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chas

Aluminium casting. Strong enough?

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I need to make an M4 stock adapter for my Classic Army KAC LMG, since a direct mounting of the stock tube to the stock base is impossible/looks really shoddy.

 

So I was thinking of making an adapter: a rod that has two sections, with different diameters. The part that goes into the back of the gun would be 2 cms in length and 2 cms in diameter. The part for the M4 stock pipe to slide on would be 4 cms in length and 1,9 cms in diameter.

 

I recon making this using the lost foam method (I could make a precisión foam piece using hot wire) would be fairly easy.

 

But will it be strong enough? What about a smaller, thinner piece, like an AK74 stock hinge?

 

Here's a cool video of some simple lost foam aluminium casting:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We5ulxM0BNg

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlUGH_em_pA

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Use a decent aluminium alloy and you can expect it to be pretty solid. 

 

When I took engineering we used old alloy wheels as the raw material, we made hacksaw handles from it and it took the machine finishing and everything like a champ. Never saw one break either, and there was a few thin bits on the design.

 

Can't help but think though, with it being cylindrical in shape would a lathed steel rod not be easier and stronger?

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Since the M4 stock adapter is not that important to me, I would like to keep it really cheap. I see people (on youtube) simply melt soda cans. What's your opinion on that.

 

A steel or iron rod would definitely be stronger. But I dont have a lathe, so I would have to comissión it to someone, or worse: order it from a shop. making a very simple piece quite expensive, I expect.

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Once you skim the inevitable layer of *suitcase* off the top, you're not left with much. So you'd need a lot of soda cans.

 

I can't quite put my finger on why, but some niggling thought is telling me soda cans would be brittle. 

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Damnit. Maybe you are right.

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Im starting to think about making the piece out of wood again. With a big metal screw running through it for strength.

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How do I know if something is made out of zamak? I assume it will require a higher temperature to be melted, correct.

 

You too do not think aluminium will be strong enough?

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Aluminium casting is not very easy to make. When is melted, the aluminium absorbs the hidrogen from the atmosphere. Once it cools, hidrogen try to go out but it have nowhere to go so it make boobles that make the part fragile.

 

Also the liquid aluminium have strong surface tensión, plus the low density, make it pretty hard to pour into small holes.

 

Have you any blueprint? Maybe I can help with my machine.

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Without a spectrophotometer it would be really difficult to ID zamak, but things made of it are usually labeled as such. Temp wise it's higher than typical pot metal but still lower than aluminum which isn't a whole lot of wiggle room, maybe 40°C in either I direction.

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from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamak:

 

"The name zamak is an acronym of the German names for the metals of which the alloys are composed: Zink (zinc), Aluminium, Magnesium and Kupfer (copper).[2] The New Jersey Zinc Company developed zamak alloys in 1929. While zinc alloys are popularly referred to as pot metal or white metal, zamak is held to higher industrial standards."

 

summary of characteristics here: http://www.dynacast.com/die-casting/zinc-die-casting/zamak-3

 

duck duck go says it is usually labeled as such.

 

hope that helps.

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