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Is it aluminum or zinc, or ?




How can I identify a metal? It seems to be aluminum, but maybe zinc. It is an old, potentially valuable item, so non destructive testing is preferred.

Kevin Campbell
- Granville, Illinois, US
2003



This one I've done myself, although Archimedes did it before I did. Weigh it, then determine its volume by how much water it displaces. You can use a graduated flask, or overflow the water into a larger container, or any other method of measuring the water volume or weight. From these two numbers you'll know the density or specific gravity. Look up the density of aluminum and zinc and you'll see that they differ radically enough that this procedure will leave no question which material you have.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
2003



How can I easily tell a zinc material from an aluminum one. They both have a similar look and are not magnetic.

Thank you for you response.

Alan Surtees
Genesis Recycling - Van., B.C., Canada
2005




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