How to Tell Stainless Steel from Aluminum
This is part two of a
three part tip. Click here to start with part one.
Start this test, the most scientific of the tips on this
topic, by placing the bowl or other item in an empty, clean bucket.
Fill the bucket with water until it just covers the bowl. Now
mark the height of the water on the side of the bucket.
Once that's done, carefully remove the bowl or other item from
the bucket. Make certain that all of the water stays inside
the bucket, including what was in the potential mold.
You want to remove the bowl or other item and leave as much water as
possible in the bucket.
Once that's done, set the potential mold aside. Now measure
the amount of water it takes to fill the bucket up to the previously
marked line. Use a measuring cup or similar item so that you
can get an accurate measurement in ounces.
Now comes the hard part: high school math!
Actually, it's only multiplication, so it may be elementary school
math.
1. Multiply the number of ounces of water times 0.554.
This will give you the number of cubic inches of water required to
fill the bucket. (Example: if it took 10 ounces of
water, 10 times 0.554 = 5.54 cubic inches.)
2. Multiply the answer to item one by 0.1. This
will give you the number of pounds an aluminum item should weigh.
(Example: 5.54 cubic inches times 0.1 = .554 pounds.)
3. Multiply the answer to item one by 0.3. This
will give you the number of pounds a stainless steel item should
weigh. (Example: 5.54 cubic inches times 0.3 = 1.66
pounds.)
4. Weigh the potential mold and compare the weight to
the answers in items two and three. (Example: just over
half a pound, it's aluminum; just over a pound and a half, it's
stainless steel.)
That's all there is to it.
Please note: if
you want to use metric units (kilograms, liters, etc.) instead of
imperial units, the math is actually a bit easier. Click here
to see the difference.

Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
Tips on this topic adapted from
Warm Glass bulletin board posts by Tony Smith, Jim Richards, and
others.
