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Slag? Dross? Clinker?

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  • Slag? Dross? Clinker?

    Brother found this in a park the other day, near the former site of an old pyrite mining operation (Prince William Forest Park in VA, near Washington DC). Apparently surprisingly light, and the rock hound in him is curious what it may be.

    Clinker from coal was suggested, but I’ve never seen clinker with such fluid curves and pockmarks. Strikes me more as dross or slag from smelting.

    Thoughts?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by AWS; 07-07-2020, 07:36 PM.

  • #2
    Clinker

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    • #3
      I would say that came out of the pot
      not from under the pot,
      but I am no expert.

      -D
      DZER

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      • #4
        Bit more info just passed along. Was a pyrite mine much later than I thought.... ~1880-1920 per the plaque. 250 employees, 70 buildings, 1000’ mineshaft.

        That coal would have been used unsurprising. I’m less sure about on-site smelting though, but no little of generating sulfur from pyrite.

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        • #5
          That there is a clinker, it looks just like the ones I have seen from coal fires. Color, blowholes, surface type, yep.......95%+ that is a clinker.
          CNC machines only go through the motions.

          Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
          Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
          Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
          I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
          Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            That there is a clinker, it looks just like the ones I have seen from coal fires. Color, blowholes, surface type, yep.......95%+ that is a clinker.
            Clinker I’ve handled was always more liked fused cinders, and lacking the fluid lines and blowholes. Perhaps the stove wasn’t hot enough to melt it, I guess.
            Last edited by AWS; 07-07-2020, 10:13 PM.

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            • #7
              3 basic types of Coal.. I believe.... may be more than one type klinker..

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              • #8
                Coal clinker, I've seen that type before in different states. It generally depends how much impurities (iron, sulfur, phosphorous) and non-combustible organics were in the coal
                25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                • #9
                  Thanks All, have passed the info back. I grew up in the shadow of Bethlehem Steel, and looked more like the result of the molten dross they’d dump down the hillside in Hellertown. Was great fun watching it at night.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AWS View Post
                    Thanks All, have passed the info back. I grew up in the shadow of Bethlehem Steel, and looked more like the result of the molten dross they’d dump down the hillside in Hellertown. Was great fun watching it at night.
                    That can look the same, or similar, because it kinda IS the same...... Both are unburnable residue from coal/coke and rocks. The difference is that blast furnace slag usually is not as red, because the iron oxide has been mostly reduced out of it.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions.

                    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think that's a fulgurite.
                      Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                      • #12
                        Where I used to live in West Sussex, UK, there was the countries centre for iron working during the middle ages. Iron slag was not hard to find and it looks very much like the photo. That said, clinker from coal fires looks similar, and perhaps a magnet could be used to tell them apart.

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                        • #13
                          Its an old soft coal clinker from southern Indiana, seen a million of them. It probably came out of a furnace, most clinkers from a heating stove were not that big.
                          Sarge41

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                          • #14
                            Used to get that out of the school boiler. Depends on the coal, the impurities, the temperature what it looks like but you don't get it so much out of a small house fire. Basicly it is the result of high temperature on the non combustible part of the coal as in cheap coal with the boiler run too hot for efficiency - hence lots from the school boiler.

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                            • #15
                              Nice thread. Odd, but interesting all the same.

                              Lets see. I came from New Jeyrsey around 73 (I am only 54).

                              We used to play on the track down in the cut and "clinkers" all the time. Never saved them, they broke up real easy.

                              Now Corona, California had 1" glass balls (Marbles) on the track when you can get them.

                              See the connection?

                              Besides me and my friends hanging out on the RR track. JR

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