Test for Difference Between Type 316 and 304 Stainless Steel.
Q. I have about £1000 worth of perforated stainless steel sheets. The problem is that they are a mix of 304 and 316. There is a test that I know of. A chemical is applied to 316. It tests for the 'molyb-da-mum' (that's roughly how it's pronounced but I'm sure that it's not it's most accurate spelling) content in the 316. The chemical is green and turns brown when it reacts with the M word in the 316. As 304 does not contain any, the chemical stays green. My problem is I cannot remember the name of the chemical. ... Please help.Ziya Ahmad
perforators - West Midlands, England
A. According to ASTM STP 550, possibly available from the ASTM, the test for molybdenum in 300 series stainless is to
a) Place equal drops of concentrated hydrochloric acid and concentrated nitric acid on the metal surface. Allow 3 to 4 minutes for reaction and transfer 2 drops to a spot plate.
b) Add 2 drops of 10% potassium thiocyanate.
c) Add 25% sodium thiosulfate drop-wise stirring until the red color begins to disappear. A violet color will appear if molybdenum is present.
However, I think your best course of action is to get a chemical spot test kit from Koslow or Systems Scientific Labs or some other company that makes them. A quick web search under "chemical spot test" should show manufacturers if they foolishly aren't already listed on finishing.com, and I know the two mentioned above offer small kits just for 304 vs. 316 resolution. Good luck!
Molybdenum Test Kit
Ed. note: Aww, shucks, you're just trying to embarrass us :-), but thanks! - finishing.com
Surely you can get the name of the 'green' chemical for identifying molybdenum somewhere in a local city. Try first a major supplier of chemicals and ask to speak to the lab technician first of all!
Failing that, contact a major supplier of stainless. OK? There's Henry Wiggin, too. Highly competent Company but specializing in the ultra high Ni.Mo alloys.
Mind you, had you a 'magnetometer' I'd guess that 3l6 would show a lower reading than 304. But that's pretty esoteric. Stainless does, yes, DOES contain some magnetism albeit of a low order.
- White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
Q. How can I check difference in between 304-316 and 202? Please advise.Harvinder
A. Hi, Harvinder. 3xx series stainless steel is non-magnetic (well, almost non magnetic);
Of course, if you have the money, a "scrap sorter" hand-held XRF machine will instantly tell you exactly what each piece of unknown metal is -- but you're talking about $25,000.
A. Hello I have the answer for you I think over here it's named CELMO MOLYBDENUM REAGENT We are testing lot's of 4301 and 4401 materials and have bought a small electrical tester MOLYTESTER. Look for Corrocean I Hope you can use this information. Good Luck !Johan Faber
steel trader - Almere (Holland)
Q. We have a few SS316 materials fabricated and machined. There is no scope for cutting a sample to check the chemical composition. Also we are not in a position to go for handheld tester to test these materials as they are simply not available at the place of material. Is there any other method by which I can check the material.
pharmaceuticals - Indore, India
A. I know of a way to tell the difference tween 304 and 316. this method has been used in recycling for years. It's called "spark test". With an angle grinder, grind 304 and look at sparks; they will fork out at the end of their flight. 316 will spark but each spark will stay intact till the end of its flight. try it out its cheap and better for the environment.Bill Rucinski
- Hatley Wisconsin
Q. I am into the construction and interiors line and have a problem: how would we be able to check to see if a kitchen basket of stainless steel is made of 202 or 304 SS? (If possible, some way where even a lay-man could check for him / herself) There are just too many instances of customers being taken for a ride. Thanks!Kiran Khambadkone
construction / interiors - Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Nondestructive rapid identification of metals & alloys
There are two basic issues that requires solution.
Separate 304 and 316 and secondly how to avoid mix up of costlier 300 series SS with 200 series.
To name a few as Lee pointed out companies like Koslow and Systems Scientific lab have been segregating 304 and 316 for a few decades now through their kits. However, to do a cost effective segregation of 200 series which might get mixed up with costlier 300 series of SS has been a bit of a challenge. Also, both series, 300 as well as 200 series are non-magnetic.
However, The Indian Stainless Steel Development Association mentions one of the company in India i.e. Met Associates, Navsari who has a portable, economical and Non-Destructive method kit developed for both the issues mentioned above.
Please contact ISSDA for more assistance. Hope my response helps.
Q. DEAR SIR
WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE CHEMICAL TO DETECTION OF MOLYBDENUM IN STAINLESS STEEL . WE HAVE FOUND SOME COMPANY SELL TOTAL KIT BUT WE NEED ONLY THE CHEMICAL. DOES IT CALLED ELECTROLYTE?
WE WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF ANYONE ADVICE WHAT IS THE EXACT COMMERCIAL NAME OF THAT CHEMICAL TO FIND.
IT WOULD BE BETTER IF WE GET IN INDIA.
BUYER - CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH
A. I believe that Lee Gearhart's initial response answers your question, Mostafiz. However, the spot test book he mentions, ASTM SP550, is out of print, so probably hard to find. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 3, 2008
1. Clean the steel surface; use abrasive paper, and if necessary degrease and dry.
2. Use "Decapoli 304/316" solution shake well, then place one drop on the steel.
3. Place similar drops on standard 304 and 316 samples.
4. Darkening of the yellow drop in 2 to 4 minutes indicates significant Mo. Compare with indications on standard samples.
5. Wash or wipe samples clean.
- East St. Louis, Illinois
March 7, 2008
The reader is looking for Damac 635 (or possibly 625) reagent to tell the difference between 304 and 316.
- SURREY ENGLAND
September 18, 2009
The Koslow Scientific Company has a spot test kit called 304 vs. 316 Kit is an easy method to sort 316 from 304 stainless steel that we have been using this kit for years.Lauren Keane
Koslow Scientific Company - Tenafly, New Jersey
May 15, 2010
go to search word "electrolyte for detection of molybdenum"Charanjeet Singh
- NEW DELHI, India
Ed. note: Unfortunately, this search will not lead you to the generic chemical names you seek, Ziya & Mostaviz -- it is a cherry-picked search term that will lead you to one particular proprietary product :-(
But I think Lee Gearhart has answered your question already.
October 12, 2011
A. Hi Ziya,
Yaa, your doubt is correct. The element is "Molybdenum". And this is the difference between Gr 304 and 316 materials. Use "Elite folw findr" to identify the grade. The test is very simple. Clean the metal surface with emery paper and tissues and apply one drop of chemical on it. If it is Gr - 316 the colour of the liquid will turns to Brown within 3 minutes. And if it is Gr - 304 the colour will remains same as yellow.
March 8, 2012
TRILOK CAN BE USED TO FIND THE SS GRADE.SARAVANAN PONNUSAMY
March 30, 2012
Q. Aslam o alaikum
Ziya, if you find the required chemical then kindly tell me also.
- Lahore, Pakistan
A. Hi Muhammad.
Ziya's question was from a decade ago, so the inquirer probably doesn't monitor this thread.
But the question appears to have been directly answered several times by others. If I am misunderstanding, or if they haven't answered the question you have in mind, please re-state it. Thanks!
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey