Register to reply

Looking for bulk sources of chemically pure sulfur

by SkepticJ
Tags: bulk, chemically, pure, sources, sulfur
Share this thread:
SkepticJ
#1
Aug3-07, 04:19 PM
P: 251
For the last several months I've been trying to locate sulfur in bulk so I can try out something called sulfur casting (lost-wax casting using liquid sulfur instead of molten metal). All I've been able to find is five pound bags of something called soil or garden sulfur at nurseries and home centers. It doesn't look like sulfur though, it's a weird tan-brown color that I don't really like how it looks, and don't want to waste a good one-time-use plaster form trying out.

After opening the package and being disappointed I looked at the percentage of sulfur on the bag and it said 90%. I guess that other 10% is the stuff ruining the color from the bright yellow sulfur I've seen pictures of.

Other than at a pharmacy--which would be way too expensive to get in bulk quantities (kilos) for casting. Plus I think I'd be paying for a level of purity I don't need (I don't need to be able to eat the stuff and not have it be bad for me, just cast with it.)--where might I be able to purchase purer (95%, 97%, 99% or whatever would look like sulfur should) sulfur?

Thanks.
Phys.Org News Partner Chemistry news on Phys.org
Building the ideal rest stop for protons
Direct reaction heavy atoms to catalyst surface demonstrated
Cagey material acts as alcohol factory
Cesium
#2
Aug3-07, 05:01 PM
P: 274
You could try to purify your sulfur. First wash it in water to filter away soluble impurities. Then recrystallize it from hot toluene or a similar solvent (glacial acetic acid might work too).

I've only been able to find 90% sulfur on the shelves here in California.
chemisttree
#3
Aug3-07, 05:08 PM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
PF Gold
chemisttree's Avatar
P: 3,724
You don't need pure sulfur to cast objects. I would use sulfur used to produce the caps on concrete cylinders used to test compressive strength. They sell the bagged version of this stuff (http://www.durhamgeo.com/pdf/msds/Ca...d%20Cyclap.pdf) at Durhamgeo. SoilTest has their own brand. It will work fine for casting with the filler in it. It comes in various colors but not bright yellow. I assume that the color is a secondary concern?

JGM_14
#4
Aug5-07, 02:30 PM
P: 158
Looking for bulk sources of chemically pure sulfur

why sulfur, there are much cheaper materials to work with?
SkepticJ
#5
Aug9-07, 01:54 AM
P: 251
Quote Quote by chemisttree View Post
You don't need pure sulfur to cast objects. I would use sulfur used to produce the caps on concrete cylinders used to test compressive strength. They sell the bagged version of this stuff (http://www.durhamgeo.com/pdf/msds/Ca...d%20Cyclap.pdf) at Durhamgeo. SoilTest has their own brand. It will work fine for casting with the filler in it. It comes in various colors but not bright yellow. I assume that the color is a secondary concern?
Huh, that looks like interesting stuff. Has silica dust in it, is that more than just a filler? Perhaps increases the tensile strength?

Actually the reason I want to try casting in sulfur is so the pieces look like sulfur does. Getting the translucency and color exactly like sulfur wouldn't be easy in another material simply by mixing in colorants. Binary resins are fine things, but I've done them for a while and want to move onto something new for the time being.
SkepticJ
#6
Aug9-07, 01:59 AM
P: 251
Quote Quote by JGM_14 View Post
why sulfur, there are much cheaper materials to work with?
Plaster, yes. Casting resins actually aren't that cheap. Sulfur's cheaper than resins and very much cheaper than metals.
JGM_14
#7
Aug9-07, 11:12 AM
P: 158
well i guess it is your money. Metals are more durable, sulfur shatters like glass. Plaster, sulfur, and most metals can be recycled. Plaster can be baked, repowdered, and be used like the origional plaster. Sulfur and metals can be melted and recasted. If weight is an issue i would go with plaster, but if looks are an issue i would go with sulfur. I have seen some beautiful sulfur crystals before. If you could recreate the transparent yellow in a casting i bet you could get a lot of money if you sold it (depending on the size, what it depicts, and craftsmanship of the piece).


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Sulfur trioxide hybridization? Biology, Chemistry & Other Homework 6
Sulfur as fuel Chemistry 12
I smell sulfur General Discussion 4
Making Sulfur Chemistry 25