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Aluminium amalgam (Al/Hg) summary

Pennywise

Member
for the thermometer thechnic, we need nitric acid only 70% ? (not ok for 60/65/69.5%... not the same price)
It is called concentrated nitric acid, whether it has 60% or 70% does not matter. It just should not have 100%, that is apparently not so reactive, so it is usually diluted to 60-70%. That's what I've been told.
 

G.Patton

Well-known member
Expert
Ok, interesting. Where did you read that, I'd love to read it too! I expect the reaction to be downright violent, as reactions usually are with alu powder, but why should the reaction time affect the final product?
Al powder can explode
 

DocX

Active member
Al powder can explode
Yes, I guess so. But is mercury nitrate enough of an oxidizer to use alu powder as a fuel? I'm very careful with any powdered metals in combination with any sort of oxidizers, coming from the pyrotechnic scene.
 

G.Patton

Well-known member
Expert
I can't say exactly. But I strongly recommend you to use foil by reason that foil is cheap, OTC, safety and was approved by numerous of syntheses.
Yes, I guess so. But is mercury nitrate enough of an oxidizer to use alu powder as a fuel? I'm very careful with any powdered metals in combination with any sort of oxidizers, coming from the pyrotechnic scene.
 

Pennywise

Member
After about 5 minutes, the foil lost its shine, became dull, and a small layer of gray sludge (aluminum hydroxide) collected at the bottom of the flask. After 10-15 minutes, the reaction stops, this can be seen by the cessation of gas evolution.
The following observation: 15 minutes after adding water to the aluminum foil and the mercury salt, I have a dark gray water solution with many small bubbles that form a foam. After I pour off the water, I hear the aluminum crackling and white smoke rising, a lot of white smoke.

Was I too early to drain the water, or too late?
 

ASheSChem

Member
Hello;
just a little noob question about the quality of aluminum;
i read a lot about the "Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil, Heavy Duty" , on internet i've found his Thickness are 23.62µm....
Thicknes are important ? in my country i have 11 & 15µ easily but don't find more in "standard shop"
 

Pennywise

Member
Hello;
just a little noob question about the quality of aluminum;
i read a lot about the "Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil, Heavy Duty" , on internet i've found his Thickness are 23.62µm....
Thicknes are important ? in my country i have 11 & 15µ easily but don't find more in "standard shop"
I always look for industrial aluminum foils for thermal insulation, vapor barriers, sauna construction, roofing, etc. This is also usually 99.5% aluminum without coatings and is also much thicker (35-50µm) than the kitchen aluminum rolls. But there probably everyone has his own way of thinking.
 

ASheSChem

Member
I just discovered aluminum foil for shisha / hookah ...

40µ but I don't know if it's 100% aluminum
sA8EBIWxar.jpg
 

DocX

Active member
How about doing a wash with HCl on the foil before adding the mercury nitrate? Wouldn't that remove any oxide layers stopping the reaction?
 

Pennywise

Member
40µ but I don't know if it's 100% aluminum
If you don't get information from the vendor, check with the manufacturer to see what alloy is used.
How about doing a wash with HCl on the foil before adding the mercury nitrate? Wouldn't that remove any oxide layers stopping the reaction?
This is not necessary for the reaction with the mercury salt and it would not prevent later oxidation of the foil with atmospheric oxygen.
 

ASheSChem

Member
check with the manufacturer to see what alloy is used.
I searched for shisha suppliers but I can't find any reliable info. I believe they are alloy mixtures.

but... I found this site, you can choose the size, hardness, etc...

Alloy : EN-AW 1050 A (Al 99,5) i think it's the good one
but it looks expensive to me
 

Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton

Active member
Expert
99.5% Al is technical aluminum suitable for amalgam.
The thickness of the foil affects the reaction rate. Thick foil reacts slower than thin foil. Usually 15µ cooking foil is used, but thicker technical foil can be used.
 

Pennywise

Member
99.5% Al is technical aluminum suitable for amalgam.
The thickness of the foil affects the reaction rate. Thick foil reacts slower than thin foil. Usually 15µ cooking foil is used, but thicker technical foil can be used.
According to the information I found out, 99.5% Al is the highest quality foil that you can buy, aluminum foils always consist of alloys, 100% Al is not available. With industrial foils, however, you have the advantage of finding an indication of the alloy, which you do not have with normal kitchen aluminum foil.

Alloy : EN-AW 1050 A (Al 99,5) i think it's the good one
but it looks expensive to me
About the price, I paid for
Industry 1.5kg 29,5cm x 50m, 36µm ca. 32$ resp. for
Industry 3kg 50cm x 50m, 50µm about 63$.
For comparison:
Gastronomy foil 1.2kg 300m x 29cm,13µm about 33$ or
Kitchen foil 128g 30cm X 10m, ??µm about 4$.
So the kilogram price is almost the same.
 

Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton

Active member
Expert
According to the information I found out, 99.5% Al is the highest quality foil that you can buy, aluminum foils always consist of alloys, 100% Al is not available. With industrial foils, however, you have the advantage of finding an indication of the alloy, which you do not have with normal kitchen aluminum foil.
Technical foil is harder to find than kitchen foil. Those who have difficulty buying it can use thicker kitchen foil. High aluminum content (>99%) and minimal impurities in the composition is the best choice.
Of course 100% foil cann't be, but what does that have to do with it?
 

Pennywise

Member
Of course 100% foil cann't be, but what does that have to do with it?
It was about the quality of the choice of aluminum foil at the beginning, whether the thickness would be decisive, but much more important, I think, is the alloy that is used. And you will not find any specifications in kitchen foil, some have non-stick coatings or other innovations that lower the quality of the foil for our requirements.
Technical aluminum foil is my choice because you can be sure of the quality based on the information given. The thickness of the foil is more a personal reference what you prefer to use.
Of course I can use any foil where aluminum is written on it, but I also dry my solvents to have as little water as possible, then I also pay attention to such little things. :D
 

William Dampier

Active member
Expert
It was about the quality of the choice of aluminum foil at the beginning, whether the thickness would be decisive, but much more important, I think, is the alloy that is used. And you will not find any specifications in kitchen foil, some have non-stick coatings or other innovations that lower the quality of the foil for our requirements.
Technical aluminum foil is my choice because you can be sure of the quality based on the information given. The thickness of the foil is more a personal reference what you prefer to use.
Of course I can use any foil where aluminum is written on it, but I also dry my solvents to have as little water as possible, then I also pay attention to such little things. :D
Activated aluminum easily releases hydrogen out of the water, I do not see problems in wet solvents for this reaction. The thickness matters to the reaction speed, thick aluminum is more difficult to react, but possible.
 

ASheSChem

Member
It is called concentrated nitric acid, whether it has 60% or 70% does not matter. It just should not have 100%, that is apparently not so reactive, so it is usually diluted to 60-70%. That's what I've been told.
soo, like this one is perfect ?
ubCoF5dJiQ.jpg

sorry but i still need to be reassured :)

i have ordered HgNO3 but but the package takes a long time... so I'm planning another plan just in case
 
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