Is there a difference between the parts that can be quickly identified?
Steel is very shiny while aluminum is more of a matte look.
Also, steel will be heavier for the same size than aluminum
steel is magnetic, aluminum is not magnetic, so you can use a magnet to check sometimes our part bins get so disorganized i have to go in with a magnet and see what sticks and separate it. also steel has a slight blue shine to it.
Steel is heavy, just pick up a steel part and you can tell the difference.
Steel has a darker, more glossy look compared to aluminum, which is much lighter in color, and also has a slight matte appearance. You’ll distinguish the two better as you get more experience.
Most, if not all steel parts are also thinner than their aluminum counterparts (0.046" vs 0.064").
Just grab a magnet. If your part is magnetic it’s steel if it’s not it’s aluminum or something else.
They taste different
Steel tends to rust. If you notice any rust, then it is steel. Aluminum tends to be thicker but lighter overall. There is Pre-Skyrise aluminum and post-skyrise aluminum. Pre-Skyrise aluminum is a bit harder to differentiate between steel and aluminum as the aluminum is about just as shiny, so you should just look at the thickness/density. Post-skyrise aluminum tends to be a lot less shiny but overall cleaner appearance.
Steel is kinda blueish
After doing a little experimentation, this is correct.
Steel tastes better
In all seriousness though, thanks for the help! I went through the part bin with a magnet and managed to find the right material.