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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > is there any way to tell if something is Stainless Steel
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:06 AM   #21
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We could cut a chunk off of it and put it on a spectrometer. I would only charge a small fee(insert fine print here)

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Old 10-30-2008, 10:35 AM   #22
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Get a cruicible and melt down one of the pots. If it melts at 1220.58° F, then it's aluminum. If it melts at 2782° F, then it is 304 Stainless Steel.

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Old 10-30-2008, 12:47 PM   #23
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There's always the spark test. Just get your grinder going and touch the pot to it, if you get small sparks then it is stainless, no sparks is aluminum. Either way you probably end up with a useless pot
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:57 PM   #24
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There's also the grinder test. Take a grinder and grind one randomly-selected pot to dust. Snort the dust. If you suddenly develop symptoms of Alzheimer's, colic, rickets, extreme nervousness, anemia, headache, decreased liver and kidney function, forgetfulness, speech disturbances,and memory loss, softening of the bones, and weak, aching muscles, you're presenting aluminium toxicity symptoms and you're screwed. If you don't, you've got stainless steel, and you're going to be okay.

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
I had 4 pots that I BELIEVE were aluminum ($22 for four). and one 5g pot ($45) that if put with the other four is an exact match. However - magnets do not stick to the four but does to the 5g.

Now I have a 4g Stainless Steel pot that LOOKS way way more expensive where the magnet sticks.
.....why does it "look more expensive" where the magnet sticks?
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:44 PM   #26
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Stainless Steels is a VERY large category of steel alloys. They are classified by their formula, called grade. These are rated as 300 series or 400 series. The most common used grade is 304, or 18/8 stainless. There are sub-grades of 304 by the carbon content of 304H and 304L (as in high and low content). All 300 grades are austenitic grades have very low magnetic permeability. They show almost no response to a magnet after being annealed. That is to say that they are not non-magnetic but rather have very low reaction to magnets.

Grade 400 stainless are either Martensitic or Ferritic and are all quite reactive to magnetism. This is mainly due to the lack of nickel in their formation. However do not take the higher number as an indicator of quality. All of the formations have use. 304 is used mainly because of its extreme resistance to oxidation, even with sea water. For this reason it is considers marine grade.

All that being said there are 4 ways to test stainless. Three of them are destructive. One already talked about is magnetism. Also you can grind it and look for the color of the sparks. If the sparks are red, and many its 300 grade. If it is white/red its probably 400 grade. If there are many sparks it is 300 and if there are few its 400. Also you can test it with acid or hardness by heating it then cooling it quickly.

If it scratches or not is not a good way to test if it is aluminum or not. Especially if it has been anodized, or oxidized. Although good stainless is fairly hard and is more resistant to scratches.

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