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Blacksmithing and Metallurgy Hand-wrought manufacture of metal objects, extracting metals from their ores, or purifying metals and casting useful items from the metals.

Blacksmithing and Metallurgy

Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating


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  #1  
Old 05-08-2019, 10:48:15 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

Well, I'm at it again.
This time I am focused on annealing rifle brass cartridge casing necks prior to reloading. I'm not a reloader myself, but quite a few folks have been asking me about it, so I have been experimenting with my 1000 Watt ZVS induction heater to see if it can be done successfully.
My own goal is primarily to take these small induction heaters as far as I can, learning as much as I can as I go.
My newest video is here:
https://youtu.be/CuzfCnK0E0c

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:54:54 PM
I like oldstuff I like oldstuff is offline
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

Nice setup.
I did a few machines for armories to perform neck annealing. These used channel coils about 20" long, 50kW@50 kHz. It ran .223 cases around a dial table at the rate of about 3 pcs/second.
You might find on brass if you get the current up and the volts lower it'll respond better.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:19:01 PM
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ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

make sure you know what your doing, head spacing, case thickness, and so on...
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:16:13 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

Ilikeoldstuff:
With these small ZVS induction heaters, you don't get much choice on selecting a coil voltage, as far as I know.
It's good to know that you did casings at 50kHz. A lot of guys would like to go to 250kHz for brass or copper, but that's not an option with these units. About 125kHz is maximum and that's only reached by playing around with the tank ckt a lot.
Beyond that, you spend your time replacing components.

Pete Stanaitis
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---------- Post added at 11:16:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:05:50 AM ----------

ulgydog56:
I don't reload anything. All I am doing is to offer annealing ideas to those who do. It's up to them to do all that stuff, including making sure that the heat stays up in the neck where they want it.
They do talk about the heat "soaking" and/or creeping down too far. I will bet that some of them are NOT getting the anneal that they really want, because they shut off the current too soon.
I am surprised that none of them that I have seen drop the casings into water.

We have had many discussions about measuring case neck temperatures, too. I suspect that (750°F) Tempilaq is probably a pretty good solution, but I think these guys just use it to set up the system for a particular cartridge, and then just run a bunch.

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Old 05-09-2019, 11:05:27 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

thumbs up...
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:32:01 AM
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

After initial metallurgical analysis, and simple deform it and see what it does testing they were setup purely by colour and depth of the heat pattern. On a new machine at PPPA (pre production part acceptance) They would fill a 55 gallon barrel or two with .223 cases that were run through. Back to the smelter they went. +1 on using Tempilaq.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:19:21 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

This is almost OT, but blacksmiths use the oxide colors that form on freshly polished as it is heated to determine temper temperatures. So do I.
Charts showing which color relates to which temperature are all over the web.
One example is here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temper...cksmithing.JPG

Those colors are useful between about 350°F and about 730°F, at which point the steel turns gray for a few hundred degrees before it starts to glow.
As I am sure you all know, brass goes through a similar coloration process as it is heated.
But I have not been able to find an oxide/temperature color chart on the internet yet. It would be nice if the steel oxide colors indicated the same temps as do the brass temps, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
Has anybody else seen such a chart for brass?

Come to think of it, I guess I could heat up a sheet of brass, watch the colors and test it with an IR gun. But, maybe not because the IR guns often are fooled by shiny surfaces.

A person could go broke having every value of Tempil or Tempilaq, couldn't they?

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Old 05-10-2019, 06:53:24 PM
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

I spec'd and bought hundreds of IR units for equipment I designed and sold. The fun thing with IR cameras is to use a closed loop system control where the IR unit puts out a 4-20 ma or 0-10V signal. This feeds the controller on the induction system and can ramp and hold the temperature on the workload.

IR temperature acquisition work on the principal of 'Black Body Emissivity'. Shinier materials will usually show a lower temperature and the darker higher temps. Low temps make it more difficult to read with IR. (Low I low E) Want a good reading? Squirt a little flat black on what you will be 'looking' at.

Newer products employ a three range sensor with a pretty accurate averaging algorithm built in it. I have a $12 gun from ebay that is astounding although it eats 9v batteries like candy. It does what a $1000 unit did ten years ago. The only drawback is that it only goes to ~1900F.

It even has wifi that could be sent to a machine controller or data logger. For example of practicality, I could have my slave monitoring the temp of the barbecue while I kick back with a cocktail watching it on my phone or waiting for an alarm that says your burgers are done.

Want to test your gun for low temps? Take two pieces of metal, paint one silver and one flat black. Put them in the oven at a low temperature until you're sure they both are heat soaked then look at them with the IR. The flat black is the true temp. It's even more profound if the shiny piece is chromed.

Oh yes on the $$$ of Tempilaq. I had four or five of every temp up to I think 2500F. Google Tempil. It's a very interesting story of the history of the products. You'll be surprised in what else those people were into. ps: their thinner works well when it starts drying out in the bottle.

For those that don't understand Tempilaq, it's a heat sensing paint. Every temperature has a different color. You brush it on the surface you want to measure the temperature of and let it dry. Then when heated you watch it until it melts at the designated temperature. It's very accurate and within 1-2 degrees of what is actual.

Back to cartridges:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIEg0OZVj0Y
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:53:47 PM
bartlett0815 bartlett0815 is offline
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

There are machines already designed and built specifically for annealing cartridge casings. I saw one on a bench once but don't know if it is the same as this one. I've never used one and have no connection at all with this company. For annealing my Martini-Henry and Snider brass I use a propane torch and drop them into the deep sink when I think they're about right. No problems with that method so far.
https://www.ampannealing.com/
Good luck,
Kevin in NC
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:31:01 AM
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

^Looks like a well thought out induction system.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:58:30 AM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Annealing Brass Cartridge Casings/ Induction Heating

The "annealing guys" that I have been communicating with all know about commercial annealing units. They are the DIY types who just want to do it "on the cheap", or just because they can.

When using a temperature sensing "gun" or such, there's also the problem of field of view (FOV).
"Every IR instrument has a field of view (FOV), an angle of vision in which it will average all the temperatures it sees."
So, I have a cheap gun that has an FOV of 8:1 (or is it 1:8?). Anyway, if you are 8 inches away, it's gonna average everything within a 1" circle, I think. Since the cartridge is usually smaller than that, I don't think I'd try to use one. I have explained this to several guys. They like to argue that, if they turn the little laser pointer on, their gun will measure only the temp at that spot.
i have done quite a bit of messing around with "woodgas to electricity" turining woodchips into motor fuel for a generator.
It took me a while to understand some of these measurement issues. If you looked at my main reactor, which is painted silver, you would see, as Ilikeoldstuff pointed out, that there are black spots painted in all the strategic areas.

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