View Full Version : Performance Damascus


Larrin
09-19-2004, 10:50 PM
I've been thinking about the performance of damascus lately. Do you think that double high carbon damascus could somehow perform better than a single steel? I mean, with two unique steels (possibly with unique properties) with good edge retention, working together plus the "damascus cutting effect" do you think any difference would be negligible, or would it be even better than the two steels alone? Also, how much (if any) do you think nickel in damascus drops the edge retention of the steel?

sjaqua
09-21-2004, 01:47 PM
Given modern alloys, Damascus is no longer produced for performance reasons. Rather it is made to as a means to show the makers art (and machine made Damascus, has dulled and cheapened that).

However that is not to say that a pattern welded blade can not be made to perform to it's maximum potential.

I personally like the mix of 1084/15n20 in a performance blade. With like carbon contents it is possible to get a nice uniform temper and edge holding characteristics, no mater how many or how bold the layers. However, this mix won't get the "Damascus effect" you talk about.

The "Damascus effect" is caused by very fine alternating hard and soft layers. As an edge of this composition wears, it will develop micro serrations. A good example of this is a mix like 1095/nickel. Where the steel to nickel ratio is 10/1 or better. I achieve this by using the shim stock process. Alternating .040" 1095 and .004" nickel foil.

Larrin
09-21-2004, 03:50 PM
I know that damascus is primarily made for looks these days, I'm just looking in to its full potential. While the damascus cutting effect has most often been reffered to as what you described, I don't think that it has to have alternating hard and soft layers for the damascus have a unique style of cutting, or at least having an effect of using two different steels to do one cut.

Drac
09-21-2004, 04:31 PM
Scott,

A quick question, what about the delamination(sp?) that can take place with a damascus whose cutting edge has nickel? I heard that it can occur on a heavy use knife when using damascus like thunderforge.

Jim

sjaqua
09-21-2004, 05:35 PM
I have not heard of that delamination issue. However, I don't think it is so much a matter of dilamination as of material failing. Nickel is dead soft, so I could see that layer split if a shearing force where applied directly to a nickel layer. However Increasing the layer count should decrease the likelyhood of that happening. Another posible cause would be if in folding the billet, you attempted to weld nickel to nickel. If nickel is exposed thru scale formation on the outer layers and then an attempt to weld it to another such section is made, that could result in a small section that remains unwelded.

Drac
09-21-2004, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.

Jim

Larrin
09-21-2004, 08:29 PM
I have never heard of delamination before, it may be because of flaws, or poor workmanship. Devin Thomas has made 1000s of bars with nickel in them, and no one has complained to him of delamination.