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REMOVING LEAD FROM BRASS

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DO YOU KNOW ANY METHOD FOR REMOVING OR DECREASING THE LEAD CONTENT FROM BRASS CASTED MATERIAL BEFORE OR AFTER CASTING OR PLATING?

KEREM TOPCU
- TURKEY


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I believe it cannot be done. Lead is a deliberate addition to some brasses. Other brasses are specified with very low lead contents. If you don't want lead, order castings in a lead-free grade or (if you make your own castings) buy ingots in a lead-free grade. Once lead is in the alloy, it can't practically be removed.

Bill Reynolds
   consultant metallurgist
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

It is this website's profoundly sad
duty to relate the news that Bill
passed away on Jan. 29, 2010.



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There is a method used by some small-scale beer brewers to reduce the amount of lead salts on the surface of fittings that come into contact with the beer using mild acid passivation . One simple method is to mix 2 parts common vinegar (5% acetic acid) with 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%), then soak the object in the solution for 5-10 minutes. The brass should turn a pale, dull yellow color; if it darkens, then the immersion was too long so the part should be cleaned and re-done in a new batch of the solution. There are also some commercial solutions designed for passivation of lead on brass fittings and fixtures. Do an Internet search on "brass passivation" to locate additional resources.

Dan Richards
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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