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What is Damascus Steel?

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posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:48 AM
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I've heard of something called damascus steel a legendary steel that is almost perfect yet no one can forge it. What is damascus steel and whats so great about it?




posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:53 AM
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I'm not sure if this is what you're after, but as I am a keen game shot here in England I've come across damascus barreled guns many times. The following link described how damascus barrels are forged;

www.hallowellco.com...



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:54 AM
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Iron Metallurgy and Damascus Steel Chronological History

damascus.free.fr...



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:55 AM
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Take a good pice of steel and weald it to a same size pice of iron .
then fold the pice 10 perferible 12 times shape like a sward heat it up till its the color or the rising sun and let cool slowly .
This gives you the Hardest steel possible wile being very flexible.
The same basic consept is use in moderen saw blades .( hak saw band saw)
Invented by the japanese about 1500 years agaio. Any time a knight went crusading and got a hold of one of these swards every at home thought the sward was magic because all the kights of the 11 centery had was poor wrot iron swards . Hence the leagened of xcaliber.
I have a friend who accitly makes knifes out of water steel as it is called.

[edit on 22-6-2004 by Simcity4Rushour]



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:57 AM
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Damascus barrels are not particularly safe, they are a wrapped tube and even the slightest hint of misfire without the exact proper ammo can see one explode.
The barrel usually has a slight blue mottled tinge to it.
A nice collector item though.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:00 PM
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It's layered steel. They make really stong steel by using the same principle that they use to make plywood. Damascus Steel is often used to make knives and swords. The layers are at right angles to each other for added strength.

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:29 PM
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looking at the properties of damascus steel they don't look impressive by modern standards with hardness max at 52Rc and some values down to 200 BHN...thats Very Hard Steel and mild steel mixed together?

At first I thought of 'dual hardness steel' used in armor [Leclerc tank and probably LEO-2], but this would not explain cutting properties. I was told hard on the outside soft on the inside.

I think the researcher is spot on here. THe carbides form grains on the outside of the blade that can act like ceramics resulting in a sawing capability?

Has me thinking of "Cermets"...metalic matrix with Ceramic grains to yeild interesting properties. But Cermets are very expensive compared to layered steels, right?

[edit on 22-6-2004 by psteel]



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:40 PM
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is this steel used to make anything or is it hard to weld and forge?



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 05:21 PM
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Damascus steel is nothing special any more. Back in the crusades however it was the s***. The arab armies had the benefit of lighter harder steel called damascus (after the city). It also had, as a result of its forging process a trait called the ladder off allah, which was a series of circles and lines that went outward towards the edge. a couple years ago they firguered it out, i read an article in Sci American. BAsicly it is jsut forging process, two different irons were used (like in the japanese. certain herbs were used, i think to increase nickle content, basicly its cool to look at, if your a historian or a metalurgist but otherwise, we have better tech now with knowledge of atomic structure and so on.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 01:38 AM
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I agree that damascas steel is no longer on the cutting edge of knife technology (pun fully intended). 440c is much better and there are better (and more exotic/exepensive) steels than that.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 04:00 AM
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I once read that we aren't 100% sure what Damascus Steel once meant. According to articles I've read, we know it was a folded steel with a blue tint to it, but if I remember correctly there is some debate as to precisely how it was made.
Just because I read it doesn't make it so of course. Hats off to those of you who have researched and provided explanations. I'm a little too buzzed for that at the moment
.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 05:45 AM
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I had alway been told it was made from basically hammered steel cable, the irregular grain in the steel gives it the ability to hold an edge like no other. That's why it looks like it has wavy lines all through it.



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 03:29 PM
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There is a interesting article about superplasticity of steels at
www.winstonbrill.com...
which goes into the rediscovery of Damascus steel and its uses.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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You can buy Damascus Steel knives though they are quite expensive. There is even fake Damascus knives that are sold that still have the patteren but are infact not real.

This is a real one



The 300-layer Damascus blade made by the renowned German Damascus forger, Manfred Sachse.

This knife alone cost $530, cant say I ever seen a real Damascus sword I would imagine it would cost a few thousand.

www.swordsofhonor.com...



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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Being involved in Renaissance history circles (well, including Renaissance and Medieval), I know several modern day swordsmiths. Two of them have worked with Damascus.

In the glory days of the sword, swords were made stronger by folding the blades. This process was simple, though time consuming. The blade, as it was forged, was hammered out to twice it's desired width, and folded over. This process was repeated until the desired number of folds were made. The more layers in the steel, the stronger the blade was (much like modern plywood). The number of layers in the steel also increased exponentially with each fold. Example: first fold = 2 layers; second fold = 4 layers; 3rd fold = 8 layers; 4th fold = 16 layers, etc.

Damascus used this method to strengthen an already strong steel. The reason for the pattern in the Damascus steel is because of the original state of the steel - wound steel cable. In starting with a 6 strand cable, each strand made from 6 wires, you already had a sort of layered effect within the steel. Also, the way that the cable flattened out, the primary strands already interlocked with each other, making the steel far stronger than starting with a steel block, as most swords were made from. Add in the folding technique, and you had some of the strongest swords available at the time.

By today's standards, Damascus is really nothing more than a semi-hardened steel. The carbon steels in use today are far stronger, though they don't offer the same attractive pattern that Damascus had.

To a sword afficionado, however, Damascus is still a wonderful thing, however, simply because of the time involved in creation, as well as the simple beauty of the blade. Even today it is still very expensive, once again, because of the time required to forge it.

The most impressive modern Damascus blade I have seen was made by a friend of mine who goes by Shark in the circuit (unfortunately, it looks like his website is now down, since his apprentice took over the main business). He is known for crafting high-quality, fully usable fantasy replica swords, all hand forged with great care. The Damascus sword he made that sticks in my mind was an "Elven" blade, reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. It was a classic leaf blade (narrow towards the handle, then widening out before coming to a point). The overall length of the blade was about 32", and roughly 40" for the entire sword. The blade had been folded 200 times (it took him close to a year to forge it, and will never be for sale), and held an edge like no other blade I've seen. It was so sharp that it would cut clean through a 1" thick piece of rope that had been thrown into the air like it was nothing. This was also the blade he had used at one point to demonstrate the lack of quality of most swords out there today. He placed a competitor's sword into a vice, and used this leaf blade to cut right through the blade of his competition in a single stroke. There wasn't even so much as a nick left on his leaf blade.

It's the potential for feats such as this that would have had many Damascus blades labelled as "magical" in times of antiquity. In the age of the sword, Damascus was an incredible technology. In today's world, it's little more than a curiosity of times past.



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 10:58 AM
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I believe there are two types of damascene steel. The first was known around the 5th or 6th century AD, and was basically steel of different qualities put on top of one another and folded over and over.

The second one, however, saw its golden age in the 16th or 17th century (I do not know when it was developped) and involved bringing over a special type of iron called wootz iron from parts in India. As far as i know the methods of making the latter have been lost, but there have been numerous debates and large meetings between scientists and smiths in an attempt to revive it. I read somewhere that a way of reconstructing this steel was developped, but the specific method of creating it still has some mystery in it.

As for price, when i went to damascus i went to a shop in old damascus called Giovanni's. The owner showed me a photo of his collection of antique damascene swords and told me that the average price for his 90-100 inch long swords was 40000$ american.



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 12:48 PM
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Ahhh...a very intresting thread here on Damascus Steel.

I have seen one of those type Damascus barreled shotguns in my lifetime where the steel is as in the photo. It was also a double and had some age on it by the woodwork.

I recently purchased a Browning Brand pocket knife at Outdoor World and it appears to have a type of Damascus Blade. Folded and the pattern clearly visible in the steel. I purchased it because I was so tired of all these Stainless Steel bladed knives which seem to be flooding the market.
Most of the stainless steel blades in pocket knives, to me they hardly hold a respectable edge . A couple of uses and they are quickly dull. Stainless is very durable ..no doubt.. but my problem with it is that it does not well hold an edge.

The best knife I have ever owned for holding an edge was an olde Gerber with a blade made of L7 tool steel. This grade of steel is very similar to what one sees in a High Speed tool steel..like in a tap. This blade held an edge far better than anything I have ever owned. Drawback to it is that you have to take very good care of this type of blade. It would rust quickly without proper care..ie..it was not as durable as stainless.

However..this type of steel would not be flexable as in what one would need in a Sword. Probably alright for a knife but not a sword or even a spear tip.

I like the patterns in the steel of a Damascus blade. I find it quite striking and similar to the pattern of colour case hardening in firearms...very striking.

Intresting articles that some have posted here and thanks for that.

Orangetom



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by psteel
looking at the properties of Damascus steel they don't look impressive by modern standards with hardness max at 52Rc and some values down to 200 BHN...thats Very Hard Steel and mild steel mixed together?

At first I thought of 'dual hardness steel' used in armor [Leclerc tank and probably LEO-2], but this would not explain cutting properties. I was told hard on the outside soft on the inside.

I think the researcher is spot on here. THe carbides form grains on the outside of the blade that can act like ceramics resulting in a sawing capability?

Has me thinking of "Cermets"...metalic matrix with Ceramic grains to yield interesting properties. But Cermets are very expensive compared to layered steels, right?

[edit on 22-6-2004 by psteel]


The numbers might not look impressive today, but Damascus steel was the # back a few hundred years ago. Cheap, high quality steel has been around for only a century or two. Until recently, we couldn't duplicate it; (though we did have better materials) Now, though, some scientists and historians think they've figured out how it's made.




Originally posted by twitchy
I had alway been told it was made from basically hammered steel cable, the irregular grain in the steel gives it the ability to hold an edge like no other. That's why it looks like it has wavy lines all through it.


That's actually how fake Damascus blades and gun barrels are made. It's not a particularly good method of making things, but it does look pretty.

Damascus gun barrels aren't really Damascus steel. They're just named that because they they have the characteristic folded looking surface pattern Damascus steel does. They're really only suitable for shotgun barrels because they can't take the higher pressures demanded by higher velocity rounds. Gun barrels should be made from bars of very high quality homogeneous steel.



posted on Jun, 29 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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I own a Damascus barreled shotgun circa late 1800's, it has been in my family from first purchase, it is no fake; the layers of steel were wrapped around a die, (the finished size and choke). and welded, ('fused together', would be more descriptive), you can actually see the rings of the last layer traveling down towards the end. Damascus steel metallurgy has two advantages, as each layer is made the carbon picked up from the heat source, ('coke', needed to get the heat to a high temperature), adheres to the iron/steel leaving micro thin layers of carbon, (the element that makes steel, steel. It forms large flat crystals; metallurgy 101). So micro-fine layers of carbon, (the hardest substance known, diamonds are made from it), are folded time and again making fine laminate layers of high strength carbon and soft layers of steel, (a very malleable substance). The Smith often mixed in his own concoction of other exotic items, micro- finely ground ceramics etc to form a sort of aggregate like compound of metal, (like blue metal stone in concrete increases strength). I am a smith of 37 years and this is what I believe. I loved the story about the 200 times folded blade, I have held and swung a 400+ year old, Japanese sword and it delivered similar out comes. i hope my views help.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 10:22 PM
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raysknives.netfirms.com...
this is modern Damascus. Real good stuff.
www.rsc.org...
This is Real Damascus and It contains Carbon nanotubes. 1750 it stopped being made they ran out of resources to make it.

Not mentioned in the article hematite was added.
funny if you read you see they small amount of iron-based catalyst is used in modern manufacture of Carbon nanotubes . You know like hematite.
news.bbc.co.uk...

Carbon nanotubes are some of the Bands you see in the Metal, So no modern smiths Can not make it and no modern steel can yet come close.

No matter what Knife maker guild of north America Claims or wish.

Slamming 10 layers of steel and folding looks like Damascus but is not.

@Anonymous ATS you have my envy they wear still reforging it in to guns for a while and using unused ingots of Damascus that wear stockpiled and recycling older pieces and mixing it with other steals. Your family probably got one last TRUE pieces ever made.
edit on 8-11-2011 by dragondeathlord because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-11-2011 by dragondeathlord because: (no reason given)



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