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Old 09-24-2022, 04:16 PM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Selenium odor after melting?

I mixed and melted a batch this past week and while making stuff with it I noticed I could smell the selenium a bit. I should mention I feel like I might have a sharper sense of smell than most. Not bragging, because it's often times a nuisance depending on the odor (use your imagination). I think I was only smelling it when using waxed jacks on the glass and when putting water on a neck line. I had 60g of Se in 51lbs. of batch. I did get some brief whiffs of the stuff outside my shop while it was melting, and I know a lot of selenium is lost up the flue at first, but is this something that keeps volatilizing off the glass after going into solution? I was only aware of that being the case with things like arsenic and fluorine.
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Old 09-24-2022, 05:56 PM
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I never had any post melt issues with the selenium. It smells bad when melting which is rather handy. Sulfur, you bet. That stuff has staying power.
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:17 AM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Slightly off topic but I have noticed that if you have a flourine opaque color , especially gaffer lapis blue or gaffer tangerine on the inside of the piece and you flare it open quickly, it will degass a pungent gas that will knock your socks off.
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Old 10-06-2022, 07:46 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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I've only noticed that face punch from homemade fluorines. But I've been hit with sulfur smells when heating up the durissimo black that Gaffer used to make. Iron sulfide was one of the systems going on in that color.
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Old 10-06-2022, 08:41 AM
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The persistence of the smell from sulfur supports the notion that your furnace never forgets what you do to it. John used to assert that the pinking in the enmel white was a result from having melting gold ruby in that pot in prior years. He suggested that it could come down from the crown. The punch you say you get from the color rod fluorine should suggest to you that all this goop interacts with your brain and you should have ventilation that is sufficient so that you should not notice it at all.

I think frequently about how people complain about the dust from batch glasses yet this sort of thing doesn't faze them. I suspect that's not good thinking.

Even so, the morbidity material on glass workers stopped for the most part in the industrial revolution when workers hand mixed batch on the factory floor. Coal miners have it way way worse.
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Old 10-06-2022, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bernbaum View Post
I've only noticed that face punch from homemade fluorines. But I've been hit with sulfur smells when heating up the durissimo black that Gaffer used to make. Iron sulfide was one of the systems going on in that color.
****
Likely based on more volume in the homemade stuff making it onto your pipe. Color rods aren't all that large after all. Second gathers are bigger.
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Old 10-06-2022, 10:09 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Agreed, but I think it may be a temperature thing too. The reheated color bar is only getting so hot in the GH compared to the freshly gathered fluorides. I only really got that acrid blast a on a few instances when my face was close enough to that still fresh gather. On subsequent reheats I don't 'remember it being as noticeable.
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:20 AM
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Ah.. you don't remember. Interesting. Brain damage maybe?

Most of my fluorines were gathered at about 1900F which is colder than the gloryhole. I only melt mine at 2100 and go up to 2200F for about an hour to fine out. From start to finish on a pot takes about three hours total. Way back when we first tried Keystone cullet, I bought a ton from othem of their fluoride cullet. It smoked coming out of the pot and gave Henry Summa and I a blinding headache. That was the end of that. It went to the landfill. Breathing freely is for Wusses.
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:50 AM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Yeah no doubt brain damage.. I'd done the same melt temps and times as you, but I'm just commenting on my experience of never really being able to get fluorine opaque color bar chunks as hot or as gooey as a fresh gather of it that comes right out of the furnace. Even at a 1900F degree gathering temp.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:01 PM
Bill Worcester Bill Worcester is offline
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Unhappy Selenium in finished pieces had odor

Back in the seventies when I did a selenium melt ( no idea the concentration, but the glass was dark amber). The finished pieces had a distinct relatively strong smell. Never wanted to try that again.
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Old 10-14-2022, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Worcester View Post
Back in the seventies when I did a selenium melt ( no idea the concentration, but the glass was dark amber). The finished pieces had a distinct relatively strong smell. Never wanted to try that again.
That must have been a ton of selenium in there. I've not smelled any odor from the cooled down glass before.
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Old 10-14-2022, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Worcester View Post
Back in the seventies when I did a selenium melt ( no idea the concentration, but the glass was dark amber). The finished pieces had a distinct relatively strong smell. Never wanted to try that again.
***
I can neither explain, or imagine a circumstance such as you describe.
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Old 10-14-2022, 07:54 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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When Bill says his early work stinks, he means it.
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Old 10-14-2022, 11:13 PM
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Rich Samuel Rich Samuel is offline
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It has a name!

"When selenium or a selenide is strongly heated, a distinct smell of decayed horse-radish is perceived. This smell, which is peculiar to burning selenium, is known as the horse-radish odor." - Scientific American, January 9, 1858

Bet that'll knock you over.
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Old 10-15-2022, 08:07 AM
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When Bill says his early work stinks, he means it.
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Funniest thing I've seen on craftweb , period!
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Old 10-15-2022, 04:14 PM
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Funniest thing I've seen on craftweb , period!
Thank you very much. I strive to do my best here.
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Old 10-16-2022, 03:33 PM
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Smile Yep

I totally agree!
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