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Metal and Your Hookah.

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  #1  
Old January 21st, 2008, 02:17 PM
FURsAKeN's Avatar
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Default Metal and Your Hookah.

I know there are alot of questions concerning various metals used in making a hookah. So I will be answering some common questions along with some background knowledge.

What types of metals are used to make hookahs?
The most common are Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Brass, and some copper.

Identification of Metal
You will never know the true material used in the construction of your hookah until you get past the plating. The plating is just a layer of metal that has been anodized on to the base metal to offer protection or just to give it a nice finish. But here is a way to identify your metal just by color and feel.

Aluminum - Has a light gray appearance when unfinished, unbroken surface. Normally white when newly fractured or given a newly filed/sanded surface. A very light metal and relatively strong metal. It is an expensive metal depending on the series/quality, but easy to fabricate. Non-Ferrous.

Stainless Steel - Has a dark grey appearance when unfinished and has unbroken surface Medium gray tone when newly fractured and bright silvery gray when newly surfaced when filed or sanded. Stainless is a heavier metal and abit more expensive to fabricate. A ferrous metal and will easily magnetize.

Brass - Reddish yellow, yellow-green, or brown appearance when unfinished and unbroken. Red to yellow when newly fractured, and reddish yellow to yellowish white when newly filed or sanded. Brass is a very soft and ductile metal, works with ease and easy manipulated. Problem is metal can be too soft, easily dented and dinged. Becomes expensive overtime because it is so soft. Non-Ferrous.

Copper - Reddish brown to green color when unfinished and unbroken. Bright red when newly fractured and freshly filed. Copper is a very versatile metal and is very ductile, malleable, strong, and easily machined. Very inexpensive to fabricate and easily used. Non-Ferrous.

Corrosion
Should be every hookah goer’s nightmare, besides breaking a base or running out of shisha. Corrosion is when a metal begins to oxidize and break down in composition. Brass and copper normally create "Verdigris" when breaking down, ferrous' metal equivalent to rust. Verdigris a greenish-white substance, chalky in feel, and sometimes bitter in taste. It can be dangerous to your health if left unchecked and also can cause your stem and various components to become brittle and fail.
We all know what rust is, and if you don't. Hurt yourself for the greater good.

Preventing Corrosion
There are many ways to prevent corrosion, but nothing is 100% unless you paint it or anodize it. Your rig will corrode over time and you can count on it, like dying and spam. And cookies...
Most common way to prevent corrosion is to prevent scratching or abrasion upon the newly anodized surface. Also cleaning your hookah greatly comes into play and here is why. Letting your hookah sit overnight or for a few hours before tending to it after a great session can be a helping hand to corrosion. Wash your hookah with a liquid with a near neutral pH balance like water, lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar. Avoid heavy bases and acids like beer and compound cleaners. These can actually act as a catalyst and drastically speed up oxidation.
Another great way to combat corrosion is to force dry your hookah. This is accomplished by wiping it down after cleaning it and forcing air through it using hair dryer of setting it by a vent. The less amount of time water has time to sit on your hookah, the less you risk for corrosion.
Verdigris is easily removed with a small wire brush and baking soda or lemon juice. Don't be afraid to use some elbow grease on it.

Is it harmful to smoke from copper?
This as been a long debated subject, and will continue to be. There is no long term research on the side effects of smoking from copper. There are many different grades of copper and each one acts differently when used in different processes and functions, so studying the metal has been hard.
I will give you my personal opinion, but be aware I am not a scientist nor a doctor, just another welder.
I do believe that copper is harmful when heated and if becomes oxidized, and using copper in a hookah will only increase your exposure limit to it. That amount could be the needed amount to take you under, use caution. I will leave it at that.

"People that live in houses that still have copper plumbing are exposed to higher levels of copper than most people, because copper is released into their drinking water through corrosion of pipes.
Long-term exposure to copper can cause irritation of the nose, mouth and eyes and it causes headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea. Intentionally high uptakes of copper may cause liver and kidney damage and even death. Whether copper is carcinogenic has not been determined yet.
There are scientific articles that indicate a link between long-term exposure to high concentrations of copper and a decline in intelligence with young adolescents. Whether this should be of concern is a topic for further investigation."
- Lenntech Water Treatment & Air Purification

FDA has done its own research on Copper and allied uses, but I am having trouble recovering it. I will post it as soon as I can acquire it.

Aluminum Foil
This is by far the greatest invention besides beer, sliced bread, condoms, and skateboarding.
The exposure when using foil is there. There is transfer of chemical that burn off the foil and into the water. This is where most of them are caught and trapped into the water, but you will still pull some into your lungs. The burn off isn't in great amounts, cause the coals will essentially burn majority of chemicals of within a few minutes. The overall exposure is extremely slight and insignificant.
Keep enjoying that great invention.


These are just some questions I have noticed and I would like to address them fully. If you have any comments, corrections, disagreements, and questions feel free to PM me or post them here. I will be adding to this topic more and more..
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Last edited by FURsAKeN; February 27th, 2008 at 11:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old January 21st, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Great write up! I'm sure this will come in handy.
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  #3  
Old January 21st, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

You are the man dude
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  #4  
Old January 21st, 2008, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Wow dude, that is amazing! You are worth 30 times your weight in gold.
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  #5  
Old January 21st, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Very nice write up!,
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  #6  
Old January 21st, 2008, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Aluminum Foil
This is by far the greatest invention besides beer, sliced bread, condoms, and skateboarding.
The exposure when using foil is there. There is transfer of chemical that burn off the foil and into the water. This is where most of them are caught and trapped into the water, but you will still pull some into your lungs. The burn off isn't in great amounts, cause the coals will essentially burn majority of chemicals of within a few minutes. The overall exposure is extremely slight and significant.
Keep enjoying that great invention.

I would think it would be the same for copper.... Copper needs a higher amount of heat for it to release gas that can be harmful. You also aren't sucking on the copper direct and there is no direct heat to copper when used. I would say any little harmful particles produced from the use of copper would get caught in the water and sink... no matter how small the particles..... Of course a little bit will get through.

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  #7  
Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBY
I would think it would be the same for copper.... Copper needs a higher amount of heat for it to release gas that can be harmful. You also aren't sucking on the copper direct and there is no direct heat to copper when used. I would say any little harmful particles produced from the use of copper would get caught in the water and sink... no matter how small the particles..... Of course a little bit will get through.
Yeah that is a good point. I'm just waiting for someone to try it first and wait for abit.. lol
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  #8  
Old January 24th, 2008, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Great write up. I have bought a few Egyptian hookahs: They have almost all had copper on the interior, which is the worst. One of them I just use for decoration, because its beautiful, but the copper insides do not smoke well.

I've always been a big proponent of stainless steel hookahs. Some people complain of the taste, which perplexes me, but that could be because a lot of "stainless" hookahs are really just plated steel, which if its nickle or chrome, should be fine but the processes if not done well, will leave steel exposed, which will rust.

I love my true stainless hookahs. Ive also thought that titanium would be a great metal to use for hookah smoking. But with the rush to make cheaper hookahs and increase profits, few companies utilize stainless let alone the more expensive titanium.

We at Hobocans definitely want to change that trend. If we want a hookah that will actually last a long time, make sure its true stainless, a very well plated steel (which is hard to tell with out smoking it for 6 months) or, currently unavailable, titanium.
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  #9  
Old January 24th, 2008, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

great info, thanks!
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  #10  
Old January 27th, 2008, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

great write up! I learned a lot from just reading that.
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  #11  
Old June 7th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

[FONT=Times New Roman]So I have still been digging around for more information on Copper and I decided to goto my local supply and pull up a MSDS (Material Safey Data Sheet) for copper. Here are my findings, and everything I felt important I highlighted. First, section is who made the MSDS for Copper. Yes, Husky I know it is an incomplete MSDS. :P[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]Synonyms: C.I. 77400; Arwood Copper [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]CAS No.: 7440-50-8 [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Molecular Weight: 63.546 [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Chemical Formula: Cu [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Product Codes: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]J.T. Baker: 1714, 1720, 1732, 1736 [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Mallinckrodt: 1733, 4649 [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]3. Hazards Identification[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Emergency Overview [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]-------------------------- [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. AFFECTS THE LIVER AND KIDNEYS. ******* EXPOSURE MAY CAUSE TISSUE DAMAGE. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]SAF-T-DATA(tm) Ratings (Provided here for your convenience) [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Health Rating: 3 - Severe (Life) [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Flammability Rating: 1 - Slight [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Reactivity Rating: 2 - Moderate [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Contact Rating: 1 - Slight [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Lab Protective Equip: GOGGLES & SHIELD; LAB COAT & APRON; VENT HOOD; PROPER GLOVES [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Storage Color Code: Green (General Storage) [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]Potential Health Effects [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]---------------------------------- [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]Inhalation: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Inhalation of dusts and fumes of metallic copper causes irritation of the upper respiratory tract, congestion of nasal mucous membranes, ulceration and perforation of the nasal septum, and pharyngeal congestion. Inhalation of copper fumes may give rise to metal fume fever (high temperature, metallic taste, nausea, coughing, general weakness, muscle aches, and exhaustion). [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Ingestion: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Copper ingestion causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, metallic taste, and diarrhea. Ingestion of large doses may cause stomach and intestine ulceration, jaundice, and kidney and liver damage. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Skin Contact: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Causes irritation to skin. Symptoms include redness, itching, and pain. Exposure to copper dust may cause a greenish-black skin discoloration. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Eye Contact: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Small copper particles in the eyes may cause irritation, discoloration, and damage. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]******* Exposure: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Prolonged or repeated exposure to copper can discolor skin and hair and irritate the skin; may cause mild dermatitis, runny nose, and irritation of the mucous membranes. Repeated ingestion may damage the liver and kidneys. Repeated inhalation can cause ******* respiratory disease. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Persons with pre-existing skin disorders or impaired liver, kidney, or pulmonary function or pre-existing Wilson's disease may be more susceptible to the effects of this material. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]9. Physical and Chemical Properties[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]Appearance: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Reddish, metallic solid. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Odor: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Odorless. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Solubility: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Insoluble in water. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Density: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]8.94 [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]pH: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]No information found. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]% Volatiles by volume @ 21C (70F): [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]0 [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Boiling Point: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]2595C (4703F) [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Melting Point: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]1083C (1981F) [/FONT]


----------------------------------
[FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Arial]Now, all know your copper pipe you plan to make or have made will never reach boiling melting point. Unless you replace your coals with a few grams of thermite! But, this is my opinion after reviewing alot of articles in copper and its useages/effects; and remember I am not a doctor or sicentist, just a metal worker. If you plan on making a hookah or pipe of any sort out of copper, advoid direct heat at all cost. I still think if you smoke from it (with no direct heat) there will be very slight to extremely slight transfer of copper from the hookah to your body. If you plan to use direct heat, I still want to see the results after you get done. Given the fact you are not already in the ER.[/FONT][/FONT]
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  #12  
Old June 7th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

thanks for this Fursaken. I wasn't going to make a pipe out of copper, but thanks for the heads up. You could end up saving some lives or general health here. Good looking out. It is kinda interesting just to read to.
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  #13  
Old June 7th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

so is it better to let the coal sit on the foil for a few minutes then blow off the top of the bowl to try to make sure you aren't inhaling the burned off Al?
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  #14  
Old June 7th, 2008, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

very nice list ...are you a chemistry major??
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  #15  
Old June 7th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
so is it better to let the coal sit on the foil for a few minutes then blow off the top of the bowl to try to make sure you aren't inhaling the burned off Al?
Doesn't matter, burn off is the chemicals (if any) being burned off and relasing into the air

Quote:
Originally Posted by blckngld760 View Post
very nice list ...are you a chemistry major??
Metallurgy major. Also a seven year metal fabricator and welder.
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  #16  
Old June 7th, 2008, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

too in depth deff coppied off wikipedia... haha... but deff very usefull thanks alot.. im ordering my syrian from john tomorrw.. i will treat it clean it and care for it like a new born baby... =)
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  #17  
Old June 8th, 2008, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

haha my buddy smoked with some girl that INSISTED she use a custom-blown GLASS hookah, the foil being the only metal part. and EVEN THEN she was having custom glass pieces made to put over the shisha to eliminate ALL metal. It seemed rather ridiculous.

to each their own i guess... and with that i'll stick to the classics
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Old June 8th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Very informative! Thanks!
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  #19  
Old June 8th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

This is a nice article.
Copper is pretty badass. I'm almost surprised that it hasn't been eliminated form household plumbing yet.
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  #20  
Old June 8th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob416 View Post
too in depth deff coppied off wikipedia... haha..
Wow, if thats not a fucking slap in the face. I take my knowledge of metal and it's allied processes seriously.
You take the time out of your life and do a little research, drag out old books from college, and various rate manuals. Then have someone tell you that you, copied it from a poorly developed haphazard website.
Show some respect for those who bring something to the table, and even attempt. Not just prove your own lack of intelligence by putting down someones write up with your poor grammar and spelling.
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Last edited by FURsAKeN; June 8th, 2008 at 08:43 AM.
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  #21  
Old June 8th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Metal and Your Hookah.

Great post, appreciate the info pimpin.
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