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 Post subject: Metal question
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 12:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:55 pm
Posts: 25
I have some hard drive rails from a SAN. The seem to be about the same density as steal. They are not magnetic at all. I have tried a hard drive magnet and there seems to be no attraction at all.

Could they be stainless? The reason I question is all the other stainless I have dealt with has at least a minor attraction with the magnet.

I attached a picture.

Does anyone have any clues? Anything I should check? I have 50+ of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 12:52 pm 
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Location: Low DOS
My first guess was a high density metallic polymer plastic.
This one is actually interesting for reasons beyond what it could be
We have a made in China stamp
A made in the USA label
And a Japanese recycling sticker
:facepalm:

So let’s break this down since the normal methods won’t work.
You did the most important— magnet test.
Moving on.
Drop it from 3 or 4 feet. Preferably onto concrete.
A thud with no reverb is a plastic
A clang is aluminium
A thump is magnesium or manganese. The 2 Ms.
I can’t rule it out from a photo but I’m not thinking Al here because no matter how it’s manufactured Al always produces “lines”. I’m not seeing it here.

My thought Is either a very dense plastic or manganese.
If you want to know for sure, and you have a vice you can lock it in and hit one of the sides with a hammer to crack or break it. The inside section would tell me instantly in most cases.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 4:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:55 pm
Posts: 25
I didn't recognize the Japan sticker but noted the Made in China and USA bit.

I'll do a drop test.

It's pretty dense. Feels like steal to me based on density.

I'll try breaking one and try a file on one too.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:07 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:22 pm
Posts: 32
My guess is die-cast zinc usually they put the casting numbers like as in your picture you can probably pass that off as cast aluminum they might catch it at the scrap yard last time I checked on think it was about 50 Cent a pound.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:36 am 
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Zinc is a possibility I didn’t think of off hand.
Usually for inexpensive memory. It’s a more expensive metal but easier to press and fast. Given magnesium was my first guess zinc has many of the same properties.

I wouldn’t try to “pass it off”. I’m nearly certain it’s not Al.
That just corrupts the stream when it’s missed by automated sorting.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:18 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:46 pm
Posts: 199
Take a knife to it. If the resulting scratches are very bright and shiny it's most likely Zinc. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:20 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:19 pm
Posts: 2
My yard has helped me classify items I’m not sure about. Although cast aluminum and cast zinc/die cast pay about the same, they like it separated.
If it seems dense and heavy for its size, probably zinc die cast. Cast metals take on odd shapes like that. Sparks will indicate stainless steel, but you don’t see intricate shapes like cast aluminum or zinc.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 1:48 pm 
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So I took my garden equipment in yesterday. And now for the xxfmyxx year in a row I have a hose sprayer that won’t come off.
And it’s the first piece of zinc I’ve look at directly in some time.

I had to cut the rubber and plastic cover off to find the seam, smack it with a hammer and it saves me from refuting a new hose end clamp next year. My hose gets shorter by about 3 inches every other year! Facepalm

That op is zinc.


Now we need to solve the real question.
The one that I can’t get out of my brain on this one!

Where was it made? Rotflmao


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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 9:45 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:44 pm
Posts: 899
Location: I'm right here :D
Glad we determined this was zinc, I just acquired some server blades and two had hard drives with the exact same part. Two other blades had similar parts made by another manufacturer and they were at least labeled with ZA-8, zamak 8 (Z zinc, A aluminum, Ma magnesium and K kopper) which is a specific alloy of zinc that's pretty close to 90% zinc and various small percentages of the other metals and can include trace amounts of iron, cadmium, nickel, lead and tin.

I've found the same alloy used in the base of the G4 iMac.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal question
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 3:38 pm 
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It appears to be popular in round bases. I’ve found it in the Lux iMac, lamps, and some small round base TVs.
Old desktop tape dispensers and portfolio staplers as well.
The base of old manual calculating machines and registers.
Anything that needs to be heavy-enough but not too-heavy.

You find a lot of it in garden and irrigation though as well. It costs less than aluminium and holds up better than lower coating stainless as it expands and contracts better in high and low temperatures.
It holds it’s shape quite well at extreme heat into the 200• range making it popular for rack systems and server equipment. And it doesn’t stress under inconsistent temperature. Meaning the 250• power supply won’t cause the whole tray to sag in the rack with an ambient 140-150•

A useful metal, for sure. With a melting point above 700F there isn’t much electronic wise it can’t be used for.

Oh, and in micro-particle form in a suspension it’s a great lubricant!


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