Material - Blade

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Material - Blade Empty Material - Blade

Post  meodingu on Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:44 am


Material for weapon blades has to be selected to achieve a balance between hardness and toughness and the balance is dependent upon the intended use of a blade. In antiquity, the main metal used was copper, then of bronze and later iron. Perhaps the most well known is pattern welding, a technique used for katanas (samurai swords) and blades made to resemble damascus steel blades. This was a very labor-intensive technique - and thus such swords were very expensive.

Techniques may also be employed to make the blade stronger or harder. Copper and bronze can be "work-hardened" by simply hitting the blade with a hammer while it is cold. Blades made of steel with a high enough carbon content (greater than 0.2%) can be heat-treated by heating the steel up to a critical point (most simple carbon alloys become non-magnetic slightly below that point), then quenching it with forced air, oil, or water depending on the steel. Quenching puts an enormous amount of stress on the metal, and often a sword would break into pieces during that step. If the sword survived heat-treating, it would be tempered by heating it to a relatively low temperature for an extended period of time. The tempering process would make it slightly softer, but also tougher and "springier", and thus less likely to break or chip during everyday usage.

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