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Post  spinna on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:11 pm

Hi all, I am a Newbie and this is my first post.
Thanks for all the great information that members make available.
It sure helps this inexperienced newbie!
Questions.
1.Is there a ball point figure for how long you can you leave a nugget in Ali Brite or Hydrochloric Acid? I have heard that prolonged soaking can potentially discolour or damaged the nugget.
2.Is it advisable to end rinse in a mix of Bicarb. Soda to neutralise the acids?
3.Also has anyone tried electrolysis to clean gold and if so how effective is the process?

Thanks in anticipation
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Post  HOBO'S Gold on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:20 pm

Hi Spinna, I use Ali brite, and usually leave it for about a week, depends on how much you need to clean it, when it is clean enough I just rinse it under the tap, these acids wont damage your Gold, if its real Gold (hence the acid test)

Regards Johnny sunny
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Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:30 pm

.


Last edited by GoldstalkerGPX on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  spinna on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:55 pm

Thanks for the prompt replies to my queries.
I will stick to Ali Brite, but will leave them in longer than I do at the moment.
I will also keep a look out for the Aldi ultrasonic cleaner.
Thanks for the advice.
Cheers

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Post  chopppacalamari on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:12 pm

Bi - Carb soda is a good idea. The acid penetrates deep into the iron stone and quartz and it can often fizzle for several minutes. This acid inside the stones would not come out if just rinsed in water. However if the nugget was clean of debris then a rinse would do it. Then the acid would end up in the local water ways bla bla bla. I use bi-carb soda. Then again it sounds like I've not been leaving them in there long enough anyways.

Dicko..
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Post  kon61 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:07 pm


G'day gents.

Spinna, stick to the Albrite.Pending on the conglomerate mixed with your gold, might take several weeks to,not so much as to dissolve,but more in terms of weakening the conglomerate so that it can be broken apart,followed by a good bicarb wash in boiling water for an hour or so,just enough to brighten your speci or nugget from acid stain..
Really there is no substitute for concentrate Hydrofluoric acid (specifically designed for dissolving silica) but it remains a highly toxic and very dangerous acid to work with.High Hydrofluoric acid concentrate,can be ordered from China in 20ltr + drums,but unless you're a registered company which deals specifically in dangerous acids,you'll have buckleys chance of getting it past customs,because it falls under terrorism laws.
An ultrasonic cleaner is also good for cleaning and brightening nuggets.

Cheers kon61.
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Post  spinna on Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:16 pm

Thanks for the additional posts kon61 and dicko.
Although I can gain access to Hydrofluoric acid I have steered clear of it for reasons mentioned.
Obviously my problem has been the length of time I leave the gold in the solution (usually 24 hrs. tops)
Will now leave for as long as it takes, and finnish off with Bicarb wash.
Still will be on the look out for the Aldi ultrasonic cleaner.
Cheers spinna

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Post  Guest on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:04 am

welcom to the forum spinna,
i use vinegar in a jar with a little salt and leave it for about a week, cleans up well...
cheers
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Post  spinna on Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:35 am

Hi stoppsy, thanks for the welcome.
Interesting idea using vinegar and salt.
I will experiment with that idea and maybe also experiment using it as a base for aultrasonic cleaner.
Cheers spinna

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Post  Wombat on Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:42 am

Fellow's were normally can you get Ali Brite and in what volumes ?
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Post  Jon on Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:29 am

Hi Wombat
Super Cheap sells it in there mag wheel cleaner section,it comes in 1ltr bottles.

Cheers Jon.
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Post  Wombat on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:38 pm

Thanks Jon

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Post  nero_design on Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:30 pm

Ali Brite was deemed a weapon and has been withdrawn from Auto Care stores and other retail shelves... including Bunnings. One place said they can obtain a small bottle for $120 but that I was required to submit identification prior to screening - with no guarantee of supply. The year before last, the FBI in America stated that Hydrofluoric Acid was the most dangerous substance available to the public today and vowed to remove it from public access.
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Post  Guest on Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:59 pm

nero_design wrote:Ali Brite was deemed a weapon and has been withdrawn from Auto Care stores and other retail shelves... including Bunnings. One place said they can obtain a small bottle for $120 but that I was required to submit identification prior to screening - with no guarantee of supply. The year before last, the FBI in America stated that Hydrofluoric Acid was the most dangerous substance available to the public today and vowed to remove it from public access.

Hi Nero,

Just went to my local Supercheap Store, they had plenty of Ali Brite in stock. I grabbed a few bottles just incase.

Mick,

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Post  spinna on Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:12 pm

I purchased a bottle last week at Supercrap. Have heard the same story as to it being taken off the shelf. " Where's there is smoke there is fire " so I will not take any risks and buy a few bottles on Monday. (this sort of rumour won't hurt Ali Brite sales eh!) Very Happy
Cheers spinna

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Post  nero_design on Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:35 pm

NSEW wrote:
Hi Nero,

Just went to my local Supercheap Store, they had plenty of Ali Brite in stock. I grabbed a few bottles just incase.

Mick,

I just went to TWO Supercheaps an hour ago and they told me they were forced to take it off the shelves weeks ago. What price were they selling at?
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Post  Guest on Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:28 pm


I just went to TWO Supercheaps an hour ago and they told me they were forced to take it off the shelves weeks ago. What price were they selling at?[/quote]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
$13.99 for a 1000ml.

Mick,

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Post  Universal1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Hi Guys,
After using hydrochloric until nugget is clean I soak them in cloudy amonia which then removes any dullness and brings them up shining like polished jewellery. You can buy cloudy amonia at most super markets, it's around $1-2 for a one litre bottle.

I've also bought a bottle of Meguiars Hot Rim Chrome wheel cleaner to see if it dissolves quartz, it contains phosphoric acid and ammonium bifluoride which aparently generates hydrofluoric acid. Will be trying this on the next nugget that has quartz in it.

As far as I'm aware (and I'm no chemist) gold will only dissolve when combining hydrochloric and nitric acids, acids on there own will not generally affect gold. More information on these combined available here: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_acid_will_dissolve_gold_metal

Phil.


Last edited by Universal1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling error)
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Post  chopppacalamari on Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:26 pm

I went and bought a bottle of ali brite today at supercheap. I didn't know they were pulling it. I'll have to go back and get some more tomorrow.

13.99 for a litre.

Dicko..
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Post  Nightjar on Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:40 pm

Gold cannot be dissolved in sulphuric acid; but it can be dissolved in a number of things other than aqua regia (nitro-hydrochloric acid), including cyanide and citrates with the introduction of an electric current.
Hydrofluoric acid; A new treatment utilizing a topical gel of calcium carbonate is available from leading chemists and Reed Prospecting used to stock a solution.
When HF was discovered in the early days it could be bought openly at your local chemist, prospectors used glass jars to soak their nuggets and were shocked to find the next morning the nuggets were on the table but the glass jar was gone. Glass = Quartz. HF dissolves Quartz. affraid

Be careful.








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Post  Wombat on Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:20 am

I just went down to my local Supercheap Auto store in Cranbourne Vic and they had at least 8, 1lt. bottles of Ali-Brite on the shelves for $13-90 per bottle. This stuff contains Hydroflouric acid so I'm going to leave my nuggets in for a week and see how they turn out. I've already had them in Hydrochloric acid for a few days so it will be interesting to if there is any difference in the cleaness of the nuggets. I have no specimen peaces though with quartz. It would be interesting just to see how they would have turned out as well Crying or Very sad

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Post  Universal1 on Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:43 am

Wombat wrote:I just went down to my local Supercheap Auto store in Cranbourne Vic and they had at least 8, 1lt. bottles of Ali-Brite on the shelves for $13-90 per bottle. This stuff contains Hydroflouric acid so I'm going to leave my nuggets in for a week and see how they turn out. I've already had them in Hydrochloric acid for a few days so it will be interesting to if there is any difference in the cleaness of the nuggets. I have no specimen peaces though with quartz. It would be interesting just to see how they would have turned out as well Crying or Very sad

Wombat

I've also just gone down to my local Supercheap (Nunawading Vic) who also have plenty of stock of Ali Brite. Asked if they had heard anything about it being removed from sale and they said that they haven't heard anything or had any store memo's about it. It could be that only some states are removing it from sale.
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Post  nero_design on Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:37 pm

The three stores nearest me have removed all their stock. One of the managers checked for me and said that they're received formal notification to remove all stock from public access and replace it with similar yet less dangerous products. The two other stores had been asked to send their stock back to the source. I have found two stores with stock left for some reason.

The very fact that there's newbies playing with it out there to clean their gold is blood curdling. Granted, the domestic stuff has a very low concentration compared to what the professionals use (70%+). I mean it's designed for "domestic use" to clean trailers and car parts etc.

BUT I cannot and do not advocate the use of Hydrofluoric acid by general detectorists (ie: people who don't make a living out of the hobby) and usually suggest that they have their gold cleaned by persons familiar with the process.. who have their own acids. A jeweler may be able to do it for you. Otherwise, note that your specimen, if freed of its ironstone and quartz host matrix will weigh less and therefore sell for less than before you cleaned it. Yes, some ugly specimens can only be revealed after immersion in HF acid of STRONG concentration. But again, if you just want to brighten up your nugget or clean it up, Soak it in water with mild detergent. Then, scrub the loose material free with a toothbrush and then soak it for 5 minutes in an Ultrasonic Cleaner and finally run through the Dishwasher with a strong cleaning pellet. Anything more requires a more dedicated acid.

I know of three prospectors who have died from the stuff and one who's daughter mistakenly drank it after her father placed it in a Water Bottle. You want to see what happens when you mess up with HF acid? Just Google it: The hands in the pictures below are indicative of pre-amputative conditions. (Those arms were likely amputated at the shoulder after these pictures were taken). Ali Brite, though watered down and diluted, is well and truly capable of similar burns if prolonged exposure takes place. Full strength HF acids requires 2 drops to any part of the body to trigger blood poisoning and death within a matter of hours to a couple of days. The vapor alone will burn the cornea and trigger blindness. Read the instructions and only work with a several Calcium and Bicarbonate first aid applications right next to you at the time. NEVER use it indoors.

Science is FUN!


Cleaning gold Hand_Burn_1 Cleaning gold HflCleaning gold Breaking_bad_jess_gasmask_2
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Post  nero_design on Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:16 pm

UPDATE: I've been speaking with some of the store managers this afternoon: The Australian auto suppliers "Supercheap Auto" are no longer stocking any of the Septone brand goods. Sepitone make Ali Brite. But none would admit to weather the recall was based on public safety concerns. It still sits on a few shelves around the country where the recalls were not adhered to. Bunnings Hardware no longer carry it after reducing their Autocare stock several years ago. The Bunnings rust-remover is now a Phosphor/Phosphate based liquid with different properties. If you want it, you'll have to quote the 4-digit stock number from their website and they'll take a look on the computer to see if there's any stock held out back. It's possible some other stores with similar client bases may be able to supply. It certainly eats glass and rock so it may get hard to find from now on.


Cleaning gold 350_1747 Cleaning gold Prod_29

I keep my acids in a PET Plastic container on the lowest shelf in my garage to prevent spillage from above if there's an accident. There's also two cans of sparkling soda water and a bag of bicarb in a large dish. They use a sulfuric acid (I think) as part of the mixture which will produce an immediate burn should anyone get careless. Without this addition, a burn might go unnoticed for some time until serious and irreversible damage occurs. If you absolutely have to play with this stuff, be sure to wear suitable gloves, eye protection and a rubber splash apron. I have a rule of never allowing it to pass into the house for any reason so that when it's utilized, I have to take it through to the backyard from the garage and back again.

Moving on from the safety concerns (Yes, I know I was dwelling on it), Dicko: I think you experimented with some solutions last year with some before and after pics. If that was you, would you care to upload them again?


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Post  Universal1 on Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:24 pm

nero_design wrote:UPDATE: I've been speaking with some of the store managers this afternoon: The Australian auto suppliers "Supercheap Auto" are no longer stocking any of the Septone brand goods. Sepitone make Ali Brite. But none would admit to weather the recall was based on public safety concerns. It still sits on a few shelves around the country where the recalls were not adhered to. Bunnings Hardware no longer carry it after reducing their Autocare stock several years ago. The Bunnings rust-remover is now a Phosphor/Phosphate based liquid with different properties. If you want it, you'll have to quote the 4-digit stock number from their website and they'll take a look on the computer to see if there's any stock held out back.


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Hi Marco,

That's not the story I'm getting in Melbourne, they don't seem to know anything about it down here, maybe the news hasn't got to them yet. If anyone in Melbourne wants to stock up before it dissapears down here as well maybe now's the time to do it.

Phil.

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Post  chopppacalamari on Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:47 pm

Thanks for the info Marco it sure seems like dangerous stuff. We use sulphuric acid at work but it doesn't work too well. It rusts the iron in the iron stone and makes it fall off in the ultrasonic but it doesn't touch quartz. It was not me with the before and after pics but I would like to see them.

Dicko..
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Post  Nightjar on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:11 pm

Anyone contemplating using Hydrofluoric Acid, regardless of concentrations should proceed with EXTREME care!
Hydrofluoric Acid is one of the most corrosive and poisonous compounds known to man.
Splashes on our skin are not immediately noticeable as burns because it penetrates our tissues and immediately attacks the calcium in our bones, hence the immediate dousing of the area with Calcium Carbonate is paramount, the amputation of limbs is required extreme cases.
In the mid 70's I was employed as a Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor in the Mineral Sand Industry producing Illmenite, Rutile, Zircon & highly radio active Monazite.
We used Hydrofluoric Acid in the wet separation plant, by injecting it into the attritioners with diaphragm pumps, the addition of the acid was to remove the microscopic quartz crystals from the mineral sands before they were hydrostatically/ magnetically separated in the dry separation plant.
The water was recycled to the wet plant from a holding dam with an Ajax centrifigul pump. This pump failed one day and when the maintenance crew stripped the wet end the cast iron impeller had disintegrated.
A laboratory test of the dam water was immediately carried out to find an alarming build up of HF concentration in this recycled water probably due to over dosing of HF.
It was a serious wake up call for involved just how corrosive this acid is.
I am not familiar with the industry any more so am not sure whether the acid is still used.
I do know HF acid is used in the production of Yellow Cake from Uranium mining.

As mentioned, we hobby prospectors should stick with the toothbrush, detergent etc for cleaning up our nugs.
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Post  Guest on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:44 pm

Here is a link for the safty data sheet for Ali Brite.

www.septone.com.au/msds/ATA1.htm


Mick.

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Post  Guest on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:54 pm

Gday


I am with Nightjar for sure on the DONT USE HYDROFLOURIC acid as even with extreme care when using acids accidents can and will happen, and its not just a case of wash it off if it does get on you, you have to have the calcium carbonate on hand, if you dont then you could be in trouble.

Also I was told that the gloves you wear should be VINYL gloves not LATEX as the Hydroflouric can penetrate latex gloves.

Generally I use Hydrchloric (brick cleaning) acid to clean nuggets, I place the nuggets in a plastic screw lidded container and just add enough acid to cover the nuggets, I have found that nuggets left for about a week will clean up nicely, most dirt, coatings or staining will easily come off, Wearing gloves I tip the nuggets and acid into an open icecream container, opening the jar over the container, I then pour the acid back into the screw lid container and take the ice cream bucket and nuggets to the tap, I thoroughly rinse the nuggets and then add a small amount of dishwashing detergent to it, using a dentists stainless steel pick I go over the nuggets and pry out the now decomposed dirt and loosened stone, using a tooth brush and a brass bristelled brush I give the nuggets a bit of a brush up, generally they come up reasonably well after this but if not I sometimes put them back in the acid for a few more days.

After cleaning your nuggets you can also keep them brighter for longer if you keep them immersed in fresh water, taking them out and drying them just before hand if you are selling them or something.

cheers

stayyerAU


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Post  chopppacalamari on Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:58 pm

This is how I've set up my acid. The acid is surrounded by a water/bicarb soda solution to neutralise any acid that may spill if it is bumped and to neutralise the acid on and in my nugget when I want to take it out. So long as there's still bicarb visible on the bottom of the bowl I know the solution is at its maximum strength.

Cleaning gold RIMG0251

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