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  #16  
Old 06-17-2006, 02:42 PM
HellForged HellForged is offline
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Not so fast Ray I know a couple people who could benefit from such a fine product.

~Matthew


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  #17  
Old 06-19-2006, 02:51 PM
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I don't know how I overlooked this topic...

I am a professional health physicist (radiation safety) by trade with a few degrees in both nuclear engineering and health physics. Ask me about my research sometime. I've handled quite a bit of U, DU, Pu and a host of other isotopes. From what I've seen, this material would not be very useful a s a knife. Depending what alloy you have, it may not even be machinable, let alone forgeable.

Depleted does not mean "not radioactive", it simply means depleted in U-235 isotope (the fissionable one that makes a warhead go BOOM). Ie, the uranium is for the most part all U-238 and non-fissionable. While source material (uranium ore, minerals and the like) have stipulations for private "ownership", pure U-238 is indeed a regulated material, although there are all levels of regulation. This will depend on total amount, chemical form, and use. These seem to change yearly. Uranium acetate and nitrate are used to etch concrete to test for stress fractures and such. Uranium metal is used for counter balance where lead isn't structurally useful. It's still used as a coloring agent for glassware and tile. Regardless whether you're allowed to have a hunk of pure U-238 or not...I personally wouldn't want it sitting around my house.

As a large hunk of solid metal, it's fairly harmless unless you sleep with it taped to your skin, or drop it on your foot. Most radiation coming off of this is not penetrating and it's not much of an external hazard. As dust or small shavings, it's bad news. Radiation isn't the biggest issue with uranium. In fact, it's the only element whose radiation limits are actually based on acute heavy-metal toxicity to the kidneys and not radiation damage. If you were to grind this into a dust, you would probably start a fire in your shop. While you may not inhale enough to cause any noticeable health effects...the fire issue is significant. You can't put out a U-fire with water, either. You'd pretty much turn your shop into a superfund site, as well, due to the dust left behind. Transporting the material from a foriegn country to the USA is a whole other can o' worms you wouldn't want to get caught up in.

Forging uranium....when I went to the plant who makes the tank penetrators, I believe the ingots were heated to about 2800* for the extrusion process in a completely inert environment. I don't think shoving a bar into a forge would really be a good idea.

In short.....uranium knives, swords...bad idea.




P.S. Heat does not make something more radioactive. Half-life/specific activity is a physical constant. A 1 kg bar of uranium will be just as radioactive at -300*F as at + 3000*F.

I collect uranium bearing minerals, rocks, fossils, glassware, etc. Just another one of my wierd hobbies. These are quite fun with a radiation detector. Take a geiger counter through an antique store some day...you might be suprised at how much stuff will get a good response!


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  #18  
Old 06-19-2006, 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the informed opinion Don. That makes me feel better. Not so scary if you just leave it alone... good news. I have some depresion glass.


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  #19  
Old 06-19-2006, 07:06 PM
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One of our state inspectors joked with me one time that she might have to issue me a license for my collection if I add anymore Fiestaware to my office bookshelf! My favorite is a 1.5" superman marble made from vaseline glass. It "glows" green/blue under a black light. Several of the natural minerals look reddish-brown in natural light. But them in the dark under a true black light and you see blues, greens and even some purples!

When it's in a ceramic glaze or painted over metal and such it's pretty stable. The only problem with the ceramic tiles and such is in demolition of old houses. Workers were going in and busting up all the old tile during rennovation and breathing in the dust. Very low levels, but should still be avoided if possible. Uranium is so chemically reactive that just leaving the polished metal out in air will result in a wild variety of shades of colors due to oxidation just like you were heat bluing steel.

Antique bright orange glazed ceramics and some blacks are often uranium salt glazes. Ivories are often a thorium based glaze. Yellowish-green glass and translucent white are sometime vaseline glass.


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  #20  
Old 06-19-2006, 07:09 PM
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I will see if I can get a pic of the display I have at the Shop glowing tonight.


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  #21  
Old 06-19-2006, 08:04 PM
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You guys are starting to scare me.


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  #22  
Old 06-19-2006, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerdownnow
Thanks for the informed opinion Don. That makes me feel better. Not so scary if you just leave it alone... good news. I have some depresion glass.
HDN, for some reason I've decided I don't want our depression glassware or goofy glass lamps any longer. Should I send them to you or will you come and get it??
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  #23  
Old 06-19-2006, 09:04 PM
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If you are worried about your glass ware, dont get a gieger counter near your smoke detector, or the mantle of your colman lantern!!

God Bless
Mike


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  #24  
Old 06-19-2006, 11:50 PM
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Thanks for the very generous offer Don, but I don't even collect the stuff. A friend had no where to store his pieces so we made a display to showcase some blacklight jewelry in the tattoo shop.

I just noticed a few bulbs are out in the case, but the one remaining light really makes that ring dish stand out. Pretty poor quick pics, but you can get the idea. The ice cream dish on the right looks better, but it is full of fake snow. (Someone tried to get artsy)



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  #25  
Old 06-20-2006, 12:11 AM
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Cool!


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  #26  
Old 06-21-2006, 11:18 AM
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The old Coleman lantern mantles are pretty cool. The notice on them says " Contain a substance known to cause cancer in the state of CA." I live in TX, so I never worried about them! Hah!

How about thorated tungstens? Same concept as the lantern mantles. Thorium works well in hi-temp applications....it just happens to be radioactive. Don't forget naturally occuring potassium in bannanas...or C-14 in our bodies! Our nuclear engineering student group used to have shirts that had a glowing condom and "You get more radiation from sleeping with someone, than living near a nuclear power plant!" printed underneath it. Check out your building's exit signs. Are they self-illuminating without any power cord? Think it's battery operated......wrong! These usually have about 1-3 Ci of tritium in them. The same thing that makes watch faces glow non-stop. Nothing to be worried about working around, but you wouldn't want to smash it open either.

I have old X-ray tubes and gas-laser tubes also. These are pretty neat looking as well.


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Last edited by Don Halter; 06-21-2006 at 11:22 AM.
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  #27  
Old 06-21-2006, 07:24 PM
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Don, I read an article on possible hazards of using glow in the dark and or blacklight sensitive tattoo ink. More on topic, those against it sited that during what ever war, I or II, that they came out with submarines, they had a problem with the lights going out in the depths and not being able to tell which end was up. For a remedy they had the women that worked in the paint department paint the dials on the guages with glow in the dark paint. The article said that 15 years later the ladies developed cancer and died. The proponents of the blacklight stuff say it is safe because it is a chemical reaction rather than a radioactive one. I refuse to use the ink, but it is hard to keep away from the jewelery. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?


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  #28  
Old 06-22-2006, 12:43 PM
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The workers who died were radium dial painters. They used radium compounds to cause the paint to glow. Radium is a significantly higher radiological hazard than tritium. They used to touch the paint brush tips to their tongues to sharpen the points. This resulted in very high doses to the tongue, lips, mouth and GI tract. radium isn't used anymore. Most modern compounds are some sort of phosphorus based paint with either a tritium stimulator or chemical stimulator added. They can also be light activated...they absorb energy from light and then give off the energy slowly as glowing light. Chemical stimulators typically wear out (ie, glowsticks) as the chemical reaction that is giving off the energy uses up the chemicals. Radioactive material can also supply the energy for the chemical compounds. Tritium based compounds wear out with a 12 year half-life. Flourescent compounds don't wear out and will always flouresce in the presence of UV light. Same basic idea, though. The UV energy is absorbed and remitted as light. No UV source (energy source) , no glow. Any ink approved by the FDA or USDA for use in humans or animals will not contain radionuclides. Are these inks continuous glow in the dark, or do you have to stimulate it with light first? The bodies warmth may be enough to cause some compounds to give off low light. Shoot me an email to a link for these inks if you know of one.


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  #29  
Old 06-22-2006, 04:33 PM
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one thing ive noticed with uv/glow tattoo inks is a lot of the time that area is puffed up more and itches...sometimes years later. ive seen tats done with normal and uv ink which were done at the same time by the same artist and the uv area is often raised more. a girl i dated for years had a uv ink tat with the same problem. just the area with the uv itched...even years later. no idea if there is any radiation type threat there but it makes me wonder about allergens.
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  #30  
Old 06-22-2006, 04:56 PM
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When I think of cheap things that glow under UV light...cat urine comes to mind first. Hence the curiosity on how these inks were developed!


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