Sodium Valve Disposal Recommendations
CAUTION: Use approved shatter-resistant eye protection when performing this procedure. Perform this and all subsequent disposal work procedures in an open room, away from flammable liquids. Keep a fire extinguisher, rated at least 10 ABC, in close proximity to the work area. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when performing the following operations.
The handling and disposal of sodium-filled exhaust valves requires special care and great consideration. Under conditions such as breakage with subsequent exposure to water, the sodium metal will react violently. The sodium metal, which lines the inner portion of the exhaust valve stem, forms sodium hydroxide. Also, it releases hydrogen gas which may result in an explosion or fire.
2. The valve has a specially-hardened surface. To cut through it, first remove a half-round section, approximately 30 mm (1.18 in) long. Use an air-powered grinder until the black iron color is removed and the silver-colored metal appears.