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Science

How To Tell If It's Really Titanium 280

With the growing popularity of titanium, some disreputable merchandisers are passing off other materials as the more expensive metal. Popular Science looks at a surefire way to prove what that credit card/crowbar/ring is really made of. "Hold any genuine titanium metal object to a grinding wheel (even a little grindstone on a Dremel tool will do), and it gives off a shower of brilliant white sparks unlike any softer common metal. The sparks are tiny pieces of cut titanium--the friction of the grinder heats them till they burn white-hot. Hold a grindstone to the shackle of a "titanium" padlock from Master Lock, however, and you'll instead see the telltale fine, long, yellow sparks of high-carbon steel."

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