Soda/Beer can aluminum, why & why not.

Okay.. I did a fair amount of research on the aluminum used in soda/beer cans.... it's definetly NOT the best aluminum out there and about 50% will be dross when they are melted down.... so other than those two things i just mentioned.... how come so many people discourage it's use for basic or simple castings????

Im curious as to what you guy/gals have to say about this.... opinions, real life experiences, heresay, etc.



-- perplexed (email:

Ah, the obligatory new-guy-in-the-forums pop can post!

This is a question that comes up a lot. Pop can aluminum is fine, in fact as your research indicates, it is rather good. I always found it to be light and appealingly shiny. However dealing with the dross is just not worth it. You need a lot of cans to get enough aluminum to cast, and you have to do a lot of skimming. While using cans is ok if you are willing to work, there is not much point, as there is so much easier to melt aluminum out there.

-- Tom (

About half my ingots are made from "Poponium" Alloy, mostly empty pepsi cans, and I found when I made them that they are definately slaggy, and The slag doesn't always form a skimmable slag. I have to scrap a kind of goo off of the bottom of my crucible after each pour when melting them, I think I need more flux.

-- Einstein (email:

Even with a means to shred, compress and pack aluminum cans for melting its more work than it's really worth. If one was to do this all by hand, my hat's off to you! For the amount of work involved, and the dross, I would rather be melting something else down. Yes it's ok for casting, and if you do not have any other aluminum it's the cat's backside, as any aluminum is better than no aluminum. So if you have lots of time on your hands, use it. I am sure Lionel can attest to the fact he uses what he can get and he has made some pretty nifty things out of aluminum foil, soda cans and a heap of all kinds of stuff that is "supposedly not worth using" in casting. It takes a heap of cans to make a #4 or 6 crucible full of aluminum.

-- Chipmaker

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