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I Forge Iron

steel to identify

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local scrapyard ad some bar ends stamped with the number 213138, tried google and looked in an old book here on steel types but cant find anything.


it is colour coded orange though different places colour them different.

it is a cold finished steel, it rings and seems quite hard, after a few days shows a little rust.

have not done a spark test as I wanted some idea if it was useful before buying it.



anyone know these numbers?

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What industry is predominant in the scrappies area? may give a clue to origin, and somewhere to start asking questions., and someone may be familiar with the coding, if its stamped, it could tie in with certification documentation, colour codes are also usually company based.


Otherwise a pair of metallurgical spectrometer graticuled contact lenses would be useful along with the crystal ball.

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If my crystal ball was not cracked, then I could get some winning lottery numbers and buy my own XRF gun. Hey, they are only about $25K US. Everybody needs one as a smartphone app. Cheapskate that I am, even I would get a smartphone if they did that.


Seriously, A213 is a stainless steel grade in the US. Surface contamination would flash rust. Most scrapyards here have an XRF gun that they shoot all the scrap with before buying. You just need a clean spot the size of a thumbnail to get an accurate reading.

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I can guarantee you, that it used to be a rock!!


The only way to know what you have is send it out for testing.

Probably not worth the cost.


Other choice, buy some and try it. See if it does what you would like it to do.

Be prepared for breakage. :) :)



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thanks for trying guys, have enough junk now so wont bother with it, I get plenty that I can identify at that yard and am trying to have a sort out at the shop so I have a little room to move.

I think this came from a place that does a lot of high performance car stuff, it was the end of a round bar that had been turned so it is machinable but felt hard and rang when hit, most bits were about 65mm dia and 150 long  ( 2 1/2" dia and 6" long )

I often go by the macreadys orange book but mine is very old, some others also copy their colour codes and if I find what I want by their colour I then check that it seems to match what it should be.

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