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Alloy Identification

What you probably have is an alloy belonging to the group
"Cerro-Bend". Related to Kirksite, Woods, and Fields metal alloys.
All are called “fusible metals”.

It has a very low temperature melting point - 158 degrees… Mostly
bismuth. You do NOT want to alloy it with any precious metal, nor
contaminate your precious metal filings or any scrap to be

We use it to mount certain firearms parts while inlaying or
engraving. It is also used to check chamber measurements in
rifles… Machinists use it for various jigs, and to get precise
inside bore measurements. Hobbyists use it to cast model railroad
parts & such.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts
2207 Lucile Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207 USA
209-477-0550 Workshop/Studio/

Further checking on the MSDS reveals that this alloy also contains
both lead and cadmium. Both are carcinogens. YOU DO NOT WANT TO

We melt it in a wax pot or a stainless pot set within a pot of
boiling water.

The number 136 may be the melting point? Mine does not have that
number on the ingots - but melts at 158 degrees.


Kirksite is not a bismuth based low melting alloy!! It is a common
zinc die casting alloy … kirksite is a term not used much any more.

Fields metal seems to be pretty esoteric . It doesn’t ring any
bells with me or any of the standard and some not standard
metallurgical references or it seems with the low temperature
alloy suppliers. where??


So, what is Kirksite? I’m a bit behind in my email so it this has
already been answered, I have missed it. I have some that I bought a
l-o-n-g time ago and am now wondering about hazards.

Marilyn Smith

    Further checking on the MSDS reveals that this alloy also
contains both  lead and cadmium. Both are carcinogens. YOU DO NOT

While the info about heat is valid the particular alloy he has is
cadmium free CerroLow 136. The alloy you are referring to is the
CerroBend 158 which is Bismuth 50%, Lead 26.7%, Tin 13.3%, Cadmium
10%. There are several of these fusible metal alloys with a variety
of component metals and melting points ranging from 117 F to over
300 F Go to
for more

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160

Member of the Better Business Bureau

Are you sure it is kirksite ? which is a zinc based alloy melting
about 720 F. or is it a low melting one that melts at temperatures
above and below boiling water temperatures about 125 F to maybe
350F these are bismuth based…

Kirksite data :

Kirksite is a term not used much any more ( the pressworking die
process still is) One of the zinc die casting dies is usually used
for the purpose today ZA #5 probably the most common. It is used
for metal forming press dies. The general risk from zinc is on
overheating it vaporizes making harmful fumes ( white smoke) Use
with good ventilation.

One source for on the Bismuth alloys is :


My abject apologies for including Kirksite in with the fusible
alloys! I should not even try to read Orchid, much less respond
when I am not in full possession of my “facilities”!

What happened is that I answered (the post on alloy identification)
on the spur of the moment, after a very, very long day at the
bench. The folder that contains all of the on the low
temp. alloys, also contained info on Kirksite. I automatically
transferred it into my post without thinking.

Jesse Brennan caught it right away:) He also said the name
"Kirksite" was obsolete?

I’m sure that half a dozen others will explain what Kirksite is…
but if they don’t here’s a quick description: Kirksite is a
non-ferrous alloy used for making molds and forms for sheet metal
and plastics. It is based on very pure zinc, alloyed with
additional metals to give it hardness and strength.

I promise to refrain from making any more posts while half asleep.
Sheesh, that probably means sometime after Christmas!


Continue from:

Kirksite as a " term" seems to not be used very much. It is a zinc
alloy with copper ( 3%?), with some aluminum and some magnesium…
right at the moment I can’t find the exact alloy but it is not very
much different from the ZAMAC #2 and #5 die casting alloys. I think
it may not be inventoried much and only sold in pallet quantities
to people like Boeing, Ford or GM.

A few years ago when buying some from Atlas metals they said they
sold one of these for Kirksite.

Eastrn alloys does have a little info on their site a while back
they had a lot more. I printed it down and probably have it in my
computer archive somewhere too… Waiting for the Mac Tiger this
winter – it is supposed to have a great archiving recovery system.

It is zinc so read an MSDS-- Fumes from the molten metal are not
good for you.