Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Cuting cerium metal

Bedlasky - 3-4-2020 at 10:01


I have small piece of cerium metal (3g). I read that cerium is soft metal which can be cut by knife. But this isn't truth. I tried it and it didn't work.

I want to try cut few small pieces of cerium and dissolve them in different acids.

Have you any experiences or ideas how cut it?

Heavy Walter - 3-4-2020 at 11:12

In Mohs´s scale is 2.5 so it is not too hard.
Depening on the shape you can use a cutting plier.

Herr Haber - 3-4-2020 at 13:51

Or just a file ?

j_sum1 - 3-4-2020 at 16:17

If you use an angle grinder, prepare for sparks.
I have a 1.1kg ingot. I am not planning on cutting it at all. When I get into Ce chemistry it will likely be via CeO2 or purpose bought pellets.

diddi - 3-4-2020 at 17:32

i made a tool from an 8.8 HT bolt which i use as a chisel in a press for cutting (shearing) metals. no sparks and good control. angle grinder blades get shredded by many metals and there is a lot of wastage esp if the sample is small

Herr Haber - 4-4-2020 at 12:37

If it's only 3 grams you could also just fold a paper around it and hammer it a few times.

Somewhere around I have several blocks of Cerium mixed with a bunch of other lanthanides. I bought them from a pyro store but they were all little pyramids at some point. The base was irregular as if it had been broken off a mold or probably sintered.
I remember researching what were their original purpose (never heard of Cerium in pyro unless you count the lighter!) could have been. They are probably used in foundry to add trace lanthanides in some exotic alloys.

Anyway, the last time I found them I made a mess of oxides. I shouldnt have left them in their plastic bag...

@jsum1 The angle grinder could be fun but I thought I could find myself a very tall bridge or tower, heat one of my blocks with a blowtorch and drop it :)

j_sum1 - 4-4-2020 at 14:44

I was not serious about using an angle grinder. But it would be spectacular.
If I was to cit the piece I have, I would probably use a hacksaw and collect the filings for making a cerium salt.

Bedlasky - 4-4-2020 at 15:52

Thanks for suggestions.

Cutting plier is good choice. I tried it today and it's good for cutting small pieces of metal, which is good for test tube scale reactions.