Metal Densities

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by billk, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. billk

    billk Active Member

    This might be of interest to you thinking about adding weight to your locomotives or rolling stock. It's part of a list I found on the web, I filtered out everything except metals with densities heavier than lead. Don't remember what the units are.

    Of the metals shown, it looks like tungsten and gold are the only ones that are a) available and b) don't glow in the dark. Either one is not quite twice as dense as lead.

    Bill K

    Iridium 22.2
    Platinum 21.3
    Plutonium, alpha phase 19.4
    Gold, Pure 19.3
    Gold, cast-hammered 19.3
    Uranium D38 19.0
    Tungsten 18.8
    Uranium 18.7
    Gold Coin (US) 17.2
    Tantalum 16.6
    Mercury 13.6
    Thorium, Ind. melted 11.6
    Lead 11.4
  2. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Bill -

    Density is mass per unit volume, and usually given in grams per milliliter (g/mL).

    So gold has a density of 19.3 g/mL, for example.

    It somewhat depends on the temperature, but we won't worry about that!

    Available tungsten actually varies from 18.7 to 19.3 g/mL, depending on "the extent of working", according to my Merck Index.

    Nice list - and it points out that modelers have few choices when weighting models. Do NOT use mercury - one drop in a closed room will result in air concentrations that exceed EPA limits in 24 hours! Lead should be coated - lead oxide (dark gray) is somewhat more toxic than lead metal! Lead vapors and dust should be avoided! Children are much more subject to lead toxicity than adults, so be careful !!!!!!!!!

    Of course, us "reverse" Alchemists turn our gold into model railroads!

    And as you point out, the use of radioactive isotopes is another problem, all together!


    - George
  3. BDC

    BDC Member

    The nice thing about Uranium is that you'll never have to worry about wiring up the headlight! ;) Just make sure you wear your lead-lined shirt and pants when operating though...
  4. gibbs

    gibbs New Member

    And then there's the price to consider...

    Gold $285/oz
    Platinum $450/oz
    Lead $500/ton
    Uranium(U3 08) $10/pound

    These are market prices. I imagine it's pretty tough to get any uranium. You'd have to order a few pounds of it to get that 'bulk' price.:D
  5. billk

    billk Active Member

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