Clean the metal by washing it with ether to remove adhering paraffin, file the surface in an argon-filled glove box, and wash it with ethanol containing 2% of conc HCl. Then wash it with dry ethanol, dry it in a vacuum and store it under pure argon [Addison et al. J Chem Soc 3868 1962].
Air & Water Reactions
Pyrophoric ignites in air when finely divided, then burns with crimson flame [Merck 11th ed. 1989]. Calcium rapidly decomposes in water, the heat of reaction is sufficient that hydrolysis released hydrogen may ignite [Lab. Gov. Chemist 1966].
Contact with eyes or skin produces caustic burns.
Produce flammable gases on contact with water. May ignite on contact with water or moist air. Some react vigorously or explosively on contact with water. May be ignited by heat, sparks or flames. May re-ignite after fire is extinguished. Some are transported in highly flammable liquids. Runoff may create fire or explosion hazard.
Boron trifluoride reacts with incandescence when heated with alkali metals or alkaline earth metals except magnesium [Merck 11th ed. 1989]. Calcium reacts violently with acids [Lab. Govt. Chemist 1965]. Finely divided Calcium burns spontaneously in chlorine at elevated temperatures [Mellor 3:637, 638, 651 1946-47]. Finely divided or massive Calcium burns spontaneously in fluorine at ordinary temperatures. Calcium is incompatible with metal oxides, alkali metal hydroxides, chlorine fluorides, dinitrogen tetraoxide, and sulfur(with sulfur reacts explosively when ignited) [Bretherick, 5th Ed., 1995].
softish silver-white metal
Reducing agent for production of less common metals; alloying agent to increase strength and corrosion resistance in lead, to improve mechanical and electrical properties in aluminum; refining agent to remove bismuth from lead. In metallurgy as scavenger to deoxidize, desulfurize and degas steel and cast iron; to control non-metallic inclusions in steel; to promote uniform microstructure in gray iron. As anode material in thermal batteries; as "getter" for oxygen and nitrogen.
A silvery, soft metal that turns grayish white on exposure to air. Used in metallurgy.