When Molten Salt Hits Molten Metal

When Molten Salt Hits Molten Metal


>>In the past, we’ve had a few videos where we melted down copper, some where we melted aluminum, and some where we melted salt. And today, we’re gonna see
what happens if we try combining some of these things. [Captions by Judy V. at Y Translator]
[Music] [Music] Hey guys. I am Nate. Welcome back to
this Center of Science, the concrete pad. To start off, we’ll throw
some aluminum into one crucible, and some salt into the other. We’ll melt both of them at the same time, and try to pour them
both into one muffin tin, and see what happens as they combine. [Music] Alright. Start by pouring some
aluminum into this ingot mold. That’s nice and liquid. Now let’s see what happens
if we pour in some salt. [Music] Oh, looks like the salt is kind of just
floating on the surface of the aluminum. I’m gonna see if I can stir it. [Music] Well, the salt has cooled down. The aluminum is partially cooled down. They’re both pretty liquid. I’m going to try same thing in another ingot,
and I won’t mix this one. [Music] A bit of salt that spilled out
as I was trying to pour. Already cooled down. Cooled down is a relative term. It is solidified. But that piece of salt,
I bet still quite toasty. Ooh, and our aluminum
still is liquid right here. So it’s got solidified salt,
but liquid metals still going on. Is that underneath this salt
might still be liquid aluminum too, but I don’t want to break
through the surface of the salt. I want to let it cool down
entirely while it’s in the tin. [Music] There we go. Our aluminum has now solidified, at least in that one. We’ll give it a little
bit more to cool down. And then we’ll try
and pop it out of the tin. This one started sort
of moving up at an angle, not sure what’s causing that. Might be the bottom of
the tin has warped a little bit. Alright, I think
our salt and our aluminum, they’re still very warm, but I think they’re cooled down enough that they’re quite solid, so I’m gonna see if I can flip
this pan over and shake them out. [Music] There’s one. [Music] This one doesn’t want to come out so well. Maybe it will come out in pieces. Oh, there it is. Well, even though I tried mixing it, it looks like for the most part, it’s still one piece
of aluminum at the bottom, and then some slightly
mixed up salt and aluminum on top of that piece on the bottom. And of course, this one
where I poured them separate, they’re pretty much separate. Once this is completely cooled, which it’s still very hot. Once it’s all the way cooled down, I might see if I can
pull these two pieces apart. Alright, let’s try this. So I’ll do salt first, then aluminum. [Music] Alright, I’ve done aluminum and then salt. And then I tried the same thing and mixed it up. Now, just to see if
I get any different result, I’m gonna pour the salt in first, and the aluminum on top of it. [Music] Pretty sure the aluminum just
went right down through the salt into the tin. I bet it’s gonna end up looking
a lot like the one where we didn’t mix it. The color of it really starts
to change as it cool down. That’s kind of interesting. Well, we tried with aluminum. Let’s try this with copper, which is so much heavier to lift up
with a pair of tongs than aluminum is. [Music] Oh. I think my aluminum
was still a little bit soft. Yes, yes it is. It’s kind of like a paste. Well, I think I was too eager
to get that out of the tin. I’ll just flip that back over, let it cool down on the nice concrete. Yesterday, we tried
melting down the copper ingots to try and get some molten copper, but despite sitting
in the furnace for 45 minutes, they wouldn’t melt. It’s also possible that
they aren’t pure copper. I’m not entirely sure
what they were cast from. They could be an alloy
with some other metal. So today, we’re gonna try melting down
just some of this copper pipe, there’s a lot more exposed surface area, and should go much faster. [Music] Our copper is melted, and I actually put our
cup of salt in there as well, so that should also be liquid. Let’s take them both out of the furnace, and see what happens
if we mix them together. [Music] Nice molten copper down
in the bottom of that cup. That looks pretty neat. Oh, and it cools down quickly. The pipes were sitting over the edge, and some of it had spilled, and so we’ve just got a little puddle
of copper formed at the bottom there. Here’s our copper. Here is our salt. Start by pouring the copper into the ingot. That looks really cool. Alright, adding some salt. 3, 2, 1. I think the salt
cooled down the copper. I’m just gonna pour
more copper on top of that. Sinks right through it. I guess that’s not surprising. The copper melts at
almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. And our furnace only barely
gets above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The salt melts at closer
to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, and it started cooling down fairly
quickly after I took it out of the furnace, to the point that I think
when I poured the molten salt on to the molten copper, the heat difference was enough that the molten salt
actually cooled down the copper. Our cup didn’t really
love being in the furnace of that temperature either. As you can see it’s flaking like mad. So here we have what I believe
is now just completely cooled copper with some still liquid salt on top of it. The salt is starting
to cool down as well. You can see crystallizing on top. And it’s just gonna keep crystallizing
until it’s solid all the way through. And then hopefully, we can get
this ingot out of the mold. Sometimes, our ingots kind
of like to bond to the steel. But I’m hoping that
once this one cools down, we’ll be able to get it out just fine. Molten copper looks awesome. Here’s another piece of copper
which doesn’t look anything like copper right now because it’s just so covered
in carbon and smoke and stuff, but that’s just copper right there. I bet we can sand that down, and maybe even polish it up. And bring that color back out. That is now solidified. But of course,
it’s still extremely hot. So we got to give it some time to cool. [Music] Well, some aluminum from previously. [Music] Oh some of our salt broke out. The copper still attached. A very different color of salt. So having the copper in it
may have done something to it. Looks like we kind of had
layering in how the salt cooled. [Music] That is pretty well attached there. I think we’re starting
to have our entire muffin tin pop out of the whole tray. We might need a new muffin tray. Its probably about that time. The whole tray is loose. Just need to kind of tear
it the rest the way out. And then I’m gonna
probably tear it open, if I need to to get the copper out. Well, I scraped away some salt. You can see the exposed
copper underneath it. I think the moral of this story
is that you should always use a new muffin tin
to pour molten copper into. Because, man a lot of it
is sticking a lot. I don’t know that a new muffin
tin would make it stick less, but I think it would. Ha! Well, finally, got the muffin tin
off of our salt and copper block. See if I can break off some more of that. You can see there’s just
the exposed copper underneath it, with not a lot of mixing going on. Although something turned
our salt very very brown. It’s possible that that was just
from being heated up in our steel cup, but we haven’t had anywhere
near that result before. So I’m betting somehow, there’s copper mixed into this salt, at least on some level. The salt comes off the copper
more easily than the copper came off the muffin tin. Comparing the aluminum mixed with salt, and the copper mixed with salt is kind of strange. And I don’t know if
there’s a definite correlation, but the salt and aluminum, the salt really turns
sort of a grayish white, and aluminum is sort of
a grayish white metal. Whereas with the copper,
which is a very orange-brown metal, our salt really took on
a brownish orange color. Like I said, I don’t know
for sure that it’s any of the metal being mixed into the salt there, but it seems to have picked up
some of the characteristics of it. We got some really cool colors
from our copper being melted down. I really like that look. That’s always fun. Hey guys. Grant here.
Quick reminder. We’re giving away a
Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8. There’s a link down in the description, so you can get your name on the list. If that’s not what you want, we’re sending the gift receipt as well, so you can take it back to the store, and get the cash back instead. [Music]

100 thoughts on “When Molten Salt Hits Molten Metal

  1. I suspect that the color of the salt is caused by the oxidized/corroded metal in it. The heat alone oxidizes metal even before the melting point and salt is known to speed up the process of oxidization in metals. That's why there are shades of green in the salt mixed with copper and why there are shades of blue in the salt mixed with aluminum. When corroded, copper will turn green and aluminum a bluish dark grey.

  2. Instead of melting them separately and pouring them at different times, why not just put both in the same crucible and melt it down that way so it mixes more efficiently.

  3. Can you guys try mixing metals to make new metals . Like copper and zinc to make brass but also likr werid combos like copper and gallium or alumium and zinc . Stuff like that and maybe test the strengths and other properties

  4. I think that expanding of aluminum and salt is the result of aluminum. Where I work, we use, among other, crucibles with gallium and aluminum (separately 😀 ) that are kept in molten state all the time. If we have to bring the temperature down below the melting point, the crucible is considered to be cracked and changed for a new one

  5. Could you try electrolysis to try to remove the possible copper from the salt or do any other tests to see if the metal has combined with the salt?

  6. Salt is sometimes used to clean different metals and copper is one of the ones I've seen people use salt on the most,. Could there be a chemical reaction that causes the salt to clean the copper and could that browning color be the dirt and impurities from the copper ?

  7. Can you get some raw copper with impurities and then melt in a ratio like 40% copper and 60% slat and check if the copper is cleaned or not… I think its nice little experiment you can do it.

  8. End of the video approaches
    Nate: licks the aluminum-salt mix
    Me: facepalms "Nate, I know you like tasting things but….THAT really?!" bursts out laughing
    XD XD XD XD

  9. Well you're mixing a metal and a halide, so it's like oil and water. The differences in density n viscosity at melting point will make one float on top of the other.

  10. The next day when nate poured the molten copper into the steel tray for the copper and salt, the steel on the bottom immediately started glowing orange. It looks awesome

    5:23

  11. To mix copper and salt or aluminum and salt, you need to melt them in the same container, it might work. But that’s the best thing about Science, we don’t know till we try

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