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Author: Subject: Unkown glass tube thing with powder/metal inside
dontasker
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 09:06
Unkown glass tube thing with powder/metal inside


Recently picked up some surplus junk and I found an interesting little gem at the bottom of the box. Anyone have any idea as to what it may be? Google isn't helping much since I don't have much to go on.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3

As you may be able to see in the above photos, it's a glass tube that is sealed at both ends. Roughly 3.25" long. There is a white (and sort of brown in the center) powder inside that is kept in place with a metal mesh on both sides. Metal is a dull brass color.

I really want to bust it open and see if I can figure out what the powder is, but without any idea of what its intended use was I think it's better to ask. The junk it came with was a mish-mash of all sorts of stuff from various tech/science companies/groups. I've seen everything from animal cages to radio-isotope handling equipment from this source.

20 points to the first user to post the identification and an additional 10 if you can back up your claim through interpretive dance and youtube. :P
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bfesser
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 09:11


I wouldn't recommend smashing it open, as it could itself contain radioisotopes. It almost looks like someone adsorbed a band of something into a weird silica column, then dried it in place and sealed the tube on both ends. What type of radioisotope handling equipment did you get?

[Edited on 7/7/13 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 09:44


Can you post a list of what came in the box and post pics, I agree with bfesser, it might be radioisotopes.
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 09:52


It looks like a tube for detecting some kind of gas. You know, like those classic detection of level of alcohol in breath.

I would not crack it open (it might have some historic value), at least not before I test it for beta and gamma rays. You never know...

Can you take a really sharp macro image of it, under normal illumination? The photos aren't exactly revealing a lot. They're kind of blurry and illuminated with cold white LED light.




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dontasker
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 10:11


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
It almost looks like someone adsorbed a band of something into a weird silica column, then dried it in place and sealed the tube on both ends. What type of radioisotope handling equipment did you get?


I think you're right on it being some sealed sample in silica. Most likely just some air quality sample and not related to the radioactive stuff. There has been some automotive system checking equipment in the past. I doubt they'd put that much effort into checking exhaust, but weirder things have been known to happen.

I ended up with a lead pig, a Beckman Model 170M detector, and a Dierite "gas drying unit" that's labeled "CAUTION RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL." None of it is hot. Most of the time chemicals or samples are pretty well cleaned up. I sometimes see small bottles of machine oil, dye, or reference solutions. Nothing really interesting.

There have been more lead pigs and blocks. Some small, transparent shields that were cracked. Some scintillators and whatnot. Most selling for more than I'm willing to deal with given that they are often broken.

The box the glass tube was in had a bunch of brass fittings, misc. electronic components, cables, and other small odds and ends. I've run the stuff past a couple sensitive geiger tubes I have and didn't pick up anything more than background, but I wouldn't rule out alpha emitters or something that has since decayed to the point of being essentially gone.


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dontasker
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 10:37


A little better
Picture 4

Gives a better view if the mesh.
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unionised
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 10:50


I'm pretty sure you have something like this
http://ecoenvironmental.com.au/sales/gas/sorbent-tubes/skc-s...
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 11:07


<strong>dontasker</strong>, not meaning to take this thread off topic, but are you selling any of the shields, blocks, and pigs?

[Edited on 7/7/13 by bfesser]




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dontasker
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[*] posted on 7-7-2013 at 11:57


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
I'm pretty sure you have something like this
http://ecoenvironmental.com.au/sales/gas/sorbent-tubes/skc-s...


Certainly looks like it.

Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
<strong>dontasker</strong>, not meaning to take this thread off topic, but are you selling any of the shields, blocks, and pigs?


I have one of about 5 pigs I've seen. I use to store a sample of radium I picked up a few years back. That was all I had of the lead items. There had been a cart full of the blocks, but I would tend to think it would be far cheaper to get scrap lead somewhere else rather than trying to ship it.

The plastic shields were purchased by others.

All I can offer is the advice to check with your local universities and see if they have sales or auctions of surplus junk. That's where I tend to find the really neat stuff for really cheap.
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