How to tell the difference between SS and MS
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  1. #1
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    How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    So seeing that you need different filler metal for stainless and mild steel,
    how do you tell the difference if you just have some metal laying around and aren't sure which one is which?

  2. #2
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    90% of stainless is non magnetic..

    get a magnet

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    You could start with a magnet. Mild steel is magnetic. Some stainless is non-magnetic, some stainless is mildly magnetic, some stainless is just as magnetic as mild steel.

    You could also do a spark test. Mild steel will produce lots of orange sparks with little fuzzys at the end of the spark (probably not technical terms, but you probably still understand). Stainless produces almost no sparks.


    Those are the best ways that I know

  4. #4
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Since SS is corrosion resistant, you might try applying a small swab of acid to the steel and see how easily it is etched.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Ahhhh... A magnet. Easy. Thanks fellas.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by Underwhere
    Ahhhh... A magnet. Easy. Thanks fellas.
    dont forget the girl too..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  7. #7
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster
    dont forget the girl too..

    ...zap!
    So you're saying...put the magnet in the butt?

  8. #8
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by Underwhere
    So you're saying...put the magnet in the butt?

    huh?

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    WTF, I'm lost now!
    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  10. #10
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    he stated "thanks guys"..

    welderwomn is no guy..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  11. #11
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster
    he stated "thanks guys"..

    welderwomn is no guy..

    ...zap!
    I was talking about his comment
    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  12. #12
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by littlefuzz
    I was talking about his comment

    yeah but i'm not sure either what he ment..probably all that new lingo i dont know..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  13. #13
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Wait a minute...I am also confused

    There will be no magnets in my butt

  14. #14
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    ok yeah sorry.
    Was thinking about someone's butt and the magnet came up.

    I just put 2 and 2 together and got 7.

    no magnets in yer butt weldrwomn.

  15. #15
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Try a magnet in wifes silverware drawer and you find stainless spoons and forks stick to it. A magnet isn't a sure way to tell.
    (to clarify this-I did say drawer not drawers)

  16. #16
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    kinda reminds me of the "who's on first" bit by Abbot and Costello. One misunderstanding leads to another...and around you go.

    Here is a link to the spark test stuff mentioned by weldrwomn. This was what I was taught...the magnet trick isn't 100% accurate...of course, what is?
    http://64.78.42.182/sweethaven/BldgC...Num=1&modNum=4
    Last edited by smithboy; 01-04-2007 at 10:38 AM.
    Smithboy...
    if it ain't broke, you ain't tryin'.

  17. #17
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by Knotbored
    Try a magnet in wifes silverware drawer and you find stainless spoons and forks stick to it. A magnet isn't a sure way to tell.
    (to clarify this-I did say drawer not drawers)
    So...how would you tell the difference?

    And what happens when you use stainless filler on mild steel, or vice versa?

  18. #18
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    You can use stainless filler on mild steel, it is just a big waste of money, but a good way to practice using stainless filler. The other way around can also be done, but it will ruin the stainless properties of your base metal. Just because it can be done, doesn't meant that it should

  19. #19
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    300 series stainless, also called austenitic grade is generally "non-magnetic", however some grades do contain a small percentage of ferrite which is magnetic. The ferrite level for some applications is purposely specified within a certain range, typically 3 to 10%, in order to help prevent solidification cracking, also called hot cracking, which may come about due to impurities such as sulfur, in combination with thermal stress. Ferrite is able to hold more sulfur in solution than is austenite, so essentially this helps prevent formation of a liquid sulfur rich film between the solid grains.

    The 400 series stainless is comprised of ferritic and martensitic grades. Both are highly magnetic.

    Ferritic SS is generally used or deep drawn items such as sinks and commercial kitchen stuff, because it forms more easily than the 300 series, because it doesn't work harden as readily.

    Martensitic SS is hardenable by heat treatment and is used for medical instruments and such.

    So, if its clean and shiny, does not etch easily or rust, it's likely stainless, but it may still be magnetic, if its a 400 series.

  20. #20
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Now that only took 2 posts for 2 cents.
    Darn, I'll never make "arc duke" at this rate!
    Zap

  21. #21
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by pulser
    Now that only took 2 posts for 2 cents.
    Darn, I'll never make "arc duke" at this rate!
    Zap


    (and i did it in less than one year...shhhhhhhh)

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  22. #22
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    can anybody tell just by the way it looks? usualy i can usualy tell by the color of the metal....also stainless is usualy pretty clean and whiter where mild and carbon steels tend to be dirty somtimes they have a layer of black stuff on the outside (carbon?) and/or rust on it....am i way out in left field here or am i making some sense?

  23. #23
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by smithboy
    kinda reminds me of the "who's on first" bit by Abbot and Costello. One misunderstanding leads to another...and around you go.

    Here is a link to the spark test stuff mentioned by weldrwomn. This was what I was taught...the magnet trick isn't 100% accurate...of course, what is?
    http://64.78.42.182/sweethaven/BldgC...Num=1&modNum=4
    So are we saying the original"Steely Dan" was stainless, or are we not yet that far off track???

  24. #24
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    You can use a solution of Blue Vitrol. (Copper Sulfate Crystals, and Sulphuric Acid.) I think you can have it made at a pharmacy- it would probably be safer. When you apply it to stainless, nothing happens. When applied to MS, it turns a copper color. Also used for laying out.-----------john

  25. #25
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    Re: How to tell the difference between SS and MS

    Quote Originally Posted by jptech
    When applied to MS, it turns a copper color. Also used for laying out.-----------john

    It's used for tanning as well? So if I apply it to my skin I will get the nice copper color, too!??

    Now I'm really confused!

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