Where to get depleted uranium?

I've read that depleted uranium is six times as dense as lead. It would
be nifty to have a chunk of it, that is if it's not radioactive.
The US military uses it for missile nosecones and whatnot, so it can't
be very dangerous.
Is this a controlled material? If not then does anyone know where I can
get a small piece?
Thanks for your help.
Reply to
Bruce W.1
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"Density - Depleted uranium is 1.7 times heavier than lead, and 2.4 times heavier than steel. "
Something that I didn't know: "Depleted uranium burns. It is something like magnesium in this regard. If you heat uranium up in an oxygen environment (normal air), it will ignite and burn with an extremely intense flame. Once inside the target, burning uranium is another part of the bomb's destructive power."
From:
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"Depleted uranium is a heavy metal that is also slightly radioactive" and give further information about the effects and the human body.
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is regulated as a radioactive substance by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Reply to
Lane
there was a mod to the L-1011 airplane that involved putting depleted uranium weights as counterbalances on a couple of control arms - I wonder what happens to those weights when the planes are decomissioned.
and, if you go to iraq, near the kuwait border, you will find a fair amount of it from the desert storm campaign - of course it's a bit of a trip.
Reply to
william_b_noble
Found article about someone who actually got a hold of some...
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half way down the page, look for "Depleted uranium cylinder". "After several false starts, I now have an indisputably genuine, solid machined cylinder of pure depleted uranium metal. Although vast quantities of this stuff exist (vast as in at least a million tons worldwide), it is incredibly hard to get a hold of. This is because there are no uses for it that are not fairly tightly regulated: Most are military, and the civilian uses are for things like aircraft counterweights or radio pharmaceutical shipping containers. Not the sort of thing that's likely to end up in the local surplus auction."
Reply to
Lane
only 1.5 times heavier.
nosecones are very dangerous
you can easily buy tungsten, it is jhust as heavy and also very hard material. To the military, tungsten is more expensive than DU, but for us mortals, it is more easily obtainable. I have a piece of tungsten at home, it feels incredibly heavy./
i
Reply to
Ignoramus20427
Another reason depleted uranium is used by the military is for its "self sharpening" property - instead of flattening out like lead and other metals upon impact, it lengthens and gets thinner - great for armour piercing. It would be interesting to see how that property would work in a machining context - either as the metal being machined, or as the cutting tool..
Reply to
John Sefton
My father was a Marine for 25 years and from every source I have heard depleted uranium is very toxic and yes radioactive. The gunners in CH-53's have to wear special gloves when loading the rounds and while firing, they are used in weapons like the GAU 2B mini gun and such. Very unlikely you could buy any as it is a controlled material.
Reply to
good2get2know
IIRC from A&P school, more than a few large aircraft use it as a control surface counterweight material. The weights must be disposed of properly when the aircraft is written off.
After accidents, finding the weights (and recorders) are a top priority.
Recall they're heavily cad plated... impression stamped with warnings, and painted international orange for easy identification.
I Googled a little, found this FAA advisory circular.
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Erik
Reply to
Erik
maybe so, but when I was in the lab and these were being tested, they were green, and two of them fit in a 1 galon paint can (that was surpsingly heavy) - it was amusing to watch the company mail person pick up the can - or almost pick it up, do a double take, and then barely move it with both hands, from the "out box" it was in, into his mail cart.
Reply to
william_b_noble
Wish I could have found about 4000 pounds of the stuff when I was casting my keel bulb. With that density down in the bulb I could have had a higher righting moment and saved about 2000 pounds in total weight. Encased in lead it would have been safe too. The spot price for DU was about $8/pound when I was looking. Way to high for the quantity I needed and the paperwork requirement was outrageous.
OTOH, Iridium would have been even better but at $2400/pound I will pass. :-)
Reply to
Glenn Ashmore
The Phalanx anti-missile gun (of "oops, forgot to turn it on" fame) used to use depleted uranium rounds, but they switched to tungsten. I have no idea why, but if gunners had to use special gloves to load the dang things it would make sense.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
It also catches fire once it's through the armor -- that's very handy for distracting the crew of the tank that you're firing on.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
You should read this
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They can offer samples too, if you do paperwork
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That's a somewhat contentious statement ! (Do you have newspapers locally?)
As a pragmatic approach (I'm not interested in the DU toxicity argument today), the metal is safe and the oxide is toxic. However burning the metal produces the oxide as huge quantities of breathable fine dust and mechanically abrading the surface may do so too. You can safely own this stuff, but it should either be plated or sealed into a glass vial. You don't want to be handling it.
You have Bush as President. Johnny Appleseed has just been sentenced as a terrrorist for posession of apple pips containing cyanide.
If you want some funky heavy metal, then go to a welding shop and buy some TIG electrodes. These are tungsten, and look and feel as close to uranium as you could wish for. Get the ones that are plain titanium, not those with thorium alloyed.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
I am confused, you suggest to get tungsten electrodes, but to make sure to get plain titanium ones?
By the way, tungsten used to be sold on ebay, that's where I got my collectible piece.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus14555
30 years ago the Toronto Science Museum had a brick-sized chunk of DU on display under a plexiglass dome. The dome had a hole for your hand and you could lift the brick. impressive heft.
Reply to
Al Dykes
What is depleted uranium depleted of? I've always thought that this stuff is the byproducet of the nuke bomb industry where the valuable U-235 is removed from the not valuable U-238 which isn't radioactive. I'll also note that granite is radioactive yet we build buildings with it without concern.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
Reply to
Bob May
U-238 is radioactive, it has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.
It's detectable, but that doesn't mean that it's a problem. A chunk of granite is less interesting to a Geiger counter than a smoke detector is.
Reply to
Dave Hinz

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