Is Stainless Steel Magnetic?

There are several types of stainless steel. In general they are made of iron (Fe), carbon (C), and about 10% chromium (Cr). Some contain Nickel (Ni). But other metals are added to obtain different properties.

Since it contains iron, a magnetic metal, it would seem that stainless steel would be magnetic. However, when nickel (Ni) is added to stainless steel the result is a non-magnetic form of stainless steel (called austenitic stainless steel). This is most common with things like kitchen knives and such. Often these are slightly magnetic due to the manufacturing process. But pure austenitic stainless steel is not magnetic.

Austenitic stainless steel (stainless steel with nickel added) doesn't even interact with a moving magnet like aluminum, copper, lead, brass ... You can see in the video below that aluminum will interact with a moving magnet quiet noticeably.

Moving a magnet past many other non-magnetic metals like Aluminum, Copper, Silver ... will cause an electrical current to form. This electrical current has its own magnetic field. At that point it's like you have two magnets next to each other. The two magnetic fields are in the opposite direction and they repel each other. This is called the Lenz effect and is why the magnet seems to float down the aluminum pipe in the video above.

What about magnets in outer space?