Author Topic: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost  (Read 1935 times)

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johnh35

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Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« on: January 29, 2013, 11:53:13 PM »
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Over the course of time, I have heard many people complain about the lower weight of DCC lokies. In the past, I have played with tungsten alloy and managed to get the weight of a Con Cor U50 up to 13 ounces (not cheap either). I have been looking at purchasing bars of tungsten alloy (0.125" square - 12 inches long) to cut up for weight. From what I can figure, you could increase the weight of an Atlas GP30/35 by about 17 grams (1 ounce is 28 grams approx) using the area around the rear of the light board/decoder. You could gain another 17 or so grams machining a cavity in the fuel tank and filling with the tungsten.

Now here comes the question. How many people think it would be worth $12 - $15 dollars for the tungsten to gain about an ounce of weight?

John

SkipGear

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 12:07:19 AM »
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I am happy to gain grams on steam locos. An ounce would be great.
Tony Hines

Chris333

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 01:42:25 AM »
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You know me...


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mmagliaro

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 03:12:56 AM »
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Well, I got about an ounce (28g)  into a Walthers 0-8-0.   And if I could get that into every darn loco, I sure would.
I fact, if I could get another 28g into the 0-8-0, I would.

Yes, I would pay $10 - $15 to
get that much extra weight into a steam loco. 

But it does not cost that much per ounce.   I just checked, and the pinewod derby
supply place (maximum-velocity)  I usually get it from still sells it for $3.50 to $6.00 per ounce depending on the configuation
(disks, cylinders, cubes, powder,  plates)


Chris333

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 03:38:01 AM »
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But to fit them into every new loco that came out you'd be talking about specific shapes and probably tungsten alloy.

Here are the photos from the person who made my 0-8-0 weights:
https://picasaweb.google.com/103850744221477905060/TungstenWeightsForNGaugeLocomotive?noredirect=1#

32.7 grams   :P

Leggy

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 03:43:00 AM »
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What about a whole frame replacement for a diesel?

CodyO

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 06:49:13 AM »
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Chris what can I do to get that tungsten set up for my Erie 0-8-0!
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DKS

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 08:48:18 AM »
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What about a whole frame replacement for a diesel?

Tungsten is very difficult to machine; hence, this option would be very expensive.
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johnh35

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 09:11:20 AM »
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Well, I got about an ounce (28g)  into a Walthers 0-8-0.   And if I could get that into every darn loco, I sure would.
I fact, if I could get another 28g into the 0-8-0, I would.

Yes, I would pay $10 - $15 to
get that much extra weight into a steam loco. 

But it does not cost that much per ounce.   I just checked, and the pinewod derby
supply place (maximum-velocity)  I usually get it from still sells it for $3.50 to $6.00 per ounce depending on the configuation
(disks, cylinders, cubes, powder,  plates)

I will recheck my calculations when I get back this evening.  I am looking at an alloy the is 97% W. As I noted, the shape of the bar is pretty specific, and while machineable is probably not suitable for most steam apps, especially domes (unless you don't mind losing material to machining).

I can get it made in other sizes or rod, but I can use this size for most applications. It comes in 12 inch lengths (1.5 cubic inches) and can be cut or machined to lengths,

Kisatchie

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 09:42:37 AM »
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Hmm... Kiz is saving his
burnt out light bulbs to
get the tungsten...


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zephyr9900

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 12:52:06 PM »
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The neat material to use would be machinable tungsten-copper "alloy", actually powdered tungsten infiltrated with a copper matrix http://www.stanfordmaterials.com/Tungsten-copper.html  CuW90 (90% tungsten) has a density of 16.75 g/cc.  The baseplates of the $$$ CCD's we use at work are made of this material (don't know the W percentage though), but so far I've been unable to get any failed ones to experiment with.

Years ago I made an abortive attempt to buy 30 pounds of "tungsten" powder from a Chinese supplier.  After much waiting it arrived, only to be tungsten carbide (as in sandpaper grit), and when mixed with enough epoxy to hold its shape, would not have had a bulk density higher than lead.  I was able to get my money refunded.  Several people had chipped in on the purchase.

Randy
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 12:55:05 PM by zephyr9900 »

Chris333

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 02:23:37 PM »
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Sorry the 0-8-0 weights were done as a one time pet project by a fellow Z scaler overseas.

Chris333

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 02:34:57 PM »
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Also besides the custom cut weights, I also bought a Tugsten cylinder for the front of the boiler:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ErieChris333/ErieRailroadC3080NScale#5176610268346461922

And some of those Pinewood discs for good measure:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ErieChris333/ErieRailroadC3080NScale#5176610160972279490

I even put some sheet lead inside the frame halves:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ErieChris333/ErieRailroadC3080NScale#5132984759014116882

It was a while ago. I have no idea what the final weight of the loco was...

johnh35

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 04:31:10 PM »
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But it does not cost that much per ounce.   I just checked, and the pinewod derby
supply place (maximum-velocity)  I usually get it from still sells it for $3.50 to $6.00 per ounce depending on the configuation
(disks, cylinders, cubes, powder,  plates)

Ok, I rechecked my math. The bar of tungsten alloy I described weights approx. 1.821 ounces for $25, or about $13.70 an ounce. I looked at the sight you referenced, and they advertise pure tungsten shapes for the price you note, but they are not useful in N scale and cannot be machined by methods available to most of us. In terms of the items not labeled pure tungsten, I did the math on the 3/8 cubes and if it takes 15 of them to weigh an ounce, it is a very low ratio alloy and not very useful in N scale.

Chris, do you know what you paid for the tungsten you procured?

All in all, tungsten alloy is not cheap but provides the benefit of greater density of lead and it can be machined.

avel

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Re: Tungsten - Weight vs Cost
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2013, 04:45:42 PM »
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Ha ha, I am also saving my old light bulbs. I break them from time to time and collect the tungsten. Also just last night I was on Amazon and looking at the pinewood derby tungsten weights that are offered. Decided not to purchase any as I really am not playing with the trains right now. Maybe next fall.
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