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Thread: Nanotechnology in damascus blades

  1. #1

    Nanotechnology in damascus blades

    First let me introduce myself - I'm a science journalist from Poland, not a sword collector, but I have read this forum since years. You know, jians are wonderful things...

    I've just found an article in the current issue of "Nature" about materials and technology in Damascus swords. Here you have a link to an abstract:

    "The steel of Damascus blades, which were first encountered by the Crusaders when fighting against Muslims, had features not found in European steels — a characteristic wavy banding pattern known as damask, extraordinary mechanical properties, and an exceptionally sharp cutting edge. Here we use high-resolution transmission electron microscopy to examine a sample of Damascus sabre steel from the seventeenth century and find that it contains carbon nanotubes as well as cementite nanowires. This microstructure may offer insight into the beautiful banding pattern of the ultrahigh-carbon steel created from an ancient recipe that was lost long ago."

    I think that this article can be very interesting for you. Unfortunately, to read the whole article you have to buy it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    NY State

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    Sounds like bollocks. Did they examine any other type of ancient iron? If you burn any carbon source you get nanotubes and "buckyballs". They are quite common in soot for exmaple. I'll bet that virtually every ferrous sword on the planet contains some level of nanotubes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Montrose, CO
    What in the world happened to the original thread? There were many more posts including mine...

    I noted the same thing that Dan did, that buckyballs and nanotube fragments, as well as graphene sheet fragments, have been created in lampblack factories for centuries.

    Also, nanodiamonds, another form of structurally interesting nanocarbon, are formed whenever carbon rich explosives are detonated in sufficient confinement.

    I downloaded and read the original article, which was very dry and properly scientific. The article in Nature may well be more speculative and dramatic.
    The quote "ancient recipe that was lost long ago" is mildly annoying, as the recipe for wootz may have been lost somewhere to some people, but has been recreated over and over again by many others.
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
    Leonardo da Vinci

    "A little science estranges men from God, but much science leads them back to Him."
    Louis Pasteur

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Last pocket of free land.
    You guys are 2 years behind me
    I ran the guantlet here on the subject already.
    If you haven't seen this thread yet, here is the link.
    Barnyard bladesmith, burnt in the front, and frozen in the rear. Comic book metallurgist, too dumb to know that I can't do that.
    "I don't believe in the no-win scenario".. Captain Kirk.

    It's good to be skilled, but better to be talented.
    It's good to be talented, but better to be gifted.
    It's good to be gifted, but best of all to be determined. - Me

    "The precise balance of brains and balls, will ALWAYS trump those who have too much of one, and not enough of the other". - me


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