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Old October 18, 2009, 07:03 AM   #1
trip_sticker
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Does lead corrode?

I had a pot of lead ingots sitting under my back stairs and forgot about them. It's about 60 pounds of 2 lb ingots and the pot filled with rain water. They've probably been sitting in water for over a week. I dumped in this morning and saw that there was a bunch of white stuff in it. All over the inside of the pot and all over the ingots. Is this corrosion or maybe some form of mold? Anyone seen this before?
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Old October 18, 2009, 07:17 AM   #2
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Yes, lead corrodes and with water. It's harmless tho. The oxidies will float when you melt it, just flux and skim mormally.
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Old October 18, 2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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Be careful when putting the ingots in the pot! If there is ANY moisture, bad things will happen. But you knew this already!
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Old October 18, 2009, 01:56 PM   #4
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ICH, yes I knew that. Been there, seen the splatter!

Most of the time, I start with a cold pot, add all the ingots I plan to melt and then apply heat. If I need to add more lead later, I warm it first to make sure it is dry before slipping it into the melt. I still ladle cast from an open top dutch oven style pot.

Here is what my rig looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_NXLpvR154
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Old October 18, 2009, 03:54 PM   #5
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Corrosion, Erosion or Oxidation ... All Same Same. Quite common.

Just do what wncchester says.

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 18, 2009, 04:58 PM   #6
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Trip, to answer your question you had on the video, you should have been stirring the wax into the lead as it burned. Letting it burn off like that did little or nothing to flux the lead. Also, you should have fluxed while the jackets were still in the pot, fluxing then would have reclaimed some lead from them that didn't come out/off them at the end.

The white stuff on the ingots is lead oxide. It will float to the surface when you re-melt the ingots, it CAN be reduced by a lot of fluxing back to it's non-oxide/metallic state. Otherwise skim it off and discard as dross.
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Old October 18, 2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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lead oxide

Yes, the white stuff is lead oxide.
Be careful with it and any dross that contains it.
Quote:
lead corrodes and with water. It's harmless tho. The oxidies will float when you melt it, just flux and skim mormally.
If you are saying that lead oxide is harmless, you are wrong. It is not. It is toxic.
The following note is from the Chemical Safety Data Sheet regarding lead oxide:

Quote:
* Lead oxide is toxic and, like other lead salts, can cause a variety of damaging effects. These include brain and nervous system damage, blood disorders, reproductive damage and anaemia.
** Like other lead salts, lead (II) oxide is potentially very damaging to the environment.
Lead oxide can be absorbed through the skin. If you do handle it, wear disposable gloves and dump them when you are done.
Pete
See also: http://www.espimetals.com/msds%27s/leadoxide.pdf
and, regarding lead in water http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/wat...-and-water.htm
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Old October 19, 2009, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
If you are saying that lead oxide is harmless, you are wrong. It is not. It is toxic.
The following note is from the Chemical Safety Data Sheet regarding lead oxide:
Yes, so is lead toxic. Is the lead oxide more toxic? If it's more easily absorbed by the body, then my guess would be yes.

Does it pose a problem for using the lead to make bullets? No, once it's either recombined into it's metallic state, or skimmed off, it does not affect the castability of the remaining lead.
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Old October 19, 2009, 04:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
If you are saying that lead oxide is harmless, you are wrong. It is not. It is toxic.
If he's licking the melt, it's a bit late to be worried about lead poisoning.
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Old October 19, 2009, 06:40 AM   #10
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melt

"Licking the melt".
I can't imagine.
The point to be taken about lead oxide is that it can be absorbed through the skin and more easily than metallic lead. I have to handle the ingots or lead pipe or what ever (even oxidized round balls when loading up the old flintlock). It can, since it is a powder, become airborne and be inhaled.
Licking the melt causes other health problems.
Sheesh.
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Last edited by darkgael; October 19, 2009 at 07:08 AM.
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Old October 19, 2009, 07:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Corrosion, Erosion or Oxidation ... All Same Same.
Don't try saying that at a NACE meeting.
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Old October 20, 2009, 10:35 PM   #12
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Was the pot iron and was it rusted below the water line?
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Old October 20, 2009, 11:40 PM   #13
trip_sticker
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Quote:
Was the pot iron and was it rusted below the water line?
The pot is not Iron. Actually I am not sure what it is made out of. It could be steel. It's very heavy. It's an old dutch oven style pot. It's on my video if you can tell by looking? It's silver in color, not dark like a normal cast iron pot would be. There was white deposits on the inside of the pot walls just like on the ingots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_NXL...eature=related
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Old October 21, 2009, 02:50 AM   #14
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Sounds like a galvanic reaction between the lead and the pot brought out that white layer. I would not be surprised to find out it is something other than lead oxide, but don't know what without testing the makup of the pot. I can't tell from the video.
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