Scrap Yard Shocker!!

Discussion in 'Metals' started by ozzie46, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. Jun 12, 2012 #1

    ozzie46

    ozzie46

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    Went my local scap yard and picked up 11 lbs of brass/bronze. $44.00+
    Tax. At this price I might just as well buy new stuff, I think. Have to check prices online I guess. Man, I almost had another heart attack. He's the only game in town so I guess he can do what he wants.

    Ron

     
  2. Jun 12, 2012 #2

    jim216

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  3. Jun 13, 2012 #3

    rake60

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    I have posted this here before, but I'm going to do it again.

    Be Careful with scrap yard Brass, Bronze and Copper!
    If the metal is more red than usual, it may contain beryllium.
    That is an element you do not want to be machining in a hobby shop.

    From the standard MSDS sheet:

    "Chronic Effects:

    Inhalation: Overexposure to airborne beryllium particulate may cause a serious lung disease,
    in certain sensitive individuals, calledchronic beryllium disease (chronic berylliosis). Chronic
    beryllium disease is a condition in which the tissues of the lungs become inflamed, restricting
    the exchange of oxygen between the lungs and the bloodstream. Symptoms may include cough,
    chest pain,shortness of breath, weight loss, weakness, and fatigue. Long term effects may
    include loss of lung function, fibrosis, or subsequent secondary effects on the heart with eventual
    permanent impairment."


    Rick
     
  4. Jun 13, 2012 #4

    V 45

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    We have copper beryllium parts on our helicopters at work. We are not allowed to cut, grind, or sand at all !!! One guy did and it closed the tin benders shop for almost 4 months. A team came in every two weeks to check for particulates. Not a material you want to mess with at all !!! I guess you could if you had all the right gear on and the right room to do it in. I'd just rather not !!!
     
  5. Jun 13, 2012 #5

    rake60

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    I have machined beryllium copper and bronze in my career working in a job shops.
    We were aware of what the material was and the precautions necessary to work
    with it safely.

    It must be flooded with coolant during all processes to eliminate the possibility of
    airborne beryllium particulate. The used coolant was treated as hazardous waste.

    If you have beryllium in a "Mystery Metal", who would know.

    Rick
     
  6. Jun 13, 2012 #6

    Blogwitch

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    A friend and I both went to my local scrappie to pick up some metal.

    I only spent about 30 pounds, my mate about 45, and we were paying high scrap prices (they have shot up dramatically).

    We went online afterwards, to check if we had a bargain or not.

    We both found that what we had bought was about 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of retail, depending on the metal shape, round bar is less costly than say sheet.

    So yes, the scrap prices are going up, but also the metal merchant prices are rising at least at the same rate, if not faster.


    John

     
  7. Jun 13, 2012 #7

    Dr Jo

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    Last time I visited the local scrapyard they were doing ex MoD Gunmetal at £4 Kg (Cash purchases only, all the money went into their Xmas bonus fund). Can't remember the price per Kg they were asking for copper but I came away with a 6ft * 4 ft sheet of 1/8" copper for £30 :big:.

    The only problem is every time I go I seem to come back with more than I took in the first place ::).

    Jo
     
  8. Jun 13, 2012 #8

    ozzie46

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    Rick, Thanks for the warning. I had no idea of the danger.

    John, I went online to Speey Metals and found out that the price for the scrap was about half the price for new, so maybe I squealed before I was stuck.


    I just dont' understand why brass and bronze are so high. Is it because of the copper content or what?

    Ron
     
  9. Jun 13, 2012 #9

    rhitee93

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    Yep, they are both mostly copper.
     
  10. Jun 13, 2012 #10

    Blogwitch

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    Ron,

    Supposedly, there is not enough copper to support all the new building going on in places like China and India, so they are buying up every bit they can get hold of, and because it is a sellers market, they can command their own price.
    Last year, copper and copper based alloys at my scrapyard was about 2 pounds per kilo, now, like Jo's supplier, it is 4 per kilo.

    The same sort of thing is now starting to happen to ferrous based metals as well, so expect some rather large price rises in the future, both in scrap and retail.

    In fact it was only a few years ago that both Cedge and myself warned about imminent price rises and suggested stocking up while the prices were still low, I did, and I now have a few cwt of brass and bronze in stock.

    My suggestion now would be to buy as much as you can from scrap yards, while you still can, as for sure, the way things are going, the shortage will get worse, and so prices will soon hike upwards.


    John
     
  11. Jun 13, 2012 #11

    ozzie46

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    Thanks Brian. I figured they had copper in them but didn'y know how much.


    John, I try to pick up some brass and stuff when ever I'm close enough to stop by the yard even if I don't have any immediate need for it.

    Ron
     
  12. Jun 13, 2012 #12

    rhitee93

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    It varies with the alloy, but IIRC most of the brass alloys are 65% to 70% copper
     
  13. Jul 30, 2012 #13

    chipenter

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    Visited my local scrap yard today picked up 5 foot of 2 inch steel bar for just under 6 UK pounds , 23 kilos and turned out to be free cutting when I turned a test piece , result.
     
  14. Jul 31, 2012 #14

    Cedge

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    Definitely happy I stocked up, back when brass and bronze was still under $2.00 per pound. I've still have some of the larger diameters that I purchased at $.80 per pound. I stopped buyinging when it crossed $2.50 per.
     
  15. Oct 29, 2012 #15

    wolframore

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    I just bought some bronze at $2.60/lb. How the heck do you tell if it has beryllium in it?!?!

    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  16. Oct 30, 2012 #16

    old-and-broken

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    other than a chemical analysis, you could try electrical conductivity.

    Beryllium copper has very little other than copper in it, but has very low conductivity for such a high copper content.

    http://www.keytometals.com/Article79.htm bottom of the page has a conductivity chart for comparison.

    an ohm meter on a sample of known material(bronze or brass) should reveal it. The two samples must be similar in size and shape, or the ohm-meter method won't work. Brass will be more conductive, or have a lower resistance reading than beryllium copper.

    Expose clean surface to the probes with a stiff press of a sharp pointed probe. No files or sandpaper though...:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  17. Oct 30, 2012 #17

    old-and-broken

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    on second thought, when it comes to something which can destroy your health.... why take the chance.

    Get your copper from a good source and don't believe it's 'red' brass unless you KNOW it's red brass. ;)
     
  18. Oct 30, 2012 #18

    ozzie46

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    An update on the scapper. He has closed the business and the guy that bought his name and remaining inventory of newer stuff says he will not be dealing in scrap metal. So there goes my in town source for material.:wall::wall::wall::wall::wall::wall:


    Ron
     
  19. Oct 30, 2012 #19

    mcostello

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    Chinese have just sent around an email wanting to buy copper and brass scrap directly. They don't want a middleman, makes it harder for our scrapyards to survive. Will be indefinitely holding nonferrous scrap as I might have to learn casting to help the hobby along.
     

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