Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 51 to 75 of 79

Thread: Damascus Steel, Crusades and other Myths.

  1. #51
    how is it best to debunk myths? It is best to use positive statements and not negative ones. For example; European swords were high quality, instead of Damascus steel is not super. Additionally, I find it interesting how many myths I have learned existed from sources debunking them. Sir Walter Scott is not read much these days, so perhaps it is more likely people's idea of the Crusades comes from Kingdom of Heaven or various Robin Hood incarnations. Sometimes that a myth is still a widely held belief becomes a myth itself.

    I think myths of awesomeness come from the way information about swords are presented. Any documentary on katanas is going to start out by describing them as being legendary and mythical. So even if it never mentions European swords all the hype makes them seem better than European. When it comes to pattern wielding, the difficulty is that when the technology was adopted, it made better swords than contemporary techniques. However, it was abandoned for other techniques which were better in some way.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    Posts
    6,846

    Tameshigiri, eighteen official cuts (some one will get the joke)

    (I had to come back and edit names as we now have two Gregs posting to this thread)

    hey Bruce and all

    We can hoist the sails and the average sailor is going to get sick some day, its not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. As one of my SEAL buddies put it, 'every one pukes some time'.
    That being said: with a sword, every sword will fail a test, its not a matter of if, it is simply a matter of when.

    SFI has lots of threads of 'sword against armor' and some people have posted really good photos and case studies. A advanced search will pull them up.

    Michael Edelson did this,
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...ve)&highlight=

    and here is plate armor and halfswording
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...ighlight=armor
    unfortunately the photos are gone

    Micheal used some of the best swords available with out stepping in to the $5000 custom world. He also knows how to cut, he teaches it in fact, so if he failed to cut maile on a padded jack I think it highly unlikely any one else is with a sword.

    I have wootz swords, i have pattern welded swords. I have a lot of swords to be frank but more importantly I know how to use them. Not just dry dojo practice but force on force sparing in historical armor (maile with padding under it plates on arms, shoulders and legs) Hacking and slashing does not effect the armor 'much'. It will effect the man inside it. However if you change hacking and slashing to stabbing and thrusting you are going to punch holes in armor, even plate.

    Greg Volevach has presented his argument, and one webpage in german (I read it by the way) that supports his claim. The web page was not baked by any pear review. The web page looks as if Greg himself could of wrote it or that he read it and regurgitated it nearly word for word albeit shorter. Having a mutual appreciation glee club of "I completely agree with you" and high fives all around does not prove Greg Volevach's point either.

    If wootz/damascus steel and nihonto for that matter was not superior in some way people would not have spent the time, effort and resources making it. Wootz and nihonto is extremely labor intensive and if the end product was 'average at best' people would have used average swords.
    Quote Originally Posted by Manouchehr M. View Post
    Yes, wootz cakes were being made in Inida even up to the 19 century. It was forbidden due to the British ban on it to promote the European steel and as well to save the forests because lots of trees were being wasted to produce just some wootz. Again there are different opinions on this in the literature. There are excellent publications in India on this.
    Regards

    Manoucher
    That may answer the question of why people do not make wootz anymore, simple economic sanctions placed by the British.

    Slicing silk scarves falling in the air? I don't see that happening. Scientifically speaking silk is one of the strongest fibers that occurs in nature. strengths for three types of silk from three different species of silk worm: Atlas: 29,000 psi [200 MPa] Mori: 94,000 psi [650 MPa] Trifasciata: 87,000 [600 MPa]
    That puts silk on the same scale as steel wire. The same goes through cutting through the barrels of rifles
    However under optimal conditions with years of training and a loud and flashing Japanese television show you can cut steel pipe and a sheet of steel with minimal damage to the blade.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyO46...eature=related

    There is also a set of videos from a collage study of wootz.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z0v9djP_n4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjqpKND2hsQ This one is hard to watch, he cuts an antique wootz sword to study parts of it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HaUXyWRLUM

    This a bit dramatic but it is a trailer for a 'history' show at about 25 seconds they mention cutting silk. I post this video because to me it looks as if the silk scarf at 29 seconds is not cut.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhJxy...eature=related

    I think the other problem is the opening statement of the thread that includes dispelling myths. There are 'mythical' stories attributed to wootz, people here on SFI in particular know mythical stories are just that. There are mythical European blades, Excaliber, The Sword of Roland, the blades made by Wayland Smith ect.

    I would ask you Greg Volevach, how many wootz or damascus swords have you handled, cut with and done destruction tests on? I would also like to point you to the direction of the MEA forum here as there are quit a few threads there dealing with this
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...ighlight=Wootz
    This would have been harder to find, its buried in the arcives
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...765#post491765
    here is one in French, you do read French dont you?
    http://acier.damas.free.fr/f_damas/f...eel/indiaw.htm
    if not it is in English here http://damascus.free.fr/index.htm

    Icepick: I fall under the "all general statements are false" camp (My favorite Oxymoron)
    Last edited by David Lewis Smith; 06-10-2012 at 10:20 AM. Reason: clarity of which Greg I was addressing when,

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elliot Lake
    Posts
    594
    The Cheese video that you have just shown is the documentary based on Me.... I believe you owe me an apology !!!

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elliot Lake
    Posts
    594
    wootz steel is just a crucible steel in the ultra high carbon level ! think of 1080 steel with lots of globe like carbides clumped together to form the pattern.
    - it is an ok steel now a days
    - it would have been a decent steel way back when

    there were standards back then... an Asadollah was made to a guild standard, and you could expect it to perform well

    swords are made to cut flesh... and this they do very well

    Greg

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    Posts
    6,846
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg T. Obach View Post
    The Cheese video that you have just shown is the documentary based on Me.... I believe you owe me an apology !!!
    it was pretty cheesy, LOL do not take offence you should see my documentary interview, I was so dull it did not even end up on youtube.

    so at 29 seconds it looks like the scarf was not cut, Was it?

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    10,682
    David,

    Greg is an excellent crucible steel maker who has made many blades. I also know many collectors of antique weapons have given him many Persian and Indian blades to restore. I am sure this is a big misunderstanding here.
    Regards
    Manouchehr

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    Posts
    6,846
    Greg T. Obach, if you found insult with what I said than I apologize with all of my heart. I meant what I said in humor, except for the part about my interview, it was very dull.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    583
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Sh View Post
    how is it best to debunk myths? It is best to use positive statements and not negative ones. For example; European swords were high quality, instead of Damascus steel is not super.
    Personally I don't see anything wrong with pointing out when a claim is flat-out incorrect. Saying that Crusading knights carried good-quality weapons does not by itself tell me that Damascus swords weren't superweapons.
    They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,
    Ne spake, ne mov'd their eyes:
    It had been strange, even in a dream
    To have seen those dead men rise.

    -- Coleridge

    Please, all you need for zombies is like 300ft of piano wire and a bus.
    -- Dana Price

    Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/

  9. #59
    I finally located the kukri piece, for whatever it's worth, which I'm placing in the Antique Kukri Forum. On pp. 229-31 of the book in question is some anecdotal info on Damascus-steel weapons.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    Greg Volevach has presented his argument, and one webpage in german (I read it by the way) that supports his claim. The web page was not baked by any pear review.
    OK, here are my main sources:
    http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/inde...wnload/188/190
    http://asoac.org/bulletins/96_feuerbach_damascus.pdf
    M. Sache, Damascus Steel, Myth, History, Technology Applications (Düsseldorf, Germany: Stahleisen, 1994)
    http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom...even-9809.html
    The one of Maeder was just a quick reference and by no means my main source. And I hope any of these sources or authors listed above do not have any troubles with peer reviews.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    If wootz/damascus steel and nihonto for that matter was not superior in some way people would not have spent the time, effort and resources making it.
    How we have to distinguish carefully. Superior "in some way" and "overall superiority", as claimed by popular wisdom, are not the same! What we know for sure is
    1. non-quenched Wootz was not harder than properly heat treated european blades, and
    2. Wootz blades were not more flexible as european blades.
    Edge retention, toughness or wear resistance are something we didn't discussed at all, and I am pretty well aware of the fact that quality Wootz with its 1,5% carbon will give great performance, superior to any 0,6% carbon steel in terms of wear resistance and edge retention.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    I would ask you Greg Volevach, how many wootz or damascus swords have you handled, cut with and done destruction tests on?
    Unfortunately, I am not a collector and not a blacksmith, so I simply lack of genuine Wootz blades which I could put to the test. So I do rely on information from sources and forumites involved in working with Wootz (Ric Furrer, for ex.) Thanks for links, BTW!

    ***

    I just realized that this thread is drifting into a flamewar on Wootz quality, something I didn't intended in the first place. The initial problem was the lack of historical sources to back up a distinctive Myth, started by Sir Walter Scotts novel and perpetuating up to our days.
    Last edited by Greg Volevach; 06-10-2012 at 12:15 PM.

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elliot Lake
    Posts
    594
    Hi David

    I'm sorry aswell for my poor behavior .. I should voiced myself in a pm ... thank you and all is well

    with'in that film, i produced an ingot of wootz steel... forged it out to barstock.. and then produced a sword with it... from which they later tested it on tatami mats, water bottles, couple pieces of foot thick meat, several silk scarf's etc
    - it was basically going to be a cooking show on how to make wootz.... but on the editing room floor, much of the decent content was stripped
    - the fellow doing the cutting was David Cvet ... and i was pleasantly surprised how well he could work a curved sword... even though he was trained in western style martial art, he could apply many techniques with a curved sabre.. it was a shame that much of that aspect of the film was also edited out

    it is playing on discovery channel canada HD ... so it hasn't been seen out of country

    sorry to be so thin skinned on the matter

    Greg

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elliot Lake
    Posts
    594
    I agree with David that wootz was well worth making at the time !

    why would you say " Non Quenched " ??? this is odd because i haven't heard of that
    - The quench recipes i've seen will be from having the sword in a strong air blast, to hardening in oil and even water !
    -I've restored several wootz blades and on many you can see a hardening line like a hamon

    - flexibility is more a function of blade shape and distal taper

    wootz was a very good steel at the time... .. just by nature you have to forge it at a cooler temp, so that cuts down on grain growth ...
    -if it wasn't a great material, then why go to all the trouble ...

    I have plenty of first hand experience with both antiques and by making my own wootz steel and using it very hard

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    Posts
    6,846
    I hate replying with Quotes but for clarity I am going to do so
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Volevach View Post
    The true shame of this is that the PDF is not of higher quality, there are lovely photos of swords, I do not know if the originals are in color but if they are they must be fantastic.
    on the other hand, the author actually uses the term, and I quote 'Frankish and Viking barbarian arms.', viking is a verb, not an ethnic term. He also referances sources and recent as 1960 and a report on 'hammer welded fire arms barrels from 1962). A good deal of the sources are Russian from the 1880s as well.
    And this quote 'Notwithstanding their typical Eastern inclination towards effects, Turkish and Persian craftsmen appear to have profited from practical experience much more than their western colleagues."
    But the author goes on to say this
    "clearly shows, the craftsmen obtained an excellent welding, at the same time substantially avoiding steel decarburisation and carbon diffusion from steel to iron. This is evidently a symptom of a considerably advanced and refined technical level."


    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Volevach View Post
    Dr Feurebach speaks very clearly on the origin of names and naming conventions of types of steel but does not address any thing that has to do with quality.
    as she said in this report,
    CONCLUSIONS
    Although not a new topic for research, new multidisciplinary research on crucible “Damascus” steel is shedding light
    on the history of this special material. While most studies have
    concentrated on the scientific aspects associated with the pattern or performance of the blade, a broader study of the cultures which produced, traded and used this steel is yielding
    new information. The evidence is imploring us to rethink the
    history of crucible “Damascus” steel, who produced it, and
    what it meant to the warrior whose life depended upon it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Volevach View Post
    M. Sache, Damascus Steel, Myth, History, Technology Applications (Düsseldorf, Germany: Stahleisen, 1994) http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom...even-9809.html
    The one of Maeder was just a quick reference and by no means my main source. And I hope any of these sources or authors listed above do not have any troubles with peer reviews
    As to the this, he seems to argue here that these are high quality blades, that they were in fact not average. His own words "The smiths that produced the high-quality blades would most likely have kept the process for making these blades a closely guarded secret to be passed on only to their apprentices. The smiths would be able to teach the apprentices the second and third points listed, but point one is something they would not have known. There is no difference in physical appearance between an ingot with the proper minor elements present and one without. Suppose that during several generations all of the ingots from India were coming from an ore body with the proper amount of minor elements present, and blades with good patterns were being produced. Then, after a few centuries, the ore source may have been exhausted or become inaccessible to the smithing community; therefore, the technique no longer worked. With time, the smiths who knew about the technique died out without passing it on to their apprentices (since it no longer worked), so even if a similar source was later found, the knowledge was no longer around to exploit it. The possible validity of this theory could be examined if data were available on the level of carbide-forming elements in the various ore deposits in India used to produce wootz steel."



    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Volevach View Post
    How we have to distinguish carefully. Superior "in some way" and "overall superiority", as claimed by popular wisdom, are not the same! What we know for sure is
    1. non-quenched Wootz was not harder than properly heat treated european blades, and
    2. Wootz blades were not more flexible as european blades.
    Edge retention, toughness or wear resistance are something we didn't discussed at all, and I am pretty well aware of the fact that quality Wootz with its 1,5% carbon will give great performance, superior to any 0,6% carbon steel in terms of wear resistance and edge retention.
    any not quenched, and we should use the term tempered or heat treated blade is you say 'a properly heat treated European blade'. We did not discuss edge retention, toughness and wear resistance. The bulk of my wootz blades have a good edge, little signs of 'wear'. I am not going to test their resistance to abuse, I am not going to do that with a 200 to 500 and in two of them perhaps a good deal older than 500 years old sword.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Volevach View Post
    Unfortunately, I am not a collector and not a blacksmith, so I simply lack of genuine Wootz blades which I could put to the test. So I do rely on information from sources and forumites involved in working with Wootz (Ric Furrer, for ex.) Thanks for links, BTW!
    On this note, I own 8 to 12 wootz blades, that might seem odd but the pattern on some of them is questionable, I have not taken the time to restore them, polish and etch out the pattern that may be there. I can tell you that on the blades that are positively wootz they are 'as is' from when I bought them over the last 10 to 11 years. Two of them are very sharp, one of them impressively sharp.

    I do not think this is a flamewar, I have been snarky which may be out of place in honest debate. As for Scotts, he is a good author but quoting or alluding to him in a discussion that covers a wide variety of disciplines, arts and sciences is like quoting Robert Louis Stevenson on the historical facts of "buccaneers and buried gold".

    I use the term 'Icepick' as a sort of floating tag line at the end of posts. When I said
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    Icepick: I fall under the "all general statements are false" camp (My favorite Oxymoron)
    you spoke of
    1). Damascus steel superiority.
    I think we have to be careful with the term Damascus, but....
    we have shown your three points that wootz does have hardness, sharpness and flexibility, that in most ways was better than the steel or iron swords of Europe of that time
    Any one on the forum that knows both swords and armor will agree than no historical or historical made sword in a hack or slice is going to cut armor like butter.
    Sharpness, while my wootz swords are sharp, they are not razors. However Japanese swords were thrown in to the mix. I have perhaps 10 Japanese blades, once of them when I bought it was described to me as 'scary sharp', when I received the blade the degree it was taken to was incredible. It is sharp to the point that I leave it in a corner of the bedroom in its bag tied up. Any one is welcome to handle any sword in my house. A cut or accident with most will be a matter of gauze, a cut with the katana in question will be a matter of emergency room trips and reconstructive surgery. Its not a supposition, once when taking another Japanese sword to a dealer I dropped my keys, when i bent over the blade slid from the saya, i missed the tsuka and ended up with my hand on the blade and a cut to the bone. That is a Japanese sword not wootz but still, blades sharp enough to give a rational person pause.
    you spoke of flexibility, The video i posted showed a very flexible sword, on that note, that looked like a pretty 'average middle eastern sword' to me. I say that because of this


    Six of mine, all pretty average, well in my own argument, as average as a wootz blade is
    Whats a Sword thread with out 'sword pornography'

    the three shief in this picture, the two under the daul and the one on the Qum are not average at all. you could carve a steak with them or fish.

    Richard as King would have the best in gear, but what about the average knight? Well he would have an average sword. Knights paying 'a ton' of gold, probably not, but paying good gold for good steel, yeah, I pay pretty good money for my antiques, I also pay very good money for personal gear that I use in my profession even though the Military provides all the gear I need.

    I still stand by my statement of the average wootz sword of the Crusade period , wootz not the generic term 'damascus' was of better quality than the average European sword.

    I am going to address the lack of period examples of wootz blades later, (I am cooking lamb for diner and have to cut this short) but in short, wootz is green, it was recycled. As were most things of the Crusades.

  14. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    Posts
    6,846
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg T. Obach View Post
    Hi David

    I'm sorry aswell for my poor behavior .. I should voiced myself in a pm ... thank you and all is well

    with'in that film, i produced an ingot of wootz steel... forged it out to barstock.. and then produced a sword with it... from which they later tested it on tatami mats, water bottles, couple pieces of foot thick meat, several silk scarf's etc
    - it was basically going to be a cooking show on how to make wootz.... but on the editing room floor, much of the decent content was stripped
    - the fellow doing the cutting was David Cvet ... and i was pleasantly surprised how well he could work a curved sword... even though he was trained in western style martial art, he could apply many techniques with a curved sabre.. it was a shame that much of that aspect of the film was also edited out

    it is playing on discovery channel canada HD ... so it hasn't been seen out of country

    sorry to be so thin skinned on the matter

    Greg
    Is there a longer video we could see on line, I would love to see the forge process and shaping of the blade. I have seen stills of your work in progress before.

    For my part I should not have joked in what is an academic discussion, it was inappropriate

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    we have shown your three points that wootz does have hardness, sharpness and flexibility, that in most ways was better than the steel or iron swords of Europe of that time
    ...
    I still stand by my statement of the average wootz sword of the Crusade period , wootz not the generic term 'damascus' was of better quality than the average European sword.
    I agree that Wootz was harder and tougher than european iron swords, but steel? According to A. Williams' "The Knight and the Blast Furnace" as well as his numerous papers, a great part of medieval swords were rather "steely iron" with hardness around 200-300HV and carbon content at 0,2-0,4%. But at the same time there are steel swords found with 0,6-0,8%C and hardness up to 630HV, which are obviously harder and more flexible, considering the applied heat treatment.

    Carlo MAPELLI, Walter NICODEMI and Riccardo F. RIVA: Microstructural Investigation on a Medieval Sword Produced in 12th Century A.D. ISIJ International, Vol. 47 (2007), No. 7, pp. 1050–1057
    This source has a nice piece of 12th century sword, made of high carbon steel (0.8–0.75%C) and having a laminated structure. Considering the fact that most early and high Medieval blades were considerably softer near crossguard and much harder at the point I would say the steel of this piece is fully capable of being harder, tougher and more flexible than a average Wootz blade.

    While I agree with you in terms of iron swords, analysis of quality steel blades of Europe done by A. Williams, J.Lang and H. Westphal (mainly seaxes) does not indicate any inferiority of european steel swords compared to Wootz. Keep in mind that Muslim sources exist (al-Kindi, al-Biruni, Nasir ad-Din ad-Tusi) which are in favor of Frankish steel.
    Last edited by Greg Volevach; 06-11-2012 at 05:49 AM.

  16. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    kuwait
    Posts
    201
    I believe this is getting all over the place.

    Agree with Greg that the valid comparison should be between 'European' steel and wootz steel. But then again there were grades in both European steel and wootz steel which makes a research abit difficult. Not every genuine wootz blade is top quality and I think it depends alot about the blacksmith making the blade. Same for European blades also (maybe up to regulation blades?).

    "al-Biruni even mentioned that "Oriental steel cannot withstand the cold of their [european] winters"..."

    This quotation is abit fishy to me because of the term "Oriental steel" sadly I do not have access to an Arabic source about the quote. Anyways it still leaves room for interpretation if keeping in mind that wootz steel is not the only steel in use at that time and after and it is most likely too expensive to be used for kitting an army.

    The Quote by AlTusi seem to suggest that 'frankish' (most likely used the term Frinji/Fringi which could mean any European blade) steel is good quality without offering a comparison to wootz.

    I still agree on alot, that the european blades are of good quality and their reputation was very well kept through out the ages up to the 20th century. But so is wootz.

  17. #67
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    1,983
    There are plenty of ways to make a good sword and one isn't better than another. A high quality wootz blade would not have any properties that were better than a high quality european blade. Same with Japanese blades, and La Tene blades, and blades from every other sword-making culture. Our natural bias is hard to overcome. Something is crap because it is "foreign" or the same object is super bad-ass because it is "exotic".
    Last edited by Dan Howard; 06-11-2012 at 07:02 AM.

  18. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    kuwait
    Posts
    201
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
    There are plenty of ways to make a good sword and one isn't better than another. A high quality wootz blade would not have any properties that were better than a high quality european blade. Same with Japanese blades, and La Tene blades, and blades from every other sword-making culture. Our natural bias is hard to overcome. Something is crap because it is "foreign" or the same object is super bad-ass because it is "exotic".
    Well said, Thank you my good Sir

  19. #69

    I wish I had a micrscope

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
    I was under the impression that wootz blades made good cutters because uneven wear along the edge (pearlite wears faster than carbide) causes micro-serrations.
    If that was true, then shaving razors would work better as they got worn out. I saw up-close photos of used shaving razors once; they are all serrated and torn. I always thought that the point of serration on a knife, as for cooking, was to make a utility edge that was safe. Anecdotal evidence and personal opinion here, obviously

    As for wootz, I always thought it was just a particular way to knead the metal to work out impurities and air pockets. It has little to do with what specification the source metal is. You could probably knead over layers of scrap metal and make it look like wootz, or you could do it with L6 tool steel and 5160 (yowza). It is like, arguing about what manner and pattern the cement mix was stirred in. Not critical, IMHO. Looks purdy though.
    Last edited by N.R. Maider; 06-11-2012 at 09:38 AM.

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    kuwait
    Posts
    201
    Hey G.T Obach,

    By hamon like feature in Shamshirs, do you mean something like the pictures included?
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    Posts
    6,846
    We are getting all over the place on this one.

  22. #72
    Besides the paper in my post #65 Here's an another interesting and I think well known source:
    http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/inde...wnload/146/146
    Sword No. 2 is placed exactly in lifetime of Richard and Saladin. Carbon content is not listed, but the hardness of the edge measures impressive 650HV, having only 200HV in its iron core.

    In THIS POST Ric Furrer shares his research, and states there are few Wootz blades as hard as 500HV, he also confirms that "steely iron" coming from bloomeries was indeed softer than average Wootz. Compared to a great deal of european blades of lower or average quality Wootz seems to be indeed a better alternative.

    Interestingly, at the height of Oriental arms popularity in 17-18th centuries, swords were produced in Europe which were hardly softer or less resilient than Wootz:
    http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/inde...wnload/141/141
    Usual hardness seem to be consistently around 400-500HV, which is even harder than average Wootz hardness given by Verhoeven and Furrer. My guess is that hardness and flexibility were not the decisive favorable key feature of Wootz at these days. There must be something else...

    My state of knowledge is; average Wootz was rather superior to most european iron blades at 11-14th century, but not to quality steel swords of the same period. The idea that "any european blade" was inferior is not confirmed by sources and research. And I am completely fine with the idea that some 250HV lower quality case-carburized european blades were not as good as Oriental blades made of Wootz or any other crucible steel. But BEST Wootz and BEST european steel blades were apparently equal in their performance.


    Greg

    EDIT:
    I finally found the one article which back in time started my interest in Damascus Steel Myth:
    http://www.bronksknifeworks.com/historical.htm
    There is a general myth in some of the popular literature that genuine Damascus steel blades possess outstanding mechanical properties, often thought superior to modern steels. This idea was shown to be incorrect as long ago as 1924. A famous Swiss collector, Henri Moser, donated 4 genuine Damascus steel swords, one with a non typical carbon content and microstructure, to B. Zschokke, who performed extensive careful experiments including metallographic and chemical analysis in addition to mechanical testing. A series of bending tests compared samples from the swords to a pattern welded blade and a cast blade from the famous German knife center in Solingen. The 3 good Damascus blades showed significantly inferior bending deflection prior to breakage than the 2 Solingen blades in spite of the fact that the Brinell hardness of the 3 ranged from only 193 to 248, compared to 347 and 463 for the pattern welded and cast Solingen blade, respectively. This is not too surprising in view of the now well known fact that toughness of high carbon steels is inherently low; the Solingen blades had carbon levels of 0.5 to 0.6% compared to 1.3 to 1.9% for the 3 Damascus blades. The reputation of Damascus steel blades being superior to European blades was probably established prior to the 17th century when European blades were still being made by forge welding of carburized iron. It is hard to avoid embrittlement of such blades due to imperfect welding during the forging process as well as difficulty with the carburizing process.
    Last edited by Greg Volevach; 06-11-2012 at 01:33 PM.

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,163

  24. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,163

  25. #75
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    1,983
    Quote Originally Posted by N.R. Maider View Post
    If that was true, then shaving razors would work better as they got worn out. .
    How is that relevant? You don't slice with a razor when shaving. The edge on a dull razor doesn't resemble the edge of a wootz blade. The shape of a razor is not the same shape as a sword. Would be better to compare a wootz blade and a homogenous steel blade of the same type with an edge of the same hardness and see if there is any difference in performance.
    Last edited by Dan Howard; 06-12-2012 at 12:09 AM.

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •