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Heat Treating and Metallurgy Discussion of heat treatment and metallurgy in knife making.

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  #1  
Old 08-01-2016, 07:10 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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If you could make your own alloy knife steel?

I remember reading there used to be a small company in Ca. that would make small runs of steel alloys using a magnetic induction method to melt the metals. They made runs as small as 200 lbs. If you could choose a steel and had a few thousand dollars to make it what elements would you choose that you cannot get now?
I find myself wanting an alloy of high carbon steel with about 1.3% carbon(C) and manganese(Mn) and 3% chrome(Cr) with 2% vanadium(V) and 2% nickel(Ni) with 1% of molybdenum(Mo) and maybe half % of Tungsten(W). It could be heat treated in a forge to a bright orange and plate quenched between two plates of Aluminum. About 1500 to 1600 degrees which are attainable in a forge and for knife thicknesses you wouldn't have to hold long. This alloy could attain a high hardness of RC 60-62 and would have a good abrasion resistance with some good toughness, though maybe the HT may need to be changed.

What would you want? Or have you found your perfect alloy and what is it? (Damascus doesn't count)
And what do you think of my alloy?
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2016, 08:46 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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Why would you want to? There are already so many alloys from the simple 1084 to the voodoo CPM steels to choose from. I'd bet it you looked you could find an alloy already in production that pretty closely matches your "magic" alloy. I've got a printout at work that's at least 10 pages of various tool steels. And with those you don't have to work out the heat treat, it's been done for you.
I'm not saying there isn't any new alloy combinations to try, all it takes is time and money to figure them out.
The biggest thing though, sometimes you need apples sometimes oranges. One alloy might work fine for a skinner but to make a rough use knife from it would invite catastrophic failure.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:57 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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JM I just always wanted that nickel

Mixed with the other metals, so very hard knife with some flexibility. Though if k390 had more silicone it might work, but silicone doesn't do the same as nickel.

Last edited by jimmontg; 08-01-2016 at 08:59 PM. Reason: missed a thot
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2016, 09:29 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Hardness and flexibility tend to increase and decrease in opposition to each other. I would also think that your experimental alloy might not have enough chromium in it to be quenched between aluminum plates. With those high temperature alloys in it I would expect more of an increase in strength than toughness but someone with more knowledge of metallurgy would be a better judge. With that much carbon and high temperature carbides you're going to need a regulated oven or a molten salt tank to austenize in with longer soaks at higher than normal temperatures. Then, as pointed out above, you're going to have to arrive at your own heat treating schedules which would probably mean sending test sections out to a lab for testing. What you are contemplating goes far beyond add a little of this and add a little of that and have someone roll it out in 1/4" plates.

However, if forced to answer your question what I would make is a bloomery steel being that making it yourself is about the only way to get any. And that's a real crap shoot.

Doug


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Last edited by Doug Lester; 08-01-2016 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:34 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Hardness and flexibility tend to increase and decrease in opposition to each other. I would also think that your experimental alloy might not have enough chromium in it to be quenched between aluminum plates. With those high temperature alloys in it I would expect more of an increase in strength than toughness but someone with more knowledge of metallurgy would be a better judge. With that much carbon and high temperature carbides you're going to need a regulated oven of a molten salt tank to austenize in with longer soaks at higher than normal temperatures. Then, as pointed out above, you're going to have to arrive at your own heat treating schedules which would probably mean sending test sections out to a lab for testing. What you are contemplating go far beyond add a little of this and add a little of that and have someone roll it out in 1/4" plates.

However, if forced to answer your question what I would make is a bloomery steel being that making it yourself is about the only way to get any. And that's a real crap shoot.

Doug


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  #6  
Old 08-02-2016, 10:54 AM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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As long as we're dreaming and having fun:

1.3% carbon
.2% Vanadium
4% Tungsten
.75% Manganese
.5% Chromium
.2% Silicon
.2% Moly

Holy toledo, looks a lot like F2, or Aogomi Super
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1084, bee, carbon, choose, damascus, degrees, forge, heat, heat treat, induction, knife, knife s, made, make, make your own, making, quenched, simple, skinner, small, steel, toughness


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