I'm seeking some advice since this is completely out of my realm of experience. Here's a quick background and then I'll get right to the problem. Working on a test fixture for measuring materials from RT to 700ºC. The fixture inside a small furnace is made from 316L and alumina, the alumina to act as an electrical insulator and the 316L since it's fairly inexpensive, easy to machine, easy to weld, and resistant to high temperature. Any wiring inside of the furnace chamber is also 316L with alumina fish spine beads. The contacts we're using are an unknown type of stainless steel, just labeled as "stainless steel". Initially, everything was working well but after a dozen or so tests the contacts have developed some scale and ceased to function as a decent electrical conductor. The contacts are bars (~100mm x 10mm x 1mm) which pivot at one end and have a fine tip (almost like a stylus on a turntable) on the other. I'm looking for a material that can be used which wouldn't develop a similar problem under the test conditions, cycling from room temp to 700º several times a day. I'd rather avoid having to cap the tip of contact with platinum or something similar and I'm hopeful some type of stainless steel would be suitable for this application. I appreciate any advice or information you can provide. Thank you in advance.
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