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Dross is a mass of solid impurities floating on a molten metal bath. It appears usually on the melting of low melting point metals or alloys such as tin, lead, zinc or aluminium, or by oxidation of the metal(s). It can also consist of impurities such as paint leftovers. It can easily be skimmed off the surface before pouring the metal into a mold or casting flask.

With tin and lead the dross can also be removed by adding sodium hydroxide pellets, which dissolve the oxides and form a slag.

Dross is distinguished from slag, which is a (viscous) liquid floating on the alloy, by being solid. Dross product is not entirely waste material; aluminum dross, for example, is used in secondary steelmaking for slag deoxidation, reducing processing costs by minimizing use of pure aluminum.

Dross is a wasteful material. In the electronic wave soldering process, dross can account for over 50% of the metal required. With the advent of lead-free solders, the cost of replacing metal lost to dross has become unacceptably high. Dross also reduces the expected quality of the solder joint as measured in DPMO (Defects Per Million Opportunities). With the advent of the lead-free soldering process, the cost of the new alloys are so high that accepting dross in the process has become a significant cost issue.

Dross (slang) has been used to describe persons of contemptible status. For example 'Human dross' is synonymous with 'Human scum'.

'Dross' is a song by The Smashing Pumpkins from the album Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dross". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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