Where to source Keel grade Osmium, Rhenium or Iridium...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Annode, Jun 14, 2020.

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  1. Annode

    Annode Previous Member

    My design requires something better than lead. Gold has proved difficult to purchase by the ton at this point in history, so, I researched some other materials )
    I had to rule out depleted Uranium because the shipping costs were crazy, but, Tungsten, Osmium, Rhenium or Iridium would be excellent choices.

    Anyone know where they could be sourced - tried ebay, no luck (
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Are you winding the punters up, guv ? :rolleyes:
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  3. Annode

    Annode Previous Member

    This is a Keel Ballast material thread ;)
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    You sure you haven't had a pint of lager too many ? :)
  5. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Annode, WHY does your design require something 'better' than lead?
    Lead is wonderful stuff for using as ballast on boats.
    And if you want it heavier / denser, then add a bulb on the bottom of the keel instead - you should be able to achieve the same effect by doing this.
    Mr E, I think that Annode does enjoy winding the punters up :)
    (BTW, we are still waiting for an update on the design - and are keen on seeing a drawing, or even a sketch, of this mythical boat).

    Eric Tabarly's Pen Duick VI had a spent uranium keel, which did not allow her to compete in the Whitbread Race, so she took part unofficially.
    Pen Duick - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pen_Duick
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    A spent Uranium keel ? One wonders about the safety of that, with close proximity, and prolonged exposure.
  7. Rumars
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    Rumars Senior Member

    It's a hard life when your google fu is lacking. The only cheap and available one is tungsten but given it's melting point of 3422°C you are not going to pour a keel at home. By the time you use prefabricated stuff you loose the volume advantage to lead. You can have it n alibaba, china is the biggest producer worldwide.
  8. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member


    Plot spoiler : It falls off.
  9. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Actually, DU is safer to handle than lead, as it is so much harder (and unsafe) to make dust with it (FWIW DU risk is only as toxic metal...you will get more exposure standing in the sun next to a keel made of it). It is just so hard to work with being so hard, having a high melt temperature and pyrophoric when finely divided. As for the others (Tungsten, Osmium, Rhenium or Iridium), I don't think Annode has looked at the world's supply reserve....hint, except for W, it is not measured in tonnes...
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  10. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    A heavy topic....
    Discussed with Cathode & told me to get the lead out!
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  11. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Perhaps the keel could be a modified plasma propulsion engine that generates downward thrust in the surrounding ionized seawater. The same effect of massive weight without the heavy material. At rest, you would float quite a bit higher than when underway.

    I mean, if you need that much downward force and couldn't come across any junk uranium.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
  12. ziper1221
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    ziper1221 Junior Member

    So what about a DU bulb on the end of a cast lead keel, or DU pellets cast into a lead matrix?
  13. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    Just Google tungsten ballast. (Just for fun.) There are a number of suppliers for applications where high density is required. Tungsten is actually used for control surface counterweights on aircraft (a 747 has a surprising amount). It is fairly expensive, though not as much as you might think. Keel materials with density higher than lead are generally banned by most racing rules, though.
  14. Annode

    Annode Previous Member

    Well clearly the US givt doesnt agree. They make A10 ammo out of it for piercing armor...

    >as an unofficial entrant, due to its own exotic material - depleted uranium ballasted keel.

    Well I had trouble sourcing it.. and lead for that matter (in 3rd world yards)

    Bulb yes, 2x, lead keel - negatory. Steel .

    The design reasoning for a denser ballast material is the reduced draught or is it draft... or drought? Im so past the implied superiority of nomenclature in any field these days

    So where to get lead for free... like old plastic sailboats destined to be converted to polutants

  15. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Well aware of that, and other munitions, but depleted is not entirely depleted, and as mentioned by another, very toxic.
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