can burn a feller right good....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    50

    Be careful wearing gloves

    Wearing gloves like nitrile or latex are OK if they are NOT reinforced. If your going to wear gloves you want something that will tear in caught on moving parts. In my years of selling equipment I have seen more than one finger lost when a glove reinforced with cotton was caught in a moving part.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    249

    I don't believe there's a real danger in the sludge

    The first thing to note is the absence of health warnings. Machining aluminum is a common enough task that if the byproducts were harmful, I'd expect to have seen ample warnings - compare to Beryllium Copper, for instance (pdf) https://materion.com/-/media/files/c...hiningcube.pdf. If you look at the Aluminum Association's documentation, you will see they are only concerned with the explosion / fire risk of aluminum fines.

    PDFs https://aluminum.org/sites/default/f...0Particles.pdf

    https://aluminum.org/sites/default/files/TR2_2006R.pdf

    GsT

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    50
    [QUOTE=alinwa;830916]I've been making prototype AL tuners, consequently I've cut a lot of stock in the bandsaw, there's probably a quart of shavings on and around.

    I have a small bandsaw, 64 1'2" band, I've been using around 32tpi so chips are fine.

    I've been dripping kerosene on the cut.

    I just move the stock and walk away, let 'er eat...... so every now and again I'll leave the lathe or mill go grab up 3-6 hunks.

    I don't wear gloves around shop machinery.

    A couple times I've carried the pieces over to blow/wash off and had a silvery sheen on my skin that doesn't easily wash off. Silvery like Testor's model paint back in the day.....very very fine.

    I'm old enough to have known people killed by everything from wood dust to thinners, I no longer wash my face in the solvent tank..... so I'm just asking..... do I need to wash off, put on gloves to pick up the AL or am I just deodorizing my hands????[/QUOTE

    Your probably more at risk from the kerosene than the aluminum

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