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Removing Dross from Aluminum

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MetalheadRK
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Removing Dross from Aluminum

Postby MetalheadRK » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:04 pm

I'm open for suggestions here. We have steel down with the whole muriatic acid thing, works great. Wondering if anyone has a method of removing dross from Aluminum. On small parts we use a tumbler but it takes forever, especially when you have a lot of parts. I've been reading past posts and see a lot of info for steel and stainless, not so much for aluminum. Wanted to see if there are any new suggestions.

Thanks!
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Craig
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Re: Removing Dross from Aluminum

Postby Craig » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:43 pm

I agree aluminum dross seems much harder to remove then steel.
Check out an old post it's not on removing dross but on not letting it build up in the first place. I never tried it on aluminum but see no reason it would not work on any metal. Craig Johnson

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Capstone
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Re: Removing Dross from Aluminum

Postby Capstone » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:43 pm

I actually just went through this. Honestly, the real trick, and this may sound harsh, is to get the aluminum to cut with no dross, which imo, is not as hard as steel to cut dross-free. I cut some .125 just yesterday using book settings with no DTHC and got fantastic results. The only places I had to clean up were the spots that were resting on the slats. I used a razorblade to deburr the edges and cut off the few dross spots

I used a cheapo vertical belt sander from harborfreight to smooth out the edges a bit with 120grit and then cleaned the surface of most of the minor scratches using 3M scotch bright by hand, making sure to go in one direction. The parts were small so it wasn't too much work, but the result was better than expected and the customer was satisfied.

Just because I had a couple of "duds" lying around, I went out and took a few pics of the before and after of the deburring/scotchbrite process.

2015-06-18 18.39.33.jpg


2015-06-18 18.33.28sml.jpg

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MetalheadRK
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Re: Removing Dross from Aluminum

Postby MetalheadRK » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I've played around with my speed a bit on aluminum but usually don't get close to what the book says because most of the time it doesn't cut through. Guess I need to do some more adjusting and see if upping the power will do the trick. I like the razor blade approach as well and I have used it many times.

Thanks for the help
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