When accepting or surrendering scrap metal, it is important to be able to quickly distinguish one metal from another and know how much do you get if you scrap a car. Otherwise, you could lose money. Naturally, no one will wait for you to send the material to a laboratory for analysis. In this article, we will tell you how to identify aluminum – visually and other methods available at home.
The differences between aluminum and other metals need to know every scrap metal receiver. Many items popular in the home are made of it. Therefore, surrendering aluminum items is common and widespread.
The first feature is that aluminum is lightweight. Compared to many other metals. Plus it has a low density As a result, sometimes it is enough to apply force to check to assess the resistance of the material to deformation.
Another fact is that aluminum items have a silvery-white hue. Consequently, if the object is not colored, you can visually confirm this way.
The use of a magnet
If the previous checks raise doubts, and there is no possibility to verify chemically, you can use a magnet.
Steel, cast iron, iron will react and will be magnetized. Aluminum will not. Yes, there is also copper. But it is characterized by a completely different color. So it is simply impossible to confuse aluminum and copper.
This method has only one disadvantage – it will not determine the purity of the composition. That is, is it aluminum or an alloy based on it.
Alloy or not?
To accurately distinguish between aluminum and aluminum-based alloys, it is recommended to order laboratory analysis. This requires time to wait for a result. And additional costs. Therefore, this method is relevant when a large-sized transaction is planned. With small batches, when a person wants to get his money faster, this option will not work.
So how can you make sure that it is not an alloy? After all, a magnet, visual identification by color is not suitable? There are the following options:
Strike the item. Aluminum will make a high-pitched ringing sound. Dural will not.
You can also carefully remove the top layer. Dural will not shine as opposed to the aluminum surface.
ZAM (alloy with zinc and copper)
In this case, ordinary hydrogen peroxide comes in handy. It is available at any drugstore. It is inexpensive. What is needed for testing:
Make a small cut on the product.
Drop a little hydrogen peroxide.
If it is ZAM, then the cut treated with this composition will darken. If it is aluminum, the color will not change.
This is a case where school knowledge of physics, mathematics, and chemistry comes in handy in real life. Aluminum, indeed, can be determined by density. How to do it:
Take a measuring cylinder and fill it with water.
We place a piece of material to be tested in it.
Calculate the volume – the item will displace some of the water from the measuring cylinder, which will show the level on the scale when the material is removed.
Weighs the piece under test.
Now we apply the formula: divide the mass by the volume.
If the result is close to 2.7 grams per milliliter, then we are definitely aluminum.