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alloy analysis options

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    MetalPhil started this thread.
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    alloy analysis options

    What devices do you use to identify scrap metal alloys? Or do you use a lab? What are the satisfaction levels? Thank you!



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    It's pretty straightforward.

    Use a magnet to determine if ferrous or non-ferrous.

    Use a file to do a scratch test.

    An ankle grinder can be used for a spark test.

    Identify the metal by application.

    ie: I had a seven zone in floor heating zone manifold come into the shop yesterday. The copper and the brass were obvious enough but the main body of the manifold was a bit of a mystery.

    Magnet test: Weakly magnetic means it's more likely to be either nickel or stainless.

    Scratch test: Indicates that it's a white metal and not plated.

    Spark test : Not done

    Application: Looked up new ones on-line and learned that most are made of stainless.

    That's good enough for my purposes.

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    MetalPhil started this thread.
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    Hills, thanks you, but I meant more like, how do you tell if it's 304 vs 316 vs 316L? Whether it's inconel? Or do you never have the need?

    By the way, austenitic stainless steels have a high amount of austenite which makes them mostly non-magnetic. And they are worth a lot!
    Last edited by MetalPhil; 03-21-2020 at 04:48 PM.

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    Childhooddream, do tell about the dog! What special talents?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPhil View Post
    Hills, thanks you, but I meant more like, how do you tell if it's 304 vs 316 vs 316L? Whether it's inconel? Or do you never have the need?

    By the way, austenitic stainless steels have a high amount of austenite which makes them mostly non-magnetic. And they are worth a lot!
    I don't really have the need. The yards in my area aren't that specialized.

    Take hard drive bodies for instance. They're said to be 6061 or 6063 ? I only know of one yard in the city that makes that distinction. Everyone else buys as cast.

    The backing plates on hard drive magnets might be duralloy -or- hastings metal ? No market for it that i know of.

    Electrical steel is said to be worth more but it just goes in with regular steel here. I have seen pallet loads of salvaged electrical steel posted for sale on the international market.

    I suspect that these finer distinctions between the different alloys happen somewhere up the supply chain.

    To be honest ... it would be way too complicated for the scrappers in my area to wrap their heads around. Even ewaste is a problem for them. The vast majority don't even own a computer. They're pretty down to earth guys. Keep It Simple Sam.

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    It's hard to tell unless you have one of each side by side in a dark room but 316 has a darker, redder spark than 304. Normally though if it doesn't have mill markings and we don't the know the source to verify we'll buy (and sell) it as 304 and not the much higher 316. This is policy at every yard I've done business with. The best way is xrf gun but those are wildly expensive. Mostly the need for this kind of differentiation - especially for inconel, kovar and such - is restricted to people with machining or high-temp alloy repair (aerospace techs and such) clients. In which case they would already have it separated.

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    Well, a device like an XRF scrap alloy tester identifies the vast majority of alloys in just seconds, on site (no lab). The question is whether it's cost effective to buy one if it costs $10,000+. The manufacturers claim that by bette pre-sorting your scrap you can adjust your pricing for better profits. Any opinions on that?
    Last edited by MetalPhil; 03-22-2020 at 08:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPhil View Post
    Childhooddream, do tell about the dog! What special talents?
    look into it's eyes for your answer.

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