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Old 01-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #1
BobH's Avatar
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Tanks, AL or SS, how to tell

Trying to determine if our water tanks are AL or SS. I'm sure there has to be some really simple way to tell, but I can't come up with anything at the moment.

Any ideas?


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Old 01-28-2015, 08:49 AM   #2
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A magnet will tell,, some stick to SS , none to Al.

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Old 01-28-2015, 08:54 AM   #3
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Mr. B. Aluminum is softer than SS. You might take a sharp point (scriber/box cutter blade tip) and try to scratch the surface. If you experience little resistance to the scratch, there's a good chance the material is SS.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:55 AM   #4
City: Carefree, Arizona
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If the magnet trick doesn't work (not all SS are magnetic) look at hardness. Al is quite soft in comparison to SS. A scratch test with a penny or copper tube may tell you the difference. Look up BHN of each for other scratch test metals.

EDIT. Slow down RTF, you are first again!
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:17 AM   #5
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On my boat you can tell them apart immediately by the welds. AL welds will pretty much be the same color as the plates. SS welds will be discolored and darker on something unpolished like a tank. I might have a pic of a SS and AL tank next to each other.
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