Hey guys. I bought a canteen cup from my local surplus/camp store. I know they are made in aluminum and stainless steel and was wondering how to tell which mine is. they said it was stainless but im not sure if they actually knew or not. it was ten bucks which seems about where the stainless ones are in price but that place has been known to be a bit pricey. it says us 91 pac fab on it. any help??? thanks guys.
Magnetism depends on the stainless, some stainless alloys are magnetic, some are not. I tell by color. Stainless is gray to yellowish, and aluminum alloys are usually silver white. Stainless will also be much harder, won't scratch deeply but aluminum is quite soft (if it's not anodized) and will scratch readily.
i feel so dumb i didnt even think of a magnet. thanks guys. anypne know the weight of a stainless one, i dont have access to a magnet now.
Magnets will be hit or miss as good stainless is non-magnetic, IIRC. Weight would also be tough as a high-quality stainless could be as light as aluminum or negligibly close.
Aluminim would cut and scratch really easy compared to the stainless.
“A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
+1 for mistwalker.
aluminum is colder compared to stainless but the difference is not very significant.
cold feeling more depends on the shape or thickness rather than the material property.
this happens because aluminum transfers heat more easily.
Electrical conductivity / resistance
Anodised aluminium is an electrical insulator but bare stainless will readily conduct electricity.
Of course that doesnt work if you have a raw unanodised aluminium or a laquered stainless.
You should be able to tell from looking at it, most stainless cookware I've seen is mirror finish, but anodised aluminium is usually coloured and not so shiny
Post a photo?
If you don't have a magnet there, see if you can borrow a compass.
How shiny is it?
Since Aluminium is a hell of a lot more reactive than Stainless steel (i.e. it will form a tightly adhered coating of aluminium oxide), it will be duller in colour than Stainless steel
As has already been mentioned, Aluminium is also softer than Stainless steel.
Try to scratch it with something aluminum.
put nitric acid on it, stainless will not react aluminum will bubble green. you should be able to go to any jewelry store that buys gold and they should have some thats what they use to test with.
you guys are awesome. a magnet wouldnt stick, but from what you all say a magnet doesnt stick to all stainless. i can scratch the very surface with a knife tip a little. hears some pics, any thoughts im still not sure.
That looks like stainless to me, aluminum that thin would be very weak. Stainless will have more of a ring to it when hit where aluminum will have a duller sound
A lot of good answers..this might sound stupid, but sometimes there are markings that say the material.
stainless: denser/heavier, less reactive to acids/bases, not as heat conductive, harder, usually more expensive, magnetic for most part, sparks under grinder.
This link might be helpful.
Personally, I think I'd be able to tell by its weight or density.
according to canteenshop, it's Heavy Gauge Stainless Steel.
Why does it matter? I mean except durability, is there anything else of concern?
Mine says us 92 pac fab on it....it looks identical with yours and with the canteenshop one, but after reading the info on the link posted by Ultraman (thx, btw) I have my doubts too....
Last edited by tek77; 05-26-2010 at 02:46 AM.
OOO! Melting point!
That looks like a stainless cup to me.
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