For most applications, the question of “magnetic or not” is adequately answered with the use of a permanent magnet. For some applications, even very low levels of magnetic behavior can be detrimental. Then, it is desirable to know the magnetic permeability of candidate materials and reach agreement between parties on a maximum allowable value.
Since permeability can be altered by cold work, some variation can be expected. In general, low-permeability materials are more expensive, so designers should specify low levels only when absolutely necessary. Often, nitro-strengthened manganese stainless steels are good choices because they have good strength at moderate cost.
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