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Kenneth Deighton20/10/2019 21:38:03
64 forum posts

How can I tell the difference between Stainless steel and Silver steel , I know that Stainless is non magnetic and Silver is but how do I tell the difference between Silver, Stainless and normal Mild steel ?.

Thanking you all in anticipation of a simple answer. Ken.

Philip Powell20/10/2019 21:56:45
58 forum posts
15 photos

Tricky. Not all stainless is non magnetic. Silver steel is magnetic. Silver steel is ground to a close tolerance. Most stainless is drawn. Most stainless cannot be heat treated. Silver steel can be heat treated. Mild steel is magnetic. Mild steel cannot be heat treated.

Best to buy stock from a reputable supplier and keep separate.

Sorry no simple answer.

Phil.

David George 120/10/2019 22:01:55
avatar
940 forum posts
310 photos

If you have a tool grinder you can test with the colour of the spark. If you have a known piece of material grind the end and comoair the spark colour. HSS has a red colour silver steel has a brighter colour for instance it isn't perfect but it gives you a good indication.

David

old mart20/10/2019 22:02:59
688 forum posts
60 photos

If it is old silver steel stock and good stuff, it will have "stubbs" on one end.

Degrease it and put it in some water overnight, silver steel is not rust resistant.

Mild steel is rarely ground, but silver steel is.

Edited By old mart on 20/10/2019 22:04:54

pgk pgk20/10/2019 22:02:59
1467 forum posts
285 photos

Spark test?

**LINK**

pgk

IanT20/10/2019 22:33:55
1340 forum posts
137 photos

I don't have any really clever (e.g. scientific) answers Ken but here's a few of my (very) simplistic solutions...

a) If it's rusty, it's probably not stainless (but isn't necessarily silver steel either of course)

b) I only buy stainless stock that IS non-magnetic - I have a little magnetic plastic 'knob' to test with...so it's a very good test of my own stock...

c) If it's 13" long (and maybe even a little rusty) then it's quite probably silver steel

d) If I'm really not sure if it's silver steel (and I need it t be) - a small sample heated red-hot and dunked in water/oil should be dead hard afterwards.

e) Some of my silver steel is stamped "Stubs" (where you have that 13" 'end' cut from the metre length) - and I try to cut from the other end of these bars (when I remember to do so)...retaining the stamp on the left over stock for future reference...

So generally variations on being magnetic (or not), rusty (or not) or able to harden (or not).

Generally one of them will work for me. Hope this helps.

Regards,

IanT

Hopper20/10/2019 22:43:45
avatar
3735 forum posts
76 photos

If you can harden a sample by heating it cherry red and dipping in a tin of oil or water, it's silver steel.

I buy mine from a reputable supplier and keep it well labelled in a special box so it does not get mixed up with old stainless steel printer rods etc - which are also kept well labelled in a separate box. Saves a lot of grief.

Kiwi Bloke21/10/2019 01:28:05
260 forum posts
1 photos

As above, plus...

Got any strongish acid? And if not, why not? Every self-respecting model engineer should have accumulated stocks of enough 'dangerous' materials to make a health and safety inspector hurriedly put on his bicycle clips...

Mild steel won't heat-harden, but will fizz in acid. Silver steel will heat harden and fizz in acid. Some stainless steels may harden a bit, but shouldn't fizz.

Kenneth Deighton22/10/2019 19:15:33
64 forum posts

I would like to thank all of the members that have helped me sort out the identification problem , just to fill in the picture all the bits an pieces of metal were rescued from a deceased friends workshop.

Ken.

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