Will Liquid Metal Cast in Clay?

Will Liquid Metal Cast in Clay?


Guys, Welcome back! I’m Nate with The King of Random and today we are going to try casting molten metal in clay. In the past, we have tried casting molten aluminum in a few different things We’ve used muffin tins. We’ve used plaster, and we’ve tried using sand. We’ve had mixed results with the sand. Sometimes it would work alright and sometimes the weight and pressure of the metal would cause the sand to break up. So we wanted to try using something a little more dense and cohesive. Clay holds itself together really well, and we wanted to try three different varieties of it We’re going to try casting metal in wet clay, dry clay and some of the clay that we fired in a previous video. Before I start pouring molten metal into these, I’m gonna make some predictions about what I think is gonna happen and you should write down your predictions too. Tell me in the comments. How you think this is gonna go? I think our fired clay has the best chance of working well. It’s already been fairly heat tempered and at this point I don’t think too much is gonna happen to it if it gets exposed to hot metal. However It is by far the least convenient. If you have to fire the clay every time before you pour metal into it, that’s quite a big time commitment just to cast something in aluminum. The dried clay has a decent chance of working as well but since it hasn’t been fired when the metal starts heating the clay up there’s a chance it could crack apart. The wet clay is the one I’m gonna have to be the most careful with. I think when I pour the hot metal in it’s gonna start forming steam inside the clay which could cause the molten metal to bubble or possibly even splash out so I’m gonna have to be very careful with it. For the aluminum today. Instead of using soda cans like we have in the past, I went to the hardware store and I got some housing conduit. This is several thick strands of aluminum braided together and once you remove the outer plastic tubes you have some fairly high-grade aluminum that you can quickly melt down. All right, there’s one big chunk of aluminum. All right, I’ve taking two of the aluminum cables out of their plastic tubing. I think this is going to be plenty of metal for our experiments today. At this point if you have some large shears you can cut the aluminum cable up into chunks or you can just grab single strands and start untwisting it from the rest of the bunch. We of course have to make our pieces of aluminum small enough that they can fit into our crucible. All right, we have our aluminum, we have our three types of clay Let’s go fire up the foundry and start melting some metal. Alright, we’ve got our backyard foundry and our crucible for the aluminum. Let’s light it up. Holy heat Batman. It’s toasted my finger right through the glove. Our foundry is going in. At this point the crucible is bright orange, so let’s start adding aluminum. There you go, you can see it’s starting to melt already. Whoops. Lost a little bit to the outside there. Look at that stuff. Just melts into a puddle. Looking nice and liquid. Our aluminum is nice and hot and first we’re gonna try pouring it into the fired clay. I hear a lot of crackling noises going on from that clay. Now that I’ve poured in the aluminum. Now there were already a few little cracks in the clay. Looking at it. I think I see a few more. They may have started to expand. The heat from the metal is going to make the clay expand. I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen to it as it does There is a little bit of water gathering around the bottom I don’t know if that’s water that was somehow in the fired clay or if it’s water that was in cement pad beneath it or both. That’s really cool shiny look. I love the reflection of the sky and clouds in that. There are lots of tiny little points appearing on the surface of the aluminum and they almost look like they could be bubbles rising up. I wonder if that’s an effect of using the clay or if that’s just something that happens from the aluminum. You can see that the dome on top is no longer quite as smooth and I think that’s because the cooling metal is starting to contract. Oh, there we go. It still feels a little bit soft but it is no longer liquid. You can see as I poke it, it doesn’t sink in or anything like that and it’s losing some of its shine as it starts to oxidize a little as well. Holy cow! It’s melting so fast! All right, second batch is done. Let’s pour this into the dry clay. Whoa. Look at those bubbles. Holy cow, I’ve never seen aluminum do that. That is super weird and I don’t want to get very close to it because I’m kind of afraid it’s gonna explode. Look ahead, It looks alive. Oh man, and now it’s oozing off this side That’s just poured down off of the side. I guess… Oh it exploded! Okay, so that was maybe a little bit too exciting after boiling for a couple seconds. In the end fired clay. The clay exploded and kind of shot molten aluminum into the air. I had already backed off a little bit because I was afraid of that I think Marc, our camera guy took a little bit of a the brunt of it He got a tiny bit of it on his glasses even so. We’re definitely gonna figure out what we can do to improve the safety of this before we try pouring it into the wet clay which I’m pretty apprehensive about. I’m pretty much positive it’s gonna explode. So, we’re gonna take some safety precautions on that one. That looked really cool though. All right, our final batch is ready to go and this one’s gonna be poured into the wet clay. But because I’m pretty much positive it’s going to explode. I’ve taken a couple extra safety measures Not only do I have the gloves but about its sleeves, a hood and I’m gonna be putting the welding mask down I’m also just going to pour it and back away immediately and my cameraman is also not going to be standing so close to it this time. Oh yeah. Lots of good bubbling action like last time. I don’t think the clay is going to explode, but I would be surprised if the aluminum doesn’t do anything. Hey, maybe it’s settling down Look at that. You can see that the clay is actually drying out where it’s touching the aluminum A lot of cracking. The top of this thing is starting to look like a volcano. Check it out the clay is still steaming though. The aluminum is obviously still very hot and I’m not going to touch it for a while, but it’s got a cool effect I think this might be a bubble in the aluminum. So I’m gonna see if I can poke it. Pop it maybe. It’s collapsing in so I think I’m right it’s just, oh there we go. I’ll look at that. The inside like crater of the clay It’s picked up some of the clay any wound. Yeah, you can see that is a bubble. There’s all hollow in there. You can look down into it. See if this one will come out. Oh no! Well, our fired clay has become even more fragile, and I think it already was. Oh, yep, yep. That is just all falling apart. It did cast fairly well. It looks like there’s a little indentation that might have been a bit of an air bubble because there’s no little mound in the clay. So I’m not sure where exactly that came from but there it is. Although the casting did it did come out fairly well, I don’t know if it has enough detail that you would want to use fired clay for cast aluminum parts and I am quite sure that you don’t want to use dry clay for casting aluminum parts. That’s just doesn’t work at all Obviously, That’s a neat looking thing. But it doesn’t look like cast aluminum. That’s still very warm. If I hold this piece still in my hands for too long, it will start to get uncomfortably hot. But as long as I keep it moving, it’s really not a problem at this point See that the aluminum so hot that it actually dried the clay out all the way through in the middle. The purpose of today’s video is to see if we could cast molten aluminum in clay And we tried three different varieties. We tried normal wet clay, we tried some clay that had dried out what hadn’t been fired and then we also tried a piece of clay that had been fired. What we found was that clay is probably not the best material to cast in. Our fired clay did hold its shape for the most part But it did crack apart when we tried taking the aluminum ingot out, it mostly fell to pieces When we tried pouring our aluminum into the dry clay. It seemed to be working for a second But then it started boiling, it poured over the edge, and then the whole thing exploded which was actually really cool looking but pretty dangerous as our cameraman did get splashed on just a tiny bit. We then tried pouring it into wet clay which I thought was gonna just explode immediately. I thought there would be violent amounts of steam and molten aluminum would go flying into the air But I was wrong. It did bubble and boil which also looked really good but it didn’t really go anywhere. It was pretty safe in the end. The heat from the molten aluminum did start drying out the wet clay which I thought looked really cool. It almost like a volcano especially while it was still steaming That was a really neat effect. But, I don’t think it’s a great tool for casting molten metal in because the final pieces of aluminum had a lot of air bubbles in it and wasn’t really the shape of the container it was poured into. Overall, I think that sand works better for casting molten metal than clay does although there might be another material that we can still use that will give even better and cleaner results. There you have a casting molten metal in clay. It’s a fun experiment although It’s a little bit dangerous and we didn’t get very clean results so I can’t say I really recommend it. Overall I’m very glad that we did this. I learned something new that I’ve never even seen anyone try before. I know the result is not what I thought would happen and not something I was hoping for. It was still a good experiment to try Thank you for joining us for this video, and we look forward to the next one. Talk to you then. See my face. -That was a little scary. Dude you all right? – Yeah! – You got a little bit on your glasses lens – I know! – Holy cow and on your camera lens. Very front. That’s crazy… Hey my friends! Thanks for watching and supporting our videos and thanks for welcoming Nate on to the channel It’s his first experience working on camera, and he’ll soak up any validation you’re willing to give. So do your best to make him feel at home, and we’ll see in the next video.

100 thoughts on “Will Liquid Metal Cast in Clay?”

  1. That is !!! might be interesting to find out what caused the explosion, strangely it looks exactly as a volcanic eruption process. first a buble, than a overflow of 'magma' than a hudge explosion . If water got traped into the metal, to be heated up afterwards to explode seems illogic. Might be an implosion of a kind.

  2. 5:00 when it exploded it didn't go into the other clay thing which was literally right next to it but somehow it's literally flew right into cameraman's face

  3. U could have just gone to the tip and bought some high grade aluminium for like… Less than a quarter the cost, or free if ur council let u take it for free.

  4. I have cast aluminium successfully with an "air dry" terracotta brand of clay from the local arts and craft store.
    I had it in the kiln for about 30 mins first, as well as using the oxy lpg gass torch on it to remove any moisture and heat it up before the cast (if you don't heat it up first it may crack).
    A home made starch based air dry "clay" works alright as well, but the edges could flare up causing loss of detail. The starch mixture is extremely heat resistant (corn starch, pva glue, water, glycerine).

  5. I'd be curious to see a mixture of clay and plaster of Paris mixed together to make a mold for casting aluminium (I'm guessing maybe a 30%pop and 70%clay mix) . Could you try that out? I think it could work quite well to give it more structural integrity as well as improving on detail.

  6. Could regular clay be used as a crucible if the walls are made thick enough? I’m asking cause KoR came out with a video on how to make your own clay from dirt.

  7. What about glass?

    I mean, it's not going to be useful for unique molds, but for reclaiming metal into ingots it might work

    Plus it would be neat to see the metal cooling below the exposed surface

  8. I would have just cut the aluminum wire in thick chunks unwrapping it the rewrapping it seems time consuming plus it’s more solid as the wire

  9. Is that kaowool? If so I hope you have it coated bc if not it will be putting off fibers that you will inhale that will cause damage to your throat and lungs

  10. So I bet you because there is so much more moisture in the wet clay it cause more of a bubbling reaction allowing the air pockets to release. The dry clay only had some moisture but not enough for the bubbles to burst and causing the whole thing to explode.

    Either that was awesome, love this stuff

  11. No offense but that dosn't look like fired clay you did fire it in a kyln right? RIGHT?? -.- of course you didn't

  12. With the dry clay, you sort of overfilled it which allowed some to pour over the side. You should try again but don't overfill it and see how it goes.

  13. You gotta work the clay right and dry it out very slowly to prevent the cracks. Try using a wax model and melt out the wax when fully dry. You can use the putty like clay form to cover the model, or dip the model in clay slurry and then splash it with clay powder repeatedly.

    You should also preheat the clay mold before casting.

  14. Guy pours liquid metal into clay mold
    WORST IDEA EVER BESIDES

    SOLVE PUZZLE D L T G Y U U E solve it leave a reply/COMMENT

    I WAS CCCOOORRREEECCCTTT 5:24

  15. I don't understand why the fired clay didn't explode, but the unfired Clay did??

    You'd think the wetness would create a barrier of sorts and protect the clay for a while.

    Was the dried clay's mixed dryness and wetness the reason why it exploded like that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *