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How to Tell Stainless Steel from Aluminum

This is part three of a three part tip.  Click here to start with part one.

If you want to make the density calculations discussed in part two of this tip but prefer to use metric rather than imperial measurements, then you're in luck.  Because the metric system is based on one liter of water weighing one kilogram, the calculations are slightly simpler.

1.  Determine the volume of water displaced by the metal using the water and bucket method discussed in part two of this tip.  (Example:  Let's assume that the amount of water displaced was 0.25 liters, which weighs 0.25 kilograms.)

2.  Multiply by 2.7 to get kilograms of aluminum (Example:  0.25 liters times 2.7 =  = .675 kilograms.)

3.  Multiply by 8 to get kilograms of stainless steel (Example: 0.25 liters times 8 = 2 kilograms.)

4.  Now weigh the bowl and compare to see which of the two materials you have.

Almost makes you want to convert to metric, doesn't it?

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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.  And thanks to Steve Richard for suggesting we offer a metric version of this calculation.

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