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Thread: 1050 Steel, help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    1050 Steel, help!

    Hi guys, I need some help here...

    I have a question about medium-carbon steels...specifically those around the 1045-1055 range (AISI).

    Scott Slobodian suggested to me that I should use 1050 steel in blades, because it's good for differential tempering...

    But in every kind of 1050 (or 1045 or 1055) steel I've found, they all have a Manganese content of between 0.6 and 0.9.

    Now here's the kicker: I've gotten information that that kind of Manganese content in 1050 steel makes it useless in differential hardening, because the Mn content is too high to let it spot harden - and here's my question, is this right?

    Mn seems to be in all the 10xx series steels in about those concentrations - so am I looking at the wrong steels, or is that bit about the Manganese not letting the steel differentially harden just bollocks?

    I appreciate any help you can give me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Arrington, TN
    Posts
    40
    I differentially harden 1084 all the time both using clay and just quenching the edge.


    Seth
    www.sethhowardknives.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    59
    Alright...seems that info about Manganese was a dud...thanks Seth

  4. #4
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    Jun 2003
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    Arrington, TN
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    Just so you know, it does make a difference but there is not enough in the 10 series to mess with diff. hardening.


    Seth
    www.sethhowardknives.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    Re: 1050 Steel, help!

    Originally posted by Gordon J Fisher
    Hi guys, I need some help here...

    I have a question about medium-carbon steels...specifically those around the 1045-1055 range (AISI).

    Scott Slobodian suggested to me that I should use 1050 steel in blades, because it's good for differential tempering...

    But in every kind of 1050 (or 1045 or 1055) steel I've found, they all have a Manganese content of between 0.6 and 0.9.

    Now here's the kicker: I've gotten information that that kind of Manganese content in 1050 steel makes it useless in differential hardening, because the Mn content is too high to let it spot harden - and here's my question, is this right?

    Mn seems to be in all the 10xx series steels in about those concentrations - so am I looking at the wrong steels, or is that bit about the Manganese not letting the steel differentially harden just bollocks?

    I appreciate any help you can give me.
    The Mn will not prevent you from differentially hardening the blade, but it will take away some of the control you will have over the pattern and generating specific types of activity. 1050 is beneficial because the lower carbon content counter acts the manganese to some extent. It lends itself to generating more interesting activity. It also has a higher survival rate with the lower carbon. It a good choice if you want to develop some more interesting Hamon while still having passable performance. 1050 is a bit on the soft side for my tastes. In katana I find it a bit too putty like from a performance point of view. 1080/1084 is my steel of choice for a user sword, but the hamon generally do not come out as lively as 1050.
    Patrick Hastings
    "A man without patience lives in hell"
    "He o hitte
    shiri Tsubome"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Limpopo Province, South Africa/ University of Pretoria, S.A.
    Posts
    216

    hardenability vs hamon

    Alloying elements dont ALLWAYS mess up the possibility of getting a "hamon". The hamon-like effect is caused by the transition area, most often between martensite and pearlite (but could be between any dissimilar microstructures, and even fine/coarse forms of the same microstructure), which have different physical and chemical properties, which causes a visible line to exist.
    looking at how TTT diagrams work could clarify the following a lot: What alloying does, is increase hardenability (i.e. the cooling tempo allowable for 100% martensite formation) by moving the pearlite nose to the right on the (LOGARITHMIC!) time scale. What this implies is that the cooling rate in which the transition area between pearlite and martensite (or whatever else...) forms becomes wider, making the transition happen on a wider cooling rate gradient, and could even happen over the entire width of the blade, making the transition essentially unnoticeable.
    There are formulae to calculate hardenbility (e.g. the Grossmann method), and what can be noticed from them is that elements all have a MULTIPLYING-factor. What this implies is that if you only have 1 alloying element, it will have a relatively smaller effect than if a second alloying addition was made, thus multiplying the effects of the first alloying by its own factor.

    Looking at 10XX steels in particular:
    Having only carbon in them would cause such a low hardenability that the 'nose' on the TTT diagram will be so far to the left that any quench humanly possible will be insufficient to get 100% martensite. Mn is therefore increased to above the amount that is normally added to bind sulfur to such an amount to at least make it possible to get 100% martensite, if you whish to do so, by using an appropriate quench. They therefore still have relatively low hardenabilities, making them good for having visible hamon-like areas form.

    Hope you did'nt mind the blah blah blah.......
    Bertie

    "The most important things in life are the ones that have no shape.
    Whether you find them or lose them, you often do not notice" - verse from a Japanese song.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    59

    Thumbs up

    Definitely didn't mind it, the more information I can get, the better, in my opinion...

    Thanks for the input

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