Laminated steel blade
A laminated steel blade or piled steel is a
Piled steel developed out of the necessarily complex process of making blades that were both hard and tough from the erratic and unsuitable output from early iron smelting in
Iron is too soft to make a good cutting edge; a good edge requires the addition of
Blending a number of different pieces of iron and steel together averaged out the properties, ensuring that one bad piece would not produce a total failure of the finished product. This laminating different alloys together produces patterns that, with proper treatment, can be seen in the surface of the finished blade, and this forms the basis for pattern welding.
Other uses of laminated steel
Since producing high carbon steel from wrought iron was very difficult, careful lamination of different alloys also served to conserve this difficult-to-make steel by using it only for the parts of the blades where it was needed. Many swords were made with the minimum possible amount of high carbon steel along the cutting edge, with the rest of the blade being made of low carbon steel or wrought iron. A thin strip of high carbon steel could be
Many laminated steel blades, particularly those of the
Modern use of laminate steel
Modern laminated steel is still found in specialty knives and cutting tools, constructed of multiple alloys of steel to provide specific properties at different areas of the blade. Pattern welding is common in hand-made knives, where the primary goal is to provide a visually striking pattern in the final etched blade.
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