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Thread: Can SS rust?

  1. #1
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    Can SS rust?

    I have a steel hook that a magnet just barely sticks to, but there is some very light rust in a few places.
    Is there a kind of SS that rusts a little, and a magnet sticks to it just a little?

  2. #2
    Yes stainless steel can rust. Certain grades such as 300 series are more resistant than others. Some series of stainless are magnetic. But almost all of them will rust given the right conditions. Stainless also doesn't like long term exposure to such things as salt (Chlorides). Note that the name is stain Less, not stain proof.
    Lee Schierer
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  3. #3
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    I think a better term is corrode. Depending on the environment, stainless can react with various acid, bases and other chemicals. It is always good to check the actual stainless grade against the environment. Of course, you can get grades that are more resistant but they cost goes up for increased nickel and chrome.

    Most people want to select the most economic grade for their application.

  4. #4
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    Slightly magnetic and "rusting" is frequently an indicator of poorer quality "18-8" Stainless Steel. Grade 416 will be somewhat magnetic, but rarely corrodes.

  5. #5
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    I don't know where I got the hook or how it got corroded. But assuming it is poor quality 18-8, will it last a few years in fresh water? I am wanting a hook for a mooring to connect to my bow eye. It is a really nice heavy duty hook, but if it will rust out in a year I will keep looking. Thanks

    My new SS refrigerator is as strongly magnetic as normal steel; go figure.

  6. #6
    The way I understand it is the more stainless in the alloy makes it resistant to corrosion but soft, and the less stainless in the alloy is less resistant to corrosion but harder and more durable. It that about right?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    My new SS refrigerator is as strongly magnetic as normal steel; go figure.
    I have a hunch the SS on the doors is very thin and backed by regular steel to accommodate the peoples affinity for refrigerator magnets.

    NOBODY with small children is going to buy a refrigerator that they can't attach fine art to with a banana magnet.

    I mean, really!

  8. #8
    Practically any stainless will corrode given the right circumstances, but it's usually superfiicial...

    Most stainless refrigerators, a magnet will not stick to the doors. To the SIDES, yes... sticking magnets on a pristine satin finish fridge door will make a mess of it in short order.

    Wade, that hook will probably last 200 years in fresh water. And to clean up the rust, get some liquid Bar Keepers Friend cleanser and a Magic Eraser. Maybe a little vinegar if it's stubborn...
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  9. #9
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    The magnets on my mid level SS Frigidaire fridge stick very well on the door. I know that the side is painted steel to mimic the door, but the difference in magnets sticking is minimal.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    NOBODY with small children is going to buy a refrigerator that they can't attach fine art to with a banana magnet.
    I mean, really!
    We have that problem with the grandkids! Ain't no magnet be a-stickin' to the front of the ice box here! I don't know if she knew that when she bought it and the other appliances years ago but it does give a clean look. PostIt notes take care of the occasional communication such as "get more coffee creamer or else." Magnets will stick to the sides of the fridge, the freezer in the next room, and the extra fridge in the garage.

    We put up a white board that will accommodate magnets.

    I agree with the Kev's guess of 200 years of use in fresh water. Maybe longer. After going through several steel burn barrels here on the farm I finally made one from a stainless steel 55-gal drum. The cycle of intense heat and moisture destroys ordinary steel very quickly - the steel rusts and falls off in big flakes. (The sides glow bright orange at times and the heat even at the bottom has been enough to soften and sag a grate I welded up from 1/2" rebar.) The stainless drum does have a very light patina of rust but it looks like it will outlast me and my grandkids.

    burn_barrel_stainless.jpg

    Hey, a well-made hook made from non-stainless might even last longer than a year away from salt water. I have some unpainted hooks welded to my tractor bucket and on chains that that are out in the weather all the time and are still in good condition after dozens of years. While scuba diving 30+ years ago I found one 3/8" chain at the bottom of the lake and who knows how long it was there. Still looks like new except for the light surface rust.

    JKJ

  11. #11
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    I have a stainless steel anchor chain that has seen salt water over the last 20 years. It is as bright as if it were new.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. I have had stainless cheap steel knives develop actual brown rust. Got some cheap stainless knives in a box of junk at an auction and kept the knives in the barn for cutting hay strings, ropes etc. One of the knives was knocked on the floor and when I found it, it had been laying a while on a moist damp floor in a stall with manure etc. There were spots of brown rust on it. My good kitchen knives are Wusthoff brand from Germany and they never show a hint of rust or corrosion or even of changing darker and I have had them 4 years.

  13. #13
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    There are different series of stainless steel. 300 series and 400 series are typical. The 400 series has a higher carbon rate then the 300 and is heat treatable. It also will corrode or rust more. It still will last many years outside.
    There are dozens of variety of SS to suit different needs and conditions.

  14. #14
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    Taught scuba for over 30 years so have seen more than my share of stainless diving knives and invariably the first place corrosion shows up is in stamped letters “stainless steel “
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Jenkins View Post
    Taught scuba for over 30 years so have seen more than my share of stainless diving knives and invariably the first place corrosion shows up is in stamped letters “stainless steel “
    The die used to stamp the words is not stainless steel and some of it scuffs off on the knife during the process. This is typical with many stainless items.
    NOW you tell me...

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