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Posted in response to Mortar and pestle from William Ligon on September 17, 2011 at 00:40:25:

Re: Mortar and pestle

It depends somewhat on why you are needing powdered minerals. If you are doing detailed chemical or x-ray analyses, it is easy enough to analyse the stainless and back out those ingredients. Otherwise, it probably doesn't matter if the sample is slightly contaminated. Stainless steel is approximately 5.5 on the Moh's scale, just like any other steel. The Moh's hardness scale is a scratch test, steel hardness is usually measured by indentation (Rockwell scale, etc) - totally different. Any mineral softer than 5.5 should not be a problem, but harder species may abrade the morter a little. Stainless may not be mentioned in your sources because it is a material newer than many of the basic mineral chemistry texts.

From MRose - September 21, 2011 at 05:34:02
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