Analysis of aluminum alloy sample Aurora TX

ASSESSMENT COMMENTS ON METALLURGICAL ANALYSIS AURORA, TX ALUMINUM
SAMPLE
Anonymous, PA, 2008
1.1 Introduction
In 1973, samples from a mass of aluminum were sent by John F.
Schluesser to several metallurgical labs for analysis. From the
photographs it appears to be an irregular chip-like mass approximately
3 cm x 2 cm by 1 cm. In the published documents, it is claimed to
have been received from Bill Case of Dallas, TX on June 19, 1973. Mr.
Case reportedly found it beneath 4 inches of soil in a field in Aurora
TX, lodged against a limestone rock face.
Figure 1. Photographs of aluminum sample obtained from B. Case, 1973.
Numbers on top scale correspond to 0.1 inch.
As this was an amateur investigation, there is no documentation of
proof that the sample came from this location. Furthermore, as its
provenance is associated with Mr. Schuessler and Mr. Case, both
associated with studies of paranormal phenomena and hoaxes, it is
highly questionable that this sample was found in the location
stated. There is no information regarding the age of the sample.
Nonetheless, the sample did exist in 1973, and was subjected to
seemingly valid metallurgical analysis. It is on these results that
we comment.
1.2 Analytical Results
Figure 2. Sketch of sample and its sectioning into multiple samples
for analysis (Schuessler documentation 1973)
The sample was apparently sectioned and sent to several analysis
labs. The results are tabulated below.
1.2.1 EDAX Analysis
Robert J. Danmeller, Marion Russo, (organization not given)
In the documentation, it states this organization was given sample #2,
but from their sketches, however, it appears they may have been sent
sample #1. Analysis was conducted using SEM imaging and EDAX
composition analysis.Runs 1-4 were taken from the face of a surface
exposed by the sectioning, and correspond to the interior of the
sample. EDAX specra indicates strong Al peak with 2 secondary peaks
labeled Fe. Run 5 was taken from an exterior surface region.
Material Peak Actual (keV) Run 1interior Run 2interior Run 3interior
Run 4interior Run 5surface Reported(keV)
Mg Ka1 1.254 -- -- -- -- --
Mg K-edge 1.303 -- -- -- -- --
Al Ka1 1.487 4000* 4000* 4000* 4000* 4000 1.45 (Al)
Al K-edge 1.560 -- -- -- -- --
Si Ka1 1.740 -- -- -- -- 304 1.70 (Si)
Si K-edge 1.840 -- -- -- -- --
S Ka1 2.308 -- -- -- -- --
Pb Ma1 2.346 -- -- -- -- 194 2.35 (Pb)
Bi Ma1 2.423 -- -- -- -- --
S K-edge 2.470 -- -- -- -- --
Cl Ka1 2.622 -- -- -- -- 122 2.65 (Cl)
K Ka1 3.314 -- -- -- -- 161 3.30 (K)
K K-edge 3.608 -- -- -- -- --
Ca Ka1 3.692 -- -- -- -- 168 3.70 (Ca)
Ti Ka1 4.511 -- -- -- -- 615 4.50 (Ti)
Ti K-edge 4.965 -- -- -- -- 137 4.95 (Ti)
Cr Ka1 5.415 -- -- -- -- --
Mn Ka1 5.899 -- -- -- -- --
Cr K-edge 5.989 -- -- -- -- --
Fe Ka1 6.404 100* 200* 1400* 100* 217 6.40 (Fe)
Mn K-edge 6.538 -- -- -- -- --
Fe K-edge 7.111 -- 30* 200* -- 66 7.05 (Fe)
Ni Ka1 7.478 -- -- -- -- --
Cu Ka1 8.048 -- -- -- -- --
Cu K-edge 8.980 -- -- -- -- --
Zn Ka1 8.639 -- -- -- -- --
Zn K-edge 9.661 -- -- -- -- --
Pb La1 10.55 -- -- -- -- 54 10.55 (Pb)
Bi La1 10.84 -- -- -- -- --
Table 1. Peak intensities from EDAX analysis on metallurgical sample
taken at 4 interior locations (Runs 1-4) and one location on the
exterior surface (Run 5). Data in rightmost column are peak
locations reported, along with the material they were indexed to. (*)
indicates estimate from EDAX screen shots
Energy dispersive X-ray (EDAX) is useful for identifying the presence
of elements in an alloy, but quantitative composition measurement
requires careful calibration to known standards. Nonetheless, there
is no observable Cu or Zn found anywhere in the sample. This suggests
the sample is a pure Al-Fe alloy, with some surface contamination.
1.2.2 MDRL Laboratory
Ronald A. Weiss, Sr. Group Engineer, McDonnell-Douglas Research
Laboratory
The analysis was conducted by J.E. Holliday using X-Ray fluorescence
and soft X-Ray spectroscopy. It is stated they were given sample #1
Material XRay fluorescence Soft X-Ray spectroscopy
Al 0.95 0.98
Fe 0.05 0.01-0.02
Table 2. Composition of metallurgical sample determined by x-ray
analysis
In this analysis, Holliday reports the presence of cavities often
associated with shrinking, and an overall microstructure consistent
with solidification processing. He identifies small crystals of Fe-Al
intermetallic compound. It is noted they are more numerous near the
outer surface than in the interior. The percentage of Fe is higher in
the XRF signal because it samples the enitre cut surface, while the
soft X-ray spectroscopy samples only a 1mm x 3mm spot on the cut
surface, initially located in the interior of the sample. The second
phase inclusions are described as needle-like, but their sizes are not
given.
1.2.3 Spectro-Chemical Research Laboratories
3300 West Lawrence Avenue, Chicago IL 60625, Bernard B. Hauser
This analysis by an independent lab appears to have been ordered by
Art Bethke, (Motorola?). It is not clear if this sample is from the
same where this sample was cut from. Bethke later reported the
composition most closely matched the 2011 alloy. The standard
composition range for this alloy is shown for comparison the Table
below.
Material Sample Alloy 2011
Al balance balance
Cu 5.68 5.0-6.0
Zn 0.02 0.30 max
Fe 0.38 0.7 max
Si 0.26 0.40 max
Mn 0.02 (
Reply to
anon45678
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I suppose you are saying ? moon men ?
Actually, there is a large Aluminum fab lines in operation - many engineers have samples and junk. The other possibility is an early satellite breaking up around there and over head... breakup trail. Also to the West is White Sands. There they were sending rockets and missiles skyward and blowing them up. Wonders ever cease - the winds would blow it Eastward.
I, being of high tech and of the Missile world for many years know that target missiles fly high and when exploded do star bursts.
I suspect the sample was from a logical source but the finder and such were not thinking of airplane or missile material. American or German in those days.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail> ASSESSMENT COMMENTS ON METALLURGICAL ANALYSIS AURORA, TX ALUMINUM > SAMPLE
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
SNIP
I think you are making WAY too much out of finding that someone had some pieces of aluminum alloy analyzed and found only iron by SEM-EDS and X-ray fluorescence. If I had not found your other post I would have assumed that you were pulling our legs.
Now, if you go to the Aluminum Association and look up their wrought alloy composition tables (the Teal Sheets) at:
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you will find that there is a whole series of 8XXX iron containing alloys registered for commercial use. See page 20 of the pdf file (or page 12 of the printed version). Alloy 8079 was registered in 1969. It contains 0.7 to 1.3% Fe and 0.05 to 0.30% Si. Alloy 8021 (registered in 1992) contains 1.2 to 1.7% Fe and 0.00 to 0.15% Si..
The 8079 and 8021 alloys are used commercially for aluminum foil in packaging applications.
See "Industrial Development of Non-heat Treatable Alloys"
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and also see "The Combination of Film & Foil - Still Up To Date" (which mentions 8006, 8014, and 8079)
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and also Alcoa European mill products catalog (which mentions 8006, 8011, and 8079)
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Pittsburgh Pete
DISCLAIMER
We do not believe what we write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for topical (external) use only. This information may not be worth any more than either a groundhog turd, or what you paid for it (nothing). The author may not even have been either sane or sober when he wrote it down. Do not worry, be happy.
Reply to
metalengr
So we don't know where it came from.
Nor this one.
Furthermore, as its
AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ....
So what were they in fact sent?
Analysis was conducted using SEM imaging and EDAX
Meaningless arm waving and technobabble given the preceeding.
Well then, I guess that this meeting is over.
I deal with credulous goofballs frequently and this posting is typical of what one gets from the classic interweb crank. When one strips away the references, lab names, technobabble one is left with the fact that two anonymous "things" were analysed. Hardly a factoid worthy of killing electrons.
Reply to
incitatus
Some additional comments. The other post is on alt.alien.research and is titled "Reassessment of Aurora TX 1897 Aluminum Alloy"
The Acrobat .pdf data file is on the web at:
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and also at:
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Page 51 of the 199 page data package shows a chemical analysis from Spectro-Chemical Labs in Chicago for their Lab No, 10756. The handwritten note on page 50 points out that the results are closest to the 2011 alloy, but that this sample does not contain the lead (Pb) and bismuth (Bi) specified for that commercial alloy. (These elements are present as particles that make the material easier to machine). The sample reportedly has 5.68% copper (Cu) which indicates that it is a completely different alloy than the other samples analyzed by SEM- EDS.
The following table is similar to Table 3 of the post but also adds the reported lead content, which is NOT consistent with a 2011 alloy. The second column shows the specified composition range on page 2 of the printed version for the Teal Sheets. Note "a" indicates that some elements are not explicitly specified but are to be reported as "other" with a maximum of 0.05% each and 0.15% total. See:
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The third column shows the specified composition for the older version of this alloy (Army Air Force Specification 11330). It was reported on page 813 of the 1948 edition of the ASM Metals Handbook for the nominally Al - 5.5 Cu- 0.5 Pb - 0.5 Bi alloy then known by the trade name of 11 S alloy.
Element Lab No. 10756 2011 Spec AAF Spec 11330 Cu 5.68 5.0 - 6.0 3.5 - 6.0 Zn 0.02 0.0 - 0.3 0.0 - 0.3 Fe 0.38 0.0 - 0.7 0.0 - 1.0 Si 0.26 0.0 - 0.4 0.0 - 0.8 Mn 0.02 a 0.0 - 1.0 Ni none a - Mg 0.01 a 0.0 - 0.8 Ti trace a - Cr 0.02 a 0.0 - 0.25 Pb 0.03 0.0 - 0.6 0.2 - 0.7 Sn 0.02 a - Al rem a rem Bi not reported 0.2 - 0.6 0.2 - 0.7
Others (each) a - 0.0 - 0.05 0.0 - 0.05 Others (total) - 0.0 - 0.15 0.0 - 0.15
Now, SEM-EDS analysis typically can only detect an element if more than 0.1% is present in the sample. Comparing a spectrochemical analysis with an SEM-EDS analysis is comparing apples and oranges. There is no reason to conclude that "this is likely a commercial alloy, in contrast to the other analyzed samples". The other samples may also have contained commercial levels of impurity elements, but they would NOT have been detected. They may have been something as mundane as the material used on this planet for making cigarette wrapper foil.
Pittsburgh Pete
DISCLAIMER
We do not believe what we write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for topical (external) use only. This information may not be worth any more than either a groundhog turd, or what you paid for it (nothing). The author may not even have been either sane or sober when he wrote it down. Do not worry, be happy.
Reply to
metalengr
SNIP
The MUFON Acrobat .pdf data file of the Aurora data is on the web at:
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I could not find the metallurgical assessment on the MUFON site but did find the pdf file corresponding to the sci.engr.metallurgy newsgroup post of Feb 2 at:
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What are these materials? Are they commercially available now? Were they commercially available in 1973? How easily could they have been processed to produce the "debris" samples reportedly found at the "crash site"?
In the metallurgical assessment chemical compositions of the alloys were not stated in consistent units. The analyses from MDRL and Anastas were in atomic percent while the Spectro-chemical analysis was in weight percent. Weight percent is used in commercial specifications, so I will use it.
Results for the two main elements found, iron and copper can be summarized as follows:
Lab % Iron % Copper MDRL 9.8 - Spectro-chemical 0.4 5.7 Anastas 1.0 -
There are three completely different samples!
First consider the MDRL 9.8% iron sample. Now, this is suspiciously close to being exactly ten percent. An aluminum alloy containing nominally ten weight percent iron is a "master alloy" commonly used as a convenient way of adding iron during the production of other aluminum alloys. Iron melts at a much higher temperature than aluminum, so it would not be added directly in commercial production. It's sort of like ordering a vanilla latte at a coffee shop. They will not stir your drink with a vanilla bean - they just will add a splash of vanilla syrup.
See Table 1 of the Key to Nonferrous Metals article on "Master Alloys for Aluminium Alloys: Part Two:"
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master alloy with nominally ten percent iron has both Aluminum Association designations (H2810, H2811) and European Community designations (CEN AM-92600, 92601). The Aluminum Association designations are contained in a document called the Gray sheets:
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was submitted in 2005 by the EAA (European Aluminium Association). The Aluminum Association only began the process of standardizing master alloys back in 1973. See:
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it is not clear how long ago such an alloy could have been purchased off the shelf in the US. However it melts at a much lower temperature than pure iron and could easily have been recast to produce a debris sample.
Second, consider the Spectro-chemical sample containing 5.7% copper. This corresponds to a commercial alloy called 2011 (or its predecessor, 11S). You can buy 2011 from Alcoa under the trade name of Toolrite:
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also contains 0.2 to 0.6% of both lead and bismuth. These elements are added to produce particles that make this material much easier to machine than most other aluminum alloys. Alloy 2011 was registered in 1954, and 11S is in the 1948 Metals Handbook. Now, both lead and bismuth are much denser than aluminum. They also are insoluble in liquid aluminum. If you tried to remelt a 2011 alloy, then the lead and bismuth would wind up dropping to the bottom of the container, just like an oil and vinegar salad dressing tends to separate. The Spectro-chemical analysis found only 0.03% lead, consistent with remelting of a chunk of 2011 alloy.
Third, consider the Anastas sample containing 1.0% iron. The intentional use of iron in aluminum alloys is an inexpensive way of making stronger material for foil. This type of commercial alloy was around before 1973. It melts at a slightly lower temperature than pure aluminum, so it would be easy to recast to produce "debris".
If you go to the Aluminum Association and look up their wrought alloy composition tables (the Teal Sheets) at:
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you will find that there is a series of 8XXX alloys. See page 20 of the pdf file (or page 12 of the printed version). Alloy 8079 was registered in 1969. It contains 0.7 to 1.3% Fe and 0.05 to 0.30% Si. The 8079 alloy is used commercially for aluminum foil in packaging applications. See "Industrial Development of Non-heat Treatable Alloys"
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see the Alcoa European mill products catalog:
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There also is an older "potluck" alloy called 8112 that was registered back in 1954. All the composition limits in this specification are maximums, so you can make it from whatever recycled stuff you have around, like the vegetable soup served in a diner. You are allowed to have up to 1% silicon, or iron, or zinc. Now, 8112 alloy is used for highly sophisticated products like license plates. See the "US License Plate Technology overview" at:
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specifically 8112 Aluminum has been in state purchasing documents for license plate stock from Virginia, New Jersey, and for Pennsylvania:
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Pittsburgh Pete
DISCLAIMER
We do not believe what we write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for topical (external) use only. This information may not be worth any more than either a groundhog turd, or what you paid for it (nothing). The author may not even have been either sane or sober when he wrote it down. Do not worry, be happy.
Reply to
metalengr

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