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SkepticJ
2010-Mar-27, 05:24 AM
For an artwork I want to do I need powdered steel or iron. Of course I can order it from an artist or chemical supplier, but I don't need very much and don't want to have to bother with shipping.

I've thought about grinding up fine steel wool into bits small enough to paint on, and then rust.

What're some other options? Do any stores that can be found in a reasonable sized city carry powdered steel or iron. . . for whatever reason?

sarongsong
2010-Mar-27, 05:38 AM
...I don't need very much...What're some other options?...Hacksawing thru some iron or steel might provide what you seek, or a visit to a local machine shop.

tashirosgt
2010-Mar-27, 03:16 PM
If you grind iron or steel you will get bits of the abrasive mixed into what you collect. If you grind hard, you will oxidize some of the steel.

I wonder how the commercial manufacturers make powdered steel.

Nowhere Man
2010-Mar-27, 03:24 PM
How much do you need? Steel wool might be your best bet. It comes in various levels of coarseness.

Fred

PraedSt
2010-Mar-27, 08:28 PM
Will iron filings do? You can buy them in small lots if I remember. Ask your local school if all else fails.

Swift
2010-Mar-27, 09:36 PM
Find a machine shop and ask them if you can get/buy some. I have to think any moderate sized town has a metal or machine shop or some type of metal fabricator.

Or find a place that buys scrap metal and see if they will sell you some.

geonuc
2010-Mar-27, 09:53 PM
I second the hacksaw method, if you don't need much. If you have access to a bench vise to hold the steel, all the easier.

TJMac
2010-Mar-27, 10:05 PM
I am a bit confused about exactly what you mean by powdered steel. How fine is it exactly? Does it have any particular properties? For instance, low-carbon, medium, high-carbon?

Are hacksaw shavings small enough? Or do you need something really fine?

TJ

SkepticJ
2010-Mar-28, 12:38 AM
Steel or iron, doesn't matter. I'm only after the rusting ability.

The particles need to be small enough that the surface I adhere them to stays relatively smooth. Then hydrogen peroxide gets poured on it to rust it up.

I only need enough to make in the neighborhood of 100 ml of paint.



Thanks for the suggestions, guys. :)

mugaliens
2010-Mar-28, 06:30 AM
Find a machine shop...

+1

I called a friend of mine who owns/runs one here in town and he said he's be glad to sweep of filings of whatever size she wanted and give it to you in a Big Gulp cup.

TJMac
2010-Mar-28, 07:13 PM
+1

I called a friend of mine who owns/runs one here in town and he said he's be glad to sweep of filings of whatever size she wanted and give it to you in a Big Gulp cup.


Since I work in a machine shop myself, I was thinking along the same lines. However, we mostly have larger chips, that seem to be not what is needed by the OP. The only think that comes to mind is grinding swarf, which is going to have plenty of grinding dust and coolant mixed into it.

TJ

danscope
2010-Mar-28, 08:48 PM
Just go to the grinder and take a magnet covered in a little plastic bag.
Draw up the steel particles. Remove bag. Steel is attracted to magnet.
Abrasive tends to sit.
And if you really want rust, spend the night on a sailboat near salt water.
You shall have rust...in a big way. :lol:

aastrotech
2010-Mar-28, 09:55 PM
Get a magnet, run it around in dry dirt, You should get plenty. Try the dirt in the gutter of the street.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-28, 10:38 PM
Get a magnet, run it around in dry dirt, You should get plenty. Try the dirt in the gutter of the street.

But be smart, put the magnet in a plastic bag, then once enough has been collected, turn the bag inside out so the iron is on the inside and the magnet is on the outside and remove the magnet, that way you have a clean magnet and your iron in a bag.

Collecting with a magnet also has the advantage that you'll exclude some of the stainless steel alloys, which it sounds like you wouldn't want anyway.

Jeff Root
2010-Mar-28, 11:13 PM
A couple of weeks ago I went into a box in the back of my closet that I
hadn't opened in ten or fifteen years. It contained a spray can of Krylon
fixative lying on its side. The can looked to be 1/3rd rust, and practically
crumbled to dust as I gently picked it up. There were hundreds of little
breaks in the otherwise glossy painted outer surface of the can, which
made it look like it had some horrific disease that eats spray cans from the
inside out. It looked ghastly and esthetically interesting at the same time.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

mugaliens
2010-Mar-30, 08:50 AM
Since I work in a machine shop myself, I was thinking along the same lines. However, we mostly have larger chips, that seem to be not what is needed by the OP. The only think that comes to mind is grinding swarf, which is going to have plenty of grinding dust and coolant mixed into it.

TJ

That's what he mentioned - his grinder. As for the coolant, are you using oil-based, or water?

SkepticJ
2010-Apr-18, 06:18 AM
Started gathering up steel wool bits today.

I've been doing some scrubbing with it on an art test-piece, and that makes lots of tiny steel bits.

A NIB magnet in an inside-out zipper bag works great for picking them up. Thanks for the idea.

TrAI
2010-Apr-18, 09:47 AM
Hmmm... This probably will not help much, but if you cut/grind a ferrite core, the black things they use around cables and in some coils, the powder you get will usually rust instantly. The ferrite is a relatively hard sintered ceramic, so it may be a bit difficult to grind, also it is not pure iron, so the rust color may depend on what other materials has been added, and I have no idea how these other materials will affect any artwork you would make from it over time.

SkepticJ
2010-Apr-21, 07:12 PM
Coated the part in steel wool bits, and it's rusting up nicely. Hydrogen peroxide and salt water works wonders.

Graybeard6
2010-Apr-21, 09:46 PM
A file is what you really want. You can get a good quantity of particles in just a few minutes with a piece of cast iron and a cheap file, and no need to separate non-ferrous material.