Are there any commonly available small steel items that are neither galvanized nor stainless?

My daughter wants to test the rusting properties of steel, so she needs to find some small bits of steel that are neither galvanized nor stainless steel. The nails, washers, and other common items that I’ve looked into are, undertandably, rust-proofed, so they won’t do. Anyone know of any other commonly available steel product that might work?

I’m puzzled here. My understanding is that “galvanized steel” means zinc-coated (I note that Wiki concurs).

While galvanized steel hardware is available, it’s by no means the only type. Every hardware store I’ve ever been in sells a wide array of “mild” steel hardware that is neither galvanized nor stainless.

I agree with Xema. Usually the challenge is to find something that IS galvanized or stainless, not to find something that isn’t. I would think a visit to a hardware store with knowledgeable personnel will satisfy your quest right quick.

Thanks, both of you. I had tried calling around to a few local hardware stores and maybe wasn’t conveying my question clearly. I suppose I’ll just drive over to the nearest one and speak to someone in person.

But, the nuts and bolts in hardware stores that are made of steel are usually plated with something. I think nails would be a better choice, as they are uncoated steel unless they loudly advertise being galvanized or whatever.

I concur with Napier. Common box nails or finishing nails should be ideal for this.

Many nuts, bolts, and nails are coated, not plated, with chromate or similar chemical rust resisting stuff. In use, hammers and screwdrivers will bite right through those coatings, so a few months after you put up a new fence, you’ll have a rust streak under each fastener.

Hog nose rings are offered in uncoated steel. Paper based twist-ties will rust quickly.

Steel wool is generally uncoated as well. Rusts nicely :slight_smile:

Black pipe is steel pipe that is painted rather than galvanized like most steel pipe. Its application is for carrying natural gas. You can also find lots of rusty bits of junk in any junk yard.

BTW, if your daughter is seeking to experiment with uncoated iron and you can’t find any, why not try soaking a coated piece in hydrochloric acid?


Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I went to the neighborhood Ace Hardware and they hooked me up with what they assured me were plain uncoated steel washers, as well as some steel wool for good measure.