Recycling (if that's what you want to call it)


Aluminum powder is a thing as far as i know.

What would you do with aluminum? Its quite reactive i give you that but.
You could just use charcoal as a reactant. Which is much easier to aquire.
Or make dynamite… which is easy enough ingame.
As for using in a structure? Only as supporting element would it make sense. So in car frames for example.


And pretty much every object in cata melts in cata acid. Including plastic and glass. It super future decomposing liquid :open_mouth:


sorry if I created misunderstanding AL≠charcoal charcoal+AL=super AL not more charcoal. Off the top of my head not sure what all Aluminum is used for but I know it has many chemical uses which can be slowly explored further and further as cata grows.

As for the acid >.< BAD ACID! even dissolves wood and other organic materials that should be more resistant. I would just like a few primitive weapons that I can know I am about to face a bunch of spitter/other acids make proper weapons and be able to recover them when done instead of knowing that everything I use to fight will be no more. Items should be less damaging then non-acid proof weapons sure. I’ll accept that penalty, but would be nice is all.

AL as structure… I am sure there are more potential uses that are not coming to me right now. It is a very useful metal.

For AL cans guesss even with AL powder still can’t grind down cans to powder as it is still alloy and not useable >.< dam alloy cans being useless for everything.


The alloying problem is pretty significant, in reality recycling is really hard as things either need to be carefully graded and sorted, or you need some kind of process to extract usable material from a random soup that results from breaking down your un-graded inputs.
As long as the usages are niche, it’s fine, but if people start adding crafting recipes with exacting requirements, we need to be sure to make ad-hoc recycling produce some ‘lesser’ form of the recycled material.


I use a propane smelter at work all the time for relatively big belt buckles, so I could see it being used for stylish objects like paper weights and car symbols, but the aluminum really isn’t structurally strong enough to take tons of bashing.
Demitri of fetunchini


It’s true the blade of the bulldozer is steel but the piston making the power to push it is made from aluminum. Most all the high load components in modern cars and trucks; engine blocks, heads, pistons, trans case, diff housings, transfercase housing, wheels, lower control arms, cradles, subframes, bumpers beams, door beams, skidplates, ect are aluminum. (that being said cans are pure AL and belt buckles is about all you would want to make from them)

I’m all for the in depth recycling idea. I like that DF has all the different smelting and metals in the game. Working in R&D for a large automotive company means we have to predict where the market is going. The projected aluminum content for cars and trucks is very high.

All the cars and trucks in DDA with the exception of military would me mosly aluminum. Most backyard foundry use; wheels, pistons, heads and small engine blocks. So in game you’d probably be melting cars, trucks and those random small engines you find in the road.

How far down the rabbit hole are we going with it though am I going to need to find scrap, locate sand, make molds, melt my scrap, and do a pour, maybe machining/finishing to remove gateing, vents, overflows?


My understanding is that when things are highly engineered, aluminum (alloys!) can be used despite the issues it has, but if you’re tinkering your way towards building a vehicle, steel would be the way to go.

None of that would be particularly overboard, it breaks down to build mold, melt scrap/do pour, just two steps. the other details would be handled by tool requirements and flavor text.
Where I see it going overboard would be the need to track different alloys of different metals, although that would be limited to which alloys you can recover or make yourself, so it might be rather self-limiting. if aluminum casting were added for example, I think I’d want to insist on a distinction between pure aluminum and structural aluminum alloys for example.


It’s more when you’re willing to paying the higher cost of materials and process for the weight savings with AL at least in mass production. In general a mass neutral design you will probably exceed design requirements compared to steel.

Garage built cars are generally mild steel space frames because its cheap, easy to work and forgiving. Its generally not worth the extra effort to save a few lbs for a home built.

I think you sumed it up structural and nonstructural alloy. Maybe the nonstructural could be used for bullets. I know some ammunition hass aluminum cores with core jackets for small calibers. Large calibers some times the outer aluminum with a heavy metal tungsten, depleted uranium core for armor piercing. The aluminum vaporizes into a molten shrapnel.

I think you sumed it up structural and nonstructural alloy. Maybe the nonstructural could be used for bullets. I know some ammunition hass aluminum cores with core jackets for small calibers. Large calibers some times the outer aluminum with a heavy metal tungsten, depleted uranium core for armor piercing. The aluminum vaporizes into a molten shrapnel.
AL is to light. When there was a problem with duck/goose/other migratory bird hunters leaving too much lead (from shotgun pellets) in the water ammunition manufacturers tried other metals. They tried steel rounds but they don't get as much distance/force because they don't have the same inertia as heavier lead ones while also damaging the barrel more. They ended up going with bismuth rounds, despite the extra cost due to the similarity in mass/softness(aka not tearing up the barrel)

Al rounds while they would likely be gentler on the barrel than iron rounds would have an even worse problem with keeping their inertia once out of the barrel. You could do it… they just wouldn’t be as effective as lead. How well they would hold together is another matter, I’ll leave that to someone who has tried before/knows.

(Energy = Mass X (Velocity)Squared
This equation becomes slightly more complex if you want to figure out how much energy is impacted on the target, especially if the bullet leaves without giving full force, but for sake of AL vs Pb should show how important weight is. (And just how much more important gunpowder is!) squares take off fast ^.^


Haha but tricky tricky aluminum/steel bullets are already in the game. FN 5.7x28 FMJ SS190 are armor piercing rounds with an aluminum core and a steel penetrator. There might be others in the game too but I know that one. I seem to remember .50cal incendiary rounds having aluminum in them.

What you said is true.


Yea I was only talking about pure bullets, not specialized “We layered metals in this bullet/scienced the shit out of it so now it kills tanks when it sneezes” bullets. Obviously they are exceptional, though in terms of “raw energy transferred to the target” they still come up short, not that it matters since they make up for the raw killing power in otherways, often including the fact that its going so fast despite mass when it hits target that cavitation declares martial law, even in a foot shot.


I don’t know about the science and industrial methods, but I do know from experience with a home built furnace (like the ones cataclysm survivors could build) that:

  1. Aluminum is very easy to melt.
  2. Soda cans have a very low return when melted (you only get about 1/3rd of the aluminum back, the rest turns to dross.)
  3. Aluminum foil has a return of absolutely nothing in my small furnace, all of the foil turns straight into dross, so I usually throw it in the recycling bin for more professional individuals to work with.
  4. Aluminum will break down a stainless steel crucible over time. I usually have to get a new one every ten to fifteen melts because the molten aluminum has solvent effect on the steel. They get thinner. I assume if I kept using them as crucibles, holes would start to appear.
  5. As for the “popping” described earlier in this thread, I’ve never experienced it. I have a practice of simply crushing three or four cans and throwing them into the empty crucible to start a melt off, so maybe this prevents it.
  6. It’s a lot of fun.
  7. scraping dross off the top of the molten metal is a great way to lose material and make more dross. I just leave it on and move it aside when adding new cans. Otherwise, I end up throwing out good metal when I knock waste off the “dross spoon.” (Its a steel spoon welded to a longer steel rod)
  8. takes about 50 to 100 Soda cans to get a worth while amount of material, about one soda can sized lump of metal.

As I said, I’m not much for the science end of it, but the ability to recycle aluminum cans into the elusive aluminum bar would be nice. Even the ability to shred the cans into powder would be good.


HEy, what about turning aluminum cans into aluminum ingots? Apparently, there is no way but to Find them, so, this would be a Very helpful recipe, or, melting down other aluminum items, like Aluminum bats! I have 4 of them, and im an unarmed user, so… If i could make use of them, awesome.


Programming in a recipe for aluminum ingots would be extremely easy. Basically it would just require a forge and crucible, and you’d calculate the mass of the ingot and how many cans/bats/whatever you like would make it, and voila.

If you don’t know how to program basic json, you could figure out the math of how many bats or aluminum cans or whatever other items you like would be needed to do it, and I can easily make the recipe up for you.


See this post:

In short, misc aluminum (aluminum cans, baseball bats, other widgets) is not appropriate for use to cast an “aluminum ingot” item, because the ingot is considered to be structural aluminum, which would be harvested from vehicles and other places that make use of it.


Well, looking at 3104 aluminum, the most common tin can material, and 2014 aluminum, a strong structural aluminum used in aerospace, the main difference is copper content. While I don’t think the game should get too hard into alloying, it would be pretty reasonable to make an aluminum ingot using scrap aluminum plus copper in the right proportions. The final product needs to be about 3-5% copper by weight to make it structural.

From what I can see, Al-Cu alloys can still basically be made in a crucible at home if you’ve got the gear.

(I don’t know about back-casting, using aluminum ingots to make other items. If we wanted to add that, personally I’d say just cast your aluminum bats out of structural aluminum and be done with it)

Edit to add: Aluminum bats are made of a very different alloy from basic tin cans, and I’m not sure if they could easily be shredded and melted down or not. I’d say that the recipe should start with aluminum cans only.