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Blaf

Aluminium flitters

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Recently I made some Al flitters from Alu-foil that you can find in any kitchen. Foil was first cut into irregular chunks and tossed into plastic yar (see Ball mill topic) and topped with two dozens of steel balls from ball bearings. The ball mill was then switched on and left to roll almost 12 hours. Then, I checked what happened inside and found chunks divided into smaller flitters. Why flitters? Because if you take some between your fingers and throw it in the air, particles fly flittering. You should consult your English dictionary about this one. Anyhow, these were some 6-10mm in diameter and too large for anything Pyro....so I left my mill to roll another 5-6 hours (or so...) and what I've got at the end are more or less round flitter particles of 0,5-3mm in diameter. These could be sifted and divided into few desired sizes. I tried a small pinch mixed with my granulated BP and the result is more than satisfactory. Bright and rich white sparks bursted when this small pile went off and I thought this could be ideal for waterfall or some kind of sparkler. Sparks were burning longer that my paint grade Al I used in fountains and tourbillions and we'll see what their future use is going to be... So, it's possible to get usable Al particles by ball-milling the Alu-foil but it really takes some time. Hope it pays off one day...

Blaf

p.s. Image will be posted soon...

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I have gotten my flitter Al from an aluminium cutting factory, i just asked if i could take a kg or 2 and it was allright, it saved me the trouble making it myself and quality is superb.

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Hello Exhile!

Are you sure they're flitters? These ones I've got after milling are very thin flakes with mirror like surfaces, almost lighter than air. Those coming from cutting shops should be looking more like hard particles, heh...

Blaf

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I make my own flitters too, with my Metal Grinder (I'll post some pictures/video soon).
When he's done grinding, I've got 'bout 10 grams of coarse metal flitters (from 0.1 mm. to 2mm.).
Very usefull for 'metal fire dust stars'.

Duvel..

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Here are threee small piles of what came out of my milling jar the other day. It was Alu-foil that's been milled with steel balls, remember?

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Coarse flitters are on the left, finer flitters in the middle and finest (almost powder) are on the right.

Blaf

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I don't believe it would be the same if you used a blender. Because the ball mill smashes it over and over actually making the foil even thinner than before. Which gives it an airfloat effect. If you were to blend it then it would still be the same thickness and most likely not burn as bright or as easy.

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Here you can see the difference between bal-milled and ground Alu-foil. This small pile is ground in electric coffee grinder for a few minutes. I have tossed little chunks of foil into container and switched it on for a minute while constantly shaking it. The container became warm very quickly so I stopped and left it to cool down a few minutes. I repeated this several times and here we are...

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Particles are more granule-like ones and it would be interesting to put them into ball-mill for a few hours and see what comes out. These granules work well as spark producers in fountains...other uses are yet to be revealed.

Blaf

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Yeah, those came out small due to high rotation speed of this little coffee grinder. The only drawback is small capacity of its container. I think I tossed a small amount of table salt in to ease grinding and to prevent sticking.
As for "big flat Al bits", we should experiment with different milling media shapes. I milled my foil with ball media...which is less effective shape than hexagonal or cylindrical one...to be honest, my milling lasted too long. Maybe your flat chunks would have been scattered into powder if you used any of those odd shaped media. Of course, this is only my loud thinking...

Blaf

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Any idea is worth considering but separating particles using different mesh sieves is simple and efficient. Any further sofistication would be entering the professional waters...personally, I never make large batches of anything so I wouldn't go that far.

Blaf

p.s. I'm not discouraging you so go your own way...

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