Yet another light....

C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
Hey guys,

I started getting tired of the same ole thing...aluminum, that is. I started considering other materials to make lights with. Of course, Titanium was the first thing I considered; however, its cost and lack of thermal conductivity steered me away from it. Besides, it's already been done.

While searching for a new material to use, I stumbled across aluminum bronze. More specifically CDA-954 aluminum bronze. As I researched it, I found that it is used to make flood gate chains, in torpedo tubes, and aircraft landing gear. I figured the stuff had to be pretty tough.

My next concern was thermal conductivity. Well, it isn't as good as aluminum. In fact, it isn't as good as even brass, which isn't all that great, but it is a lot better than titanium.

In its raw state, it looks a whole lot like brass, but the similarities stop there. This stuff is hard. Really hard, and this was evidenced when I started to turn the stuff in my lathe and then again later when I added the knurling.

Anyway, below are pics of what I came up with. It is, of course, nothing complicated. Just a simple sandwiche compatible light with an IMS 17mm reflector and a 1.5mm mineral glass lens.

picture.JPG


The next pic is of the light next to my modded E1e, for size comparison.
picture.JPG


picture.JPG


In this next pic, I decided to treat the material with an acid based cold bluing compound that I use to doctor my .45s.
picture.JPG

The effect may be considered to be pleasing to some.

And of course, the obligatory beam shot, 20' from a white wall.
picture.JPG


I'd also like to mention something about the toughness of this metal. It was late when I finished the body for the light, and I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been when parting the body off. When the body broke loose, it swung down in the lathe and was knocked clear when it was hit by one of the (relatively) massive jaws on my 5" chuck. The only damage that was done was a VERY minor ding that I have to look for to see.

Another thing I noticed was its greater scratch resistance as compared to T6 6061 aluminum. Not that this is a testament or anything, but just an observation. When I first started doing bare aluminum lights, I'd polish the light on the lathe, then wash it with soap and water. When I used a toothbrush on the polished surface of the T6, the bristles would actually leave marks, so I had to limit the washing to using a soft cloth. I had no such problems with the aluminum bronze.

I think I'm going to have to make a couple of heads for the McR20 and McR27 with this material. It should go nicely with Surefire bodies in either bright yellow or even the "treated" darker color.

Thanks for looking,
 
B

Bogus1

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
1,332
Location
Oregon
Hi Tony,

That's really a great looking light.

How's the weight on this metal? Will it change color in its raw state like brass does?
 
jtice

jtice

Flashaholic
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
6,331
Location
West Virginia
Yet another great creation Tony, nice work.

The CDA-954 aluminum bronze seems really nice.
I like that dark look also, kinda like a nicely aged bronze.
 
C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
This is a blurb that I found on the net....

"Aluminum bronzes typically contain between 4 and 15% aluminum alloyed with copper. The alloys may also contain nickel, iron, manganese and silicon but no significant amount of tin. These alloys have a golden color and high resistance to tarnish and are therefore sometimes used for jewelry and even dental prostheses. Aluminum bronzes have excellent resistance to corrosion and high temperature oxidation and are widely used for aircraft and automobile engine parts. In tube or sheet form, the alloys are used in pressure vessels and heat exchangers for chemical plants and oil refineries. The strongest and most corrosion-resistant aluminum bronzes contain up to about 6% nickel, and these have been used for gas turbine compressor blades. Aluminum bronzes exhibit good-to-excellent weldability."

I haven't had the light long enough to be able to tell you from experience.
 
andrewwynn

andrewwynn

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Messages
3,763
Location
Racine, WI USA
nice.. i have bronze in part of the design of my next project. works really nice against steel.

-awr
 
Hallis

Hallis

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
2,590
Location
Dallas, Tx
I like that a lot. using a RCR123?

Shane
 
C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
Thanks guys. I'm putting this light up for auction in CPF Auctions. I just have no idea of what price to put on it, so I'll let the market set it.

The material is nice. Since this is my first, I've been playing with it some. It does get the heat out, when running a NexGen750/TXOJ sammie and it doesn't seem to loose its luster the way copper and brass does.

The battery that can be used depends on the converter in your sammie. An RCR123 would be fine with a NexGen750 or greater sammie, as it would be with a POP2 board.
 
Anglepoise

Anglepoise

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
1,554
Location
Pacific Northwest
Chop. Great looking light.
I have a few questions on Aluminum Bronze.
When I first heard about this I was hoping that it was basically aluminum with a bronze colour. IE....no tarnishing.
From what you say above, it looks like it will tarnish in a similar way to bronze and brass. Comments??.....
 
moeman

moeman

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 13, 2003
Messages
786
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
doing a raffle would probably bring in more money, but wouldn't give you as an accurate value guage.
just my $.02
chris
 
C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
I got a bit of composition information on the aluminum bronze that I used. It can be found here... Aluminum Bronze

I did clean this particular light, so it has no polish on it. It hasn't tarnished over the last couple of days, but only time will tell. I'm going to give it a good polishing today and see what happens.

I do need to sell this light, because that is how I fund future projects. Maybe I will try a raffle. I don't know. I tried to post in CPF Auctions, but I can't seem to get it to work.

Oh, the material is not just aluminum with bronze coloring. It is actually mostly copper with other stuff added. Check out the link above.
 
Kiessling

Kiessling

Moderator,
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Messages
16,136
Location
Germany, Old World
Great !!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif
Hey Tony ... you're having creativity-bursts in increasing numbers these days? Really /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Is there a disadvantage to this material except thermal management? What about weight?

And is this beauty o-ring sealed?

bernie
 
C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
bernie,

I've been toying with these lights for a little while now. The collar is fully o-ring sealed; however, there are two weak points.

This first is the threaded hole where the lanyard attachment is screwed in. I've been using brass for the lanyard attachment and brass seems to seal up really well, when tightened down. I'm going to start using some sort of sealant on these to help with the water tightness.

The other weak point is the bezel gasket between the lens and bezel. I've been using a delrin gasket that I'm turning on my lathe. It does alright, but it isn't anything like a rubber gasket. I do dunk every light that I make to be sure that rain won't bother the light, but I'm apprehensive about making any claims regarding waterproofness.

I've pretty much settled on the reflector lens combination that I'm going to be using as "standard" items, so I am now trying to source either very thin o-rings or some sort of rubber gaskets to replace the delrin gaskets that I've been using. Once this is done, the light should be fairly water tight.

Hey, if anyone has any sources, let me know.

As for the weight, the aluminum bronze is heavier. A Firefly weighs in at around 1.5oz, with a sandwiche but without a battery. My light weighs in at just over 2.5oz. I guess you could say that the aluminum bronze light is almost twice as heavy, but at 2.5oz+, it's still a small light. I haven't had any trouble carrying it around.

The only parts that I am re-thinking is the lanyard attachment. I do it the way that I do for two reasons.

First, it's easy. Second, a light being able to hang straight is more important to me than a light's ability to stand on end.

I like the light. I think I'm gonna have to build myself one, or maybe I should consider having a run of them made. If I do a run, I'll have to finance the venture with pre-sales and I don't know how favorably that will be looked upon.

As for this light, the raffle idea is getting to be more and more appealing. CPF'll get a cut, and I can make some money too, hopefully.
 
H

HarryN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
3,941
Location
Pleasanton (Bay Area), CA, USA
Hi Chop - I hear you on the pre-sale question. I have had the same question on a project of mine, and have tried to avoid it to keep the ruckus level down - but with your reputation around here, I would not worry about it too much. There is a CR2 light in this section that is running on pre-sale steam and doing fairly well.

If the time from pre-sale to delivery starts to be measured in 90 day increments, then that is kind of a push IMHO, but 60 days is probably realistic.
 
C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
I may be crazy, but I'm finding that this material is pretty slick. It seems to have a natural lubricity to it. I haven't used any lube and it's pretty slick. I just discovered this when playing around with the POP2 sammie that I just built.
 
L

leadfoot

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
Messages
119
Location
Eastern Oregon
Very nice looking. What about using a lug like what's on the ARC AAA??. Machined as part of the body and hangs from center. I too want my lights to hang from center.

Leadfoot
 
C

Chop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
3,635
Location
Louisiana
I thought about the lug too. It's simple enough to do, but the threaded post MAY open the door for ? some day. It's a standard 1/4-20 thread and there are some accessories that fit this. Including a camera tripod mount. Why? I don't know. Because I could.

What I'm really considering is a raised rim, like on the FF, but with the post in the middle. This would allow standing on end and hanging from the center.
 

Similar threads

James S
Replies
9
Views
2K
James S
James S
ResQTech
Replies
10
Views
808
jtice
jtice
PlayboyJoeShmoe
Replies
0
Views
1K
PlayboyJoeShmoe
PlayboyJoeShmoe
D
Replies
10
Views
1K
Dan C
D
Mutie
Replies
5
Views
1K
Aluminum Junkie
A
Top