Christopher Laing April 25, 2019
Several times a month we receive an inquiry from a concerned customer that the “stainless steel” they received from Summit Pump is magnetic and/or appears to be rusting.
We assure them there is no issue, and explain as follows.
In the case of plain/standard 316-SS, it is usually because the piece has been cold worked and will pick up some magnetic properties. Note if you were to compare the 316-SS to a 400 series stainless you would see an increase in magnitude of the magnetic attraction. It will not attract other ferritic metals, only the magnet, as a result the material itself is not necessarily magnetic, it is ferrous. The magnetic response has no effect on any other property. Austenitic 300 series steels like cold drawn 304 (and to a lesser degree 316) are slightly attracted to a magnet, but this has no effect on its corrosion resistance.
Cold Working: Parts that are highly worked (due to machine operations), such as sleeves and shafts that have been machined, ground and polished, will lend themselves even more to this phenomena.