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Stainless Steel and Magnetism

  1. Aug 30, 2005 #1
    Maybe this is more of a chemisty question but I have found that stainless steel is not magnetic. I can only reason that this would be if the Fe (iron) inside the steel is actually bonded with the other components of steel thus making the 3d spins useless to become aligned.

    i did a search and didn't come up with much, any ideas?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2005 #2


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    Actually, most stainless steels show attraction to magnets, it is the austenitic ones (300 series) that are not magnetic IN THE ANNEALED CONDITION. If you cold work the material enough you will induce magnetic properties to the material due to the formation of martensite. The martensitic stainless steels (400 series) are magnetic. I really can not go to the exact cause of the magnetism though (I'm not a metallurgist). I had always heard it was a result of the crystalline structure, but that really is about it. Hopefully we can get someone else in here that can give you a much more detailed answer.
  4. Sep 6, 2005 #3
    interesting, that's great that you know that much! That's at least more helpful.

    It would still be interesting to see why this happens.
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