Metals safe for high speed cutting/friction

Old 05-17-06, 04:54 PM
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Metals safe for high speed cutting/friction

I am attempting to make a casing for a combination sander and grinder I recently refurbished, and thought I shoud check some safety issues out before beginning. I have next to no experience with metalworking (save highschool years ago), so all help is appreciated with these several questions. Please bear with me as I have no experience/knowledge concerning the topic.

1) What metals do not release fumes when cut at high speed or with a plasma cutter (I know that items containing zinc, lead, beryllium, cadmium, and mercury, as well as galvanized items are dangerous...)?

I had purchased a roll of aluminium flashing for the job, but recently read the MSDS, which states that it contains 96% Aluminum, 2% Magnesium and 2% Manganese hazardous through inhalation...which is not likely unless machined, welded or remelted. I am not planning on doing any of the above, but am concerned that if the sander or grinder were to contact the casing without my knowing it might have a similar effect. Is the possible? (or would it never be able to obtain such a high heat to produce fumes?).

2) Secondly, is zinc-coating a common feature of bolts? What is the purpose of zinc-coated bolts/screws that I have heard of?

Thanks to all who answer for their time and patience.
Old 05-17-06, 06:01 PM
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You will probably never work with pure iron or aluminum so almost every metal you touch will contain trace amounts of other elements. Those other elements are added (alloy) to change the properties of the metal, usually to make it stronger. Some of those other elements may be harmfull but they are used in small quantities. Your exposure will be extremely low (I would be more concerned about second hand cigarette smoke). If you are concerned or have respiratory problems you can wear a respirator.

Nuts, bolts & screws are coated to prevent corrosion (rust).

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