How to tell chrome from stainless steel?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Dear Experts, :smile:

Sorry if this post is created in the wrong forum.

I am not sure how to tell if a metal is chrome plated or stainless steel.
Is there a simple way to tell?

Thank you for reading.

sincerely
Ramone
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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Hit it with a hammer - chrome falls off
 
  • #3
1,564
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You could also compare its density to one of the metals.
 
  • #4
Q_Goest
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Chrome is highly polished and smooth to a mirror finish. Stainless is slightly dull in comparison and if machined, will show machining marks in the surface. Austenitic stainless is also non-magnetic. Chrome isn't magnetic but the metal substrate generally is.
 
  • #5
DaveC426913
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This is a test used on barbeques to determine if it's really SS or merely plated steel.

Steel is magnetic; SS is not.
 
  • #6
Lok
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Chrome is passive to most chemical corrosives or agents, Cu So4 being a good one to tell steel from chrome, as steel reacts and deposits copper on the surface.

Stainless does not react though. So the magnetic test should be used for SS and Chromeplating. As said above Stainless isn't magnetic.

If scrached Chrome plating will reveal a thin layer of copper that is usually needed for better adhesion.

Chrome is usually of mirror polish, can be rough, and has a light color.
Steel and Stainless is very light blueish (hard to see), is more matte as it cannot reflect light as good as chorme.
 
  • #7
Q_Goest
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Just a clarification, it's only (fully annealed) austenitic stainless steels that aren't magnetic.
http://www.mceproducts.com/knowledge-base/article/article-dtl.asp?id=18 [Broken]
 
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  • #8
turbo
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Chrome incredibly expensive. If a surface is chrome-plated, it generally has a magnetic substrate. Nothing very large is solid chrome.

Reminds me of the old Retief and the Warlords series, in which minor dignitaries on far-off planets had desks made of solid rhodium, etc. Keith Laumer was a very tongue-in-cheek writer, but entertaining as hell.
 
  • #9
Lok
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Just a clarification, it's only (fully annealed) austenitic stainless steels that aren't magnetic.
http://www.mceproducts.com/knowledge-base/article/article-dtl.asp?id=18 [Broken]
Most stainless found is austenitic as it is alloyed with nichel.
Ferritic is alloyed with chrome, and therefore expnsive.
Martensitic and self hardening is with Manganese.

All of the above are exemples and not the only variants, V W Cr Co Mn Ni Al, and a lot more can get into alloys, with different properties.
 
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