Steel weapons

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,160
Sydney
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From what I know , the Chinese blast furnace produced cast iron , which had to be reworked
Mattew mentionned it higher up
cast iron is very hard but brittle and totally unsuitable for making edged weapons and virtually impossible to work with once cast
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,667
Florania
Do stainless steel weapons have any edges over carbon steel weapons?
Soldiers still carry knives for close counter conflicts, if they should occur.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,882
Australia
This is what happens when you make swords from stainless steel

 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
To my comprhension can u make a small list of evolution of those weapons with the cultures that used?
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,667
Florania
This is what happens when you make swords from stainless steel

Stainless steel makes relatively good knives but bad swords; if you want decorative, you can go ceramic today.
Will titanium alloy make good sword?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,160
Sydney
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Stainless steel doesn't carry an edge very well , this is usually called edge retention

some would point out that a sharp edge in a sword is childish
swinging four kilos of four feet long flat bit of steel will get some real damage anyway
especially as protection against cuts is the easier of all


the traditional view is that the Hittite started the ball rolling
That was the end of the age of heroes , war became democratic
Iron weapons are power to the people
it was the first millennia BC equivalent to gunpowder weapons
If you didn't get it you were toast

bronze is very a expensive composite of hard to get elements , Copper is rare and Zinc really rare
if the Phoenician went to Britain to get it , it's because it was very valuable

Iron ore is very common , it just require a lot of manpower to collect and a lot of manpower to get the wood for fuel ,any smallish tribe had plenty of those

once someone work Iron , steel is the natural result
there is no clear barrier between iron and steel , it's all in the working
the best and smartest smiths would always end up making steel if asked
.......the warrior class would be asking

the result was large armies of peasants with crappy spear points , warriors with good swords and kings with armor
the Egyptian army was using copper and even stone points until quite late
Julius Caesar mention the bad quality of the Gauls swords and the scarcity of Iron in Germany

it was very expensive in manpower and time but the result was well worth it
it made a big difference in battle if one sword doesn't break or bend
there also was the element of prestige ...mine is better than yours

it also is a moral pump up to hold a legendary item imbued with an aura of victory
taking a sword from a vanquished enemy was it !
a famous enemy would carry a famous sword , it was suitable as a high value gift or as an heirloom
often the prime symbol of a family nobility
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,882
Australia
Stainless steel holds an edge very well. Chefs all over the world use stainless steel knives. Surgeons all over the world use stainless steel scalpels. Stainless steel doesn't make good swords because it is too brittle. With knives, you can get away with it because they are a lot shorter - there is less mechanical stress when they are banged around.

There is no zinc in bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and zinc make an alloy called "brass" and the Romans were probably the first to use it (a thousand years after the Bronze Age was over).

Iron was found all over the place - even in Germany (Solingen steel has been well regarded for two thousand years); that's why it replaced bronze. Iron was cheaper and more plentiful. Bronze weapons and armour were just as good or even better than ferrous ones until they learned the intricacies of the relationship between carbon content and quench hardening. Any text by Tylecote will give you plenty of data about the mechanical properties of ancient ferrous blades compared to bronze ones.

Titanium is no better than stainless steel for sword making. It is a little better for armour, but properly quench-hardened steel is still the best material for making swords and armour. Every type of steel has its own recipe for tempering and quench-hardening it. To get the best performance from the steel you have to use the precise temperatures and timing recommended for that alloy. It is very hard to do without modern technology. With more primitive technology it requires a lifetime of experience for a smith to do it well.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,667
Florania
Stainless steel holds an edge very well. Chefs all over the world use stainless steel knives. Surgeons all over the world use stainless steel scalpels. Stainless steel doesn't make good swords because it is too brittle. With knives, you can get away with it because they are a lot shorter - there is less mechanical stress when they are banged around.

There is no zinc in bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and zinc make an alloy called "brass" and the Romans were probably the first to use it (a thousand years after the Bronze Age was over).

Iron was found all over the place - even in Germany (Solingen steel has been well regarded for two thousand years); that's why it replaced bronze. Iron was cheaper and more plentiful. Bronze weapons and armour were just as good or even better than ferrous ones until they learned the intricacies of the relationship between carbon content and quench hardening. Any text by Tylecote will give you plenty of data about the mechanical properties of ancient ferrous blades compared to bronze ones.

Titanium is no better than stainless steel for sword making. It is a little better for armour, but properly quench-hardened steel is still the best material for making swords and armour. Every type of steel has its own recipe for tempering and quench-hardening it. To get the best performance from the steel you have to use the precise temperatures and timing recommended for that alloy. It is very hard to do without modern technology. With more primitive technology it requires a lifetime of experience for a smith to do it well.
Currently, ceramic (zirconium dioxide) is the new material for knives and it holds its edge even better than stainless steel.
Don't be fooled by "never sharpening"; even ceramic knives get dull, and they need very, very special tools to sharpen.
I have a santoku knife that is super light, and I sharpen it with this once in a while:







These little tools will be too small for swords anyway.
If a sword is built like a santoku knife, will it work?
 

HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,536
.
From what I know , the Chinese blast furnace produced cast iron , which had to be reworked
Mattew mentionned it higher up
cast iron is very hard but brittle and totally unsuitable for making edged weapons and virtually impossible to work with once cast
All blast furnaces produce pig iron, and pretty much all pig iron is re-worked to whatever iron you want it to be, as pig iron isn't really good iron as a finished product.




From Sarah Taylor, Early Chinese Iron Technology: Some Social And Historical Implications


Malleable cast iron is processed cast iron with its brittleness taken off.
 
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