Flowers of sulfur

Tripods, ammo cans, gunners kit, etc.
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Flowers of sulfur

Postby Bil » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:29 pm

I was cleaning out a closet and found a can of this stuff.I saw where it was used in the 42 for lubrication-that is also its medical use! :lol: ---bil
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby JBaum » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:21 pm

Yup, it goes in the little plastic container with a push button on one end. Push the button, and a bit of sulfur powder comes out. The original German little containers are around $90 to $100.
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:03 pm

What is flowers of sulfur made of? Is it corrosive? Does it have sulfur in it?
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby Bil » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:29 pm

A search of the intermess shows that it is powdered sulfur-used in gardens to adjust ph,also medically for constipation.I am sure that using it to lube the 42 cuased many Russians to be cured of any constipation problems!! :lol: ---bil
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby www.Prussia.us » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:56 pm

The 42 curing Russians of their constipation, now that’s funny :lol:, sometimes the comments on this site are better than a Nitrus tank.

Anyway for those of us that do not have constipation and thus are not buying Flowers of Sulfur, what is the best modern choice for lubing an SA42?
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby JBaum » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:42 pm

A couple dabs of light weight car grease on the rails, other than that, a little 10 w 40 works fine for me.

To make flowers of sulfur, you boil the sulfur and let it condense as a powder. Or you can buy it at the store (easier). The powder is mixed with a little oil and used on the gliding surfaces as a lubricant.
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Flowers of sulfur is basically pure sulfur powder.....

Postby amafrank » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:26 am

it was originally collected from various places as it crystallized in a form which looked like a flower with petals hence the name. This material was then dropped into a mortar and ground with a pestle to a fine powder. In WWII and possibly before it was found that sulfur added to the oil made it work better as a lubricant and extended the temperatures at which the oil would work well. This is still true today as many cutting oils use sulfer to make them work better. The germans used a non sulfurized oil for lube and added the sulfur in the field. Not sure why that is myself, maybe it was a way of using different oils that could be found locally. Many gear oils of the type that were used in transmissions and rear ends had sulfur added to improve the lube characteristics though this is becoming less common as synthetic additives and oils are used....

You can use any pure powdered sulfur that you can get. There are medicinal uses for sulfur though I don't know what they are. There are gardening uses too some of which are treating mold and fungus to remove them from crops and changing the PH of the soil to a more acid condition. PH changes are usually done with sulfur compounds rather than pure sulfur...

Hope that helps
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:50 pm

But why would anyone use a corrosive chemical element like sulfur in a STEEL gun? If it contacts water, it makes a weak form of sulfuric acid! I can't see why anyone would do this.
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sulfur mixed with water doesn't make sufuric acid.....

Postby amafrank » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:52 pm

and when mixed with oil it improves the lubricants ability to lubricate. Look at the engine and gearbox in your car or any older car. The sulfur prevented a lot of wear because it was mixed with the oil. Water vapor also built up in these parts but didn't mix with the sulfur in the oil. You may find rust in these places but not acidic corrosion from the sulfur. . .
Mixing pure sulfur flour with water will make a compound of water and sulfur. The mixture will be very slightly acidic but not a lot. This mixture is not really any more corrosive than water by itself especially to iron which is resistant to acidic corrosion. Try leaving a piece of steel in battery acid for a while. It tends to form a coating and thats about it.....

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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:01 am

Thanks amafrank.. Great explaination!
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby maxposner » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:32 am

Schwefel(spelling), or sulfa, was used as a disinfectant, you couldn't use oil in a MG34 in the desert because it attracted too much sand and dust rendering the weapon unusable. It worked as a dry lubricant and was deemed usful in that purpose, in the desert any ability to attract water was not a consideration.
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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby BigBoy99 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:33 pm

DARIVS ARCHITECTVS wrote:But why would anyone use a corrosive chemical element like sulfur in a STEEL gun? If it contacts water, it makes a weak form of sulfuric acid! I can't see why anyone would do this.


Sulpher is insoluble in both hot and cold water. Sulpher dioxide disolved in water will crate sulphuric acid. Sulpher is added to oil to aid in it lubrication ability. Machine cutting oil has sulpher to aid in the cutter's ability to machine the steel and the sulpher has no affect on the steel.

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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby Montana Combat Medic » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:06 pm

Uhhhh! I'd stay away from the sulfur, as Darvis said, it can be corrosive. I shoot black prwder weapons and if you don't clean the weapon after getting home from the range, all sorts of sulfur related corrosive hell breaks loose. One of my buddies failed to clean his and after a week his rifle was lightly pitted in many places. Relative humidity affects the corrosive rate. As for weapons lube, CLP and Molly Grease work really well from my 15 years of experience in the Infantry. Kroil and Butch's Bore Shine are excellent too!

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Re: Flowers of sulfur

Postby WhitePatriot77 » Thu May 21, 2015 6:41 pm

The sulphur was added in the field as the oil was used as lube on everything,lafette,guns,tools,tripods,but for the heat of the mg42 they added sulphur as it reacts with heat making a harder frictionless surface as the heat causes the sulphur to react by bonding molecules.Smart Krauts them Germans


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