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Making Zamak ZA-12 from Zinc

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According to ILZRO

 The chemical composition of zinc-aluminum ZA12 alloy is given in the following table.
Element    Content (%)
Zinc,Zn    Remainder
Aluminum,Al    11.5
Copper, Cu    1.2
Iron, Fe    0.075
Magnesium, Mn    0.03
Lead, Pb    0.006
Cadmium, Cd    0.006
Tin, Sn    0.003

Does this help?  --  Lew

Actually, Lew, the iron, lead, cadmium and tin you mention are maximums, ie contaminants. Primary constituents of ZA-12 are the zinc, aluminum, and copper, and a trace of magnesium.

Also per ASTM the aluminum in ZA-12 can range 10.8 - 11.5% and copper 0.5 - 1.2%.

I used 11% and 1% respectively. The aluminum I used probably had some magnesium in it. But all of this is relatively academic when using scrap sources, as I do, eg. copper tubing and my "soft" aluminum round cutoffs from a machine shop.

Nevertheless it cast well, machined well, and I have a 5 year old lathe with similar homemade Zamak "ZA-12" in headstock, carriage, tailstock slide, etc.

Matt, can't say for sure because I haven't used one, but I think 1260C limit for the pyrometer seems low for iron foundry work. But willing to be corrected!  :wack:

Terry Aspin used the stir stick test -- if a 3/8" steel poker used for stirring the melt comes out with a clump of iron on it, it's too cool. If it comes out shiny and maybe even pointed (from melting) you're good to go!

Steve, it is low for Iron but useful! Good for Bronze brass zinc and Al!

Cheers, Matthew


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