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Old 18-04-2010, 14:07   #1
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How to ID 304 and 316 SS Wire ?

I bought a partial spool of rigging wire at a Marine swap meet. How do you tell whether it is 304 or 316?
It doesn't say on the spool
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Old 18-04-2010, 14:21   #2
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You cannot tell the difference easily. Looks and feels exactly the same.

A chemical analysis is an (expensive) possibility.
NDT companies could use a portable analyzer like a Texas Nuclear.
There is a fluid (ask your local inspection company)that will indicate the difference; I guess it looks for titanium which is added to 304 to make it 316 and seawater resistant.
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Old 18-04-2010, 16:04   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigmasailor View Post
...There is a fluid (ask your local inspection company)that will indicate the difference; I guess it looks for titanium (sic: molybdenum) which is added to 304 to make it 316 and seawater resistant.
A molybdenum chemical colour test kit will identify the presence of moly’ in 316 S/S, which is absent (or MUCH smaller %) in 304.
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Old 18-04-2010, 17:05   #4
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Stainless Steel - Sorting and Identification Tests

Looks like you can either buy test solution, or find a local welding shop that is sharp enough to have it, and ask them to run a fast test for a couple of bucks.
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