ALUMINUM ALLOYS IN FOUNDING.
Aluminum was discovered, it is claimed, by Frederick Wohler, a German professor, in 1827; but to St. Clair Deville, a Frenchman, belongs the honor of being the founder of the aluminum industry. The first article made of this metal, it is said, was in compliment to Louis Napoleon, the benefactor of Deville, and was a baby rattle for the infant Prince Imperial. About ten years ago it was thought that aluminum would revolutionize all metallurgy, but usage and practical tests have more closely defined its sphere. We find that to-day its adoption is chiefly limited to the manufacture of fancy commercial wares, also alloys of brass and bronze, the former being extended to an industry employing a large number of wage earners.
In the first days of the aluminum industry great difficulty was experienced in obtaining perfect castings with aluminum alloys. It was seldom that a sound casting could be obtained. The Cowles Electric Smelting and Aluminum Co., of Lockport, N. Y., one of the first to manufacture aluminum alloys, etc., engaged the author, in the year 1886, to go to Lockport for a short time. The author's experience in this foundry resulted in finding aluminum, as an alloy, very wild in its actions, and that the greatest difficulty might always be expected with it in obtaining strictly down before pouring. In the air furnace the steel absorbs carbon by contact with the pig iron charged and melts off, the wasting of wrought iron or steel poking bars used for rabbling giving evidence of this occurrence.