View Full Version : bainite 5160 and martensite L6

Jesse Frank
12-18-2003, 03:16 PM
I was wondering if martensitic L6 at rc 59 would be as or more shock resistant than bainitic (sp?)5160.

Jesse Frank

nate d.
12-20-2003, 04:55 PM
now you other metallurgists correct me if i'm wrong here. in my humble opinion as far as martensite and shock resistance are concerned i'd rather have quenched and tempered martensite that just pure martensite. i know i'm answering the question directly. Bainite's microstructure though would be more shock resistance that untempered martensite if thats what you mean my matensite.??? martensite will have a lower shock resitance than bainite because bainite has had some time to lower its free energy somewhat and thus molecularly is somwhat more stable that martensite. forgive me if i lost you on that last thought.

Jesse Frank
12-22-2003, 08:15 AM

I was thinking that the l6 would be tempered since it hardens to rc 64 I think. I am trying to decide what type of steel/ heat treatment do do for swords since 5160 is so much easier to work with than the L6.

01-27-2004, 09:26 PM
I'm led to believe that full martensitic transformation of at least
the edge portion of a blade is a requirement of a good blade.
I'm also led to believe (and have experienced in testing) that
L-6 and 5160 are both tough steels for knifemaking application,
but that full hardness (martensitic transformation) is required to
realise their full potential.

01-27-2004, 09:53 PM
You might want to ask this question over on Swordforums, or Don Fogg's website forum.

Howard Clark makes one of the better swords nowadays, and he uses bainitic L6 and I believe has a tempered martensite edge..

Hardnesses of swords is usually spoken of in the 54-55 range, I believe, so bainite would be about right for that.

Hope this helps some, I know it is not actually answering your question.