"Stainless Steel Vs Aluminum"

Question:

"I need to replace some non-rusting rivets. How can I tell the difference between Aluminum and stainless?? Is there an acid that will etch aluminum and not stainless? Is a magnet attracted to all categories of stainless?"

Answer:

There are several ways to distinguish between aluminum and stainless steels. To begin with, there are many types of stainless steel and some them are magnetic (400 series) while others are not (300 series). If a rivet is slightly magnetic it will probably not be aluminum. Based on the same size, aluminum will be lighter. Aluminum will also react with a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide, while most stainless steels will not.

 

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