Hardenable metals for blades

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Color of bullets indicates it is listed/sold by:
- Admiral STEEL
- K & G Finishing Supplies
- Jantz Supply
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply
ThunderforgedŽ Damascus
Owl  Click on pictures, listed suppliers

Purple ball bullet  AEBL

Seems to be about the same as 440-B. Extremely easy to grind, heat treats like 440-C. Very easy to buff and polish, but is reported to have 'several quirky' habits in grinding that makes it difficult to use on larger or thicker knives. Very good choice for miniatures, kitchen knives etc. It does not hold edge very good, but is easier to sharpen with a honing steel.

Listed in the catalog of:
supplier not known to me at this time

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Owl

Purple ball bullet  AISI A-2, A-2 FM

Color marking
A-2: Ends with Red stripe, and White and Red stripe full length.
A-2 FM: Ends White and gold, with White and Gold stripe full length.

This is anAir Hardening steel containing 5% Chromium. It is deeper hardening an more wear-resistant than AISI O-1, and holds a keener cutting edge. It is more readily machined than high carbon, high chromium grades. Where even greater machinability is desired, A-2 FM should be specified.
Its outstanding toughness makes it a frequent choice for combat knives.
Used by Chris Reeve and Phil Hartsfield, Blackjack made a few models from A-2.
Typical Analysis

CarbonManganeseChromium MolybdenumVanadium
1 0.60 5.25 1.10 0.25


Applications
Gauges, forming rolls, hog knives, thread rollers, bending dies, cold blanking dies, coining dies, cold trimming dies, punches etc.
Forging
Preheat to 1250 degrees F. Than heat to between 2000 - 2050 degrees F. Do not forge below 1700 degrees F. Cool slowly by burying in ashes, lime or other retardant material.
Annealing
It is advisable to pack anneal to prevent decarburization. Heat slowly to 1850 degrees F and hold for 2 hrs per inch of greatest thickness. Cool at the rate of 20 degrees F per hr to 1150 degrees F, than reheat to 1350 degrees F and hold for 3 hrs per inch of greatest thickness. Cool at rate of 20 degrees F per hr to 1100 degrees F than cool in air.
Average Brinell hardness - 212.
Hardening
It is advisable to protect steel with some inert material packed in containers or to heat in a well-regulated atmosphere-controlled furnace to prevent decarburization. Preheat at 1200 degrees F and soak. Then heat to 1750 - 1800 degrees F and hold for 1 hr per inch of greatest thickness. Cool in air to approximately 150 degrees F, than temper immediately.
Average Rockwell "C" hardness - 64.
Tempering
The service requirements of the tool or die determine to a large degree the tempering temperature to be used. For most applications, temper between 350 - 400 degrees F and hold for 1 hr per inch of greatest thickness.
Average Rockwell "C" hardness - 61.
Available hot rolled or precision ground.

1/16"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6"
3/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
1/8"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
5/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12" 14" 15"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
3/16"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
1/4"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2" 2"
5/16"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2"
LengthSheffield's 
Knifemakers SupplyJantz Supply 18" amp; Sheffield's Knifemakers 
Supply 36"


Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- Jantz Supply
- Admiral STEEL


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Owl

Purple ball bullet  AISI D-2 (AIRDIŽ 150) TOOL STEEL

Typical Analysis

CarbonChromiumVanadium ManganeseMolybdenumSilicon
D-2 1.55% 11.50% 0.90% 0.35% 0.80% 0.45%
154-CM 1.03% 13.75% 0% 0.25% 3.50% 0.41%

D-2 for Planer Blades

Carbon +Chromium +Vanadium + + Nickel+ TungstenAll others
1.67% 12.27% 1.13% 0.27% 0.25% same


AIRDIŽ 150 is the outstanding high Carbon, high Chromium tool steel for general use.
The most important characteristic of this air hardening die steel is its resistance to abrasion.
The change of size during hardening is negligible. AIRDIŽ 150 may also be hardened in oil from slightly lower hardening temperature than when air cooled, but the movement in hardening is slightly greater when oil quenched.
"D" series steels are classed as Cold Work Tool Steels, high Carbon high Chromium type.
Not all are the same. Some have more Carbon or Molybdenum, some have Cobalt or Nickel and Tungsten, some left out Silicon.

Applications
Blanking, drawing, forming, coining, lamination, thread rolling and trimming dies, burnishing tools, gauges, lathe centers, punches.
Forging
Heat slowly and uniformly to 2000 - 2100 degrees F. Do not forge below 1700 degrees F. Reheat if necessary. Cool slowly from the forging temperature in furnace, ashes or lime. Critical temperature 1490 degrees F. Annealing
AIRDIŽ 159 should always be annealed after forging and before re hardening.
Heat uniformly to 1100 - 1850 degrees F, hold at temperature for 2 hrs and cool slowly in the furnace at a maximum rate of 50 degrees F per hour below 1200 degrees F, than air cool.
For cycle annealing, heat to 1100 -1850 degrees F, hold at temperature for 2 hrs, cool to 1450 degrees F and hold at this temperature for 4 - 6 hrs. It is very important that actual temperatures of the steel be maintained instead of just furnace temperatures; otherwise unsatisfactory results may be obtained. The steel may than be cooled in air if required.
Cycle ( isothermal) annealing is most practical for applications in which full advantage may be taken of the rapid cooling to the transformation temperature, and from this temperature down to room temperature. Thus, for small parts which can be handled in salt or lead baths, or light loads in batch type furnaces, cycle annealing makes possible large time savings as compared with conventional slow furnace cooling. The method offers no particular advantage for applications such as bath annealing of large furnace loads in which the rate of cooling to the center of load may be so slow as to preclude any rapid cooling to the transformation temperatures. For such applications, the conventional full annealing method usually offers a better assurance of obtaining the desired microstructure and properties.
Hardening
Equalize at preheating temperature of 1450 - 1500 degrees F, than raise temperature to 1825 - 1875 degrees F, soak, and cool in air.
This hardening temperature is critical, overheated blade will not get as hard as it should.
It requires a 20 minutes of soaking time at the hardening temperature prior to air cooling.
In order to prevent any possibility of recarburization, it is desirable to use a controlled atmosphere furnace. When this is not available, pack hardening is recommended. Wrap parts in paper and pack in a container with an inert material such as clean dry cast iron chips or 6 - 8 mesh size spent pitch coke. Tools also may be wrapped in stainless steel foil to prevent contamination.
The interrupted oil quench may be used on large sections, or certain parts which require a very fine surface after hardening and on which the slight scaling caused during the air cooling from the hardening temperature may be objectionable. If this interrupted quench method is used, quench from 1800 degrees F in oil, but remove from the oil when parts have reached approximately 1000 - 1100 degrees F (dull Red) and allow to cool from this temperature in air until below 150 degrees F or to a temperature at which the tool may be comfortably held in bare hands. Which this method slightly greater distortion in hardening may be expected.
Tempering
AIRDIŽ 150 should be tempered as soon as the parts are cool enough to handle in bare hands.
The usual temperature employed is 400 - 98% degrees F, but this may be varied to suit the needs. Tempering time should be 3 - 5 hours. Sections over 3" should be tempered a minimum of 1 hr per inch. Double tempering is recommended.

Hardness table
Tempering
Degrees FAs hardened40050098% 7008009001000
Hardness(Rc)62-6460-6259-61 58-6057-5957-5957-5954-56

Available hot rolled or precision ground.
The disadvantage of working with D-2 is that it does not polish to mirror finish well. It develops a distinct orange-peel texture when overworked on soft buffing wheels.

Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- K & G Finishing Supplies
- Jantz Supply
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply
- Admiral STEEL


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Owl

Purple ball bullet  AISI O-1, O-2

Color Marking
O-1: Ends Aluminum, and Aluminum stripe full length.
O-2: Ends Yellow and Pink, with Yellow and Pink stripe full length.


O-1 and O-2 are the most widely used general purpose oil hardening tool and die steels. They are used where it is desirable to maintain minimum distortion and dimensional change, and at the same time have a good combination of hardness and toughness. Machining characteristics of these grades are very good.
O-1 steel very popular with forgers as is easy to work with, and relatively cheap to buy. It takes and holds an edge superbly, and is very tough, but rusts easily.
Used by Randall Knives.

Typical Analysis

CarbonManganeseChromium TungstenVanadium
O-1 0.90 1.20 0.50 0.50 0.20
O-2 0.90 1.60 0 0 0


Applications
Broaches, drill bushings, hobs, knurling tools, reamers, taps, cold forming and bending dies, master tools, forming rolls, master dies and gauges, drawing dies, punches, trimming dies, coining dies, plastic molds, rubber molds etc.
Forging - Heat to between 1850 and 1950 degrees F. Do not forge below 1500 degrees F. Cool slowly by burying in lime, ashes or some other retardant material.
Annealing - It is advisable to pack anneal to prevent decarburization. Heat slowly to 1400 - 1450 degrees F for O-1 and 1375 - 1425 degrees F for O-2. Hold at temperature for at least 1.5 hours per inch of greatest thickness. Furnace cool at rate of 20 degrees F per hour to 900 degrees F, than air cool.
Average Brinell Hardness - 202.
Hardening - It is advisable to protect steel with some inert material packed in containers or to heat in a well-regulated atmosphere-controlled furnace to prevent decarburization. On large parts, preheating at approximately 1200 degrees F and through soaking is recommended before raising to quenching temperature at least 1/2 hr per inch of greatest thickness. Quench in oil to 150 - 200 degrees F and temper immediately.
Average Rockwell "C" hardness, 65.
Tempering - The tempering temperature generally employed may vary from 300 - 450 degrees F, depending on size and properties required. For all general purposes, tempering at 350 degrees F is satisfactory. In no case should the temperature of 450 degrees F be exceeded because brittleness may be encountered in the range of 450 -600 degrees F. Small tools should be held at the tempering temperature for at least 1 hr per inch of greatest thickness, and large tools for 2 hrs per inch. If exceptionally low temperatures, such as 212 - 300 degrees F are used, these holding times should be doubled.
Average Rockwell "C" hardness at 350 F = 63, at 450 F = 61.
Available hot rolled or precision ground.

PG 1/64"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4"
PG 1/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6"
PG 3/64"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6"
PG 1/16"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 8" 10"
PG 5/64"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4"
PG 3/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 8" 10"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
K & G Finishing Supplies 3/4" 1" 1-1/2"
PG 7/64"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6"
Jantz Supply 1"
PG 1/8"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 3-1/2" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12" 14"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
K & G Finishing Supplies 1" 1-1/2" 2"
PG 9/64"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 9/64" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4"
PG 5/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 5/32" 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8"
Jantz Supply 1-1/2"
PG 3/16"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 3/16" 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2"
K & G Finishing Supplies 1" 1-1/2" 2"
PG 7/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8"
PG 1/4"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 10" 12" 14"
Jantz Supply 1" 1-1/2" 2"
K & G Finishing Supplies 1-1/2" 2" 3"
PG 9/32"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 9/32" 1/2" 3/4" 1" 1-1/4" 1-1/2" 1-3/4" 2" 2-1/2" 3" 4" 5" 6"
PG 5/16"Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 5/16" 3/8" 1/2" 5/8" 3/4" 1"
LengthSheffield's 
Knifemakers SupplyJantz Supply 18" amp; Sheffield's Knifemakers 
Supply 36"
HOT ROLLED Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" x 1" - 1/8" x 1-1/2" - 5/32" x 1-1/2"


Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- Jantz Supply
- K & G Finishing Supplies
- Admiral STEEL


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Owl

Purple ball bullet  AISI O-6 (GRAPH-MO TOOL STEEL)

Color Marking
Ends painted Aluminum, with Black stripe.

This is an oil hardening, non deforming tool and die steel with remarkable machining properties. Because the graphite retains the lubricant, it possesses excellent non-sizing properties. It also has good resistance to wear and abrasion.

Typical Analysis

Carbon
1.45
Manganese
1.00
Silicon
1.25
Molybdenum
0.25



Applications
Blanking dies and punches, master gauges, hobs for non retaining dies, spinning tools, drill bushings, thread gauges, air hammer pistons, shear blades, rubber slitting rolls, brick mold liners, taps and reamers for non-ferrous metals where the sizing has been encountered.
Forging
Preheat slowly to 1500 degrees F. Soak well and heat slowly to 1959 degrees F maximum. Soak till steel is uniformly heated, than proceed with forging. Do not forge below 1500 degrees F. Cool in air.
Normalizing
Heat slowly to 1100 degrees F and hold at this temperature until all parts of the furnace charge are soaked through. Remove from furnace and cool in air.
Annealing
Heat to 1450 degrees F and soak out. Cool at the rate of 20 degrees F per hour to 1100 degrees F and remove from the furnace. To rework hardened Graph-Mo, anneal to 1300 degrees F.
Graph-Mo contains about 0.40% graphite after annealing.
Average Brinell hardness - 207.
Hardening
For average conditions the following temperatures should be used on cross sections:
Up to 1/2" - heat to 1450 degrees F.
1/2" - 2" - heat to 1475 degrees F.
2" and up - heat to 1500 degrees F.
Do not exceed 1500 degrees F for maximum results.
Sections should be thoroughly equalized prior to quenching into a well agitated 100 - 140 degrees F oil bath. Allow the parts to completely reach the quenching medium temperature before removing to temper.
Tempering
The service requirements of the tool or die determine to a large degree the tempering temperature to be used. For most applications, temper between 300 - 500 degrees F and hold for 1 hr per inch of greatest thickness.
Available hot rolled or precision ground.

Listed in the catalog of:



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Owl

Purple ball bullet  ATS-34 and ATS-55 STAINLESS STEEL

Not widely known Japanese alloy, ATS-55 is similar to ATS-34, but with the Molybdenum content reduced and new elements added.
It looks like the intent was to get ATS-34 edge-holding with increased toughness. Since Molybdenum is an expensive element useful for high-speed steels, and knife blades do not need to be high speed, using much less Moly hopefully decreases the price of the steel and at the same time retaining ATS-34 performance.
It is used by Spyderco.
ATS-34, a Hitachi product, is considered to be the ultimate, all around knife steel. It is the Japanese version of 154 CM and, comparing the alloy content, these two steels are interchangeable.
154 CM was developed by Crucible Metals as a high temperature alloy for use in fan-jet engines. 700 degrees F would not soften it and has enough Chromium to make it stainless in normal use.

Normally hardened to around 60 Rc, it holds an edge very well and is tough enough even at that high hardness. Not quite as rust resistant as the 400 series stainless.
Used by many custom makers, Spyderco (in their high-end knives) and Benchmade

Color coding
Color code on the end of the ATS-34 bars is Red.


Typical Analysis

CarbonSiliconManganese PhosphorusSulfurChr MolyCopperCobalt
ATS-34 1.03% 0.25% 0.41% 0.026% 0.001%13.74%3.56%--
ATS-55 1.00% 0.35% 0.50% 0.03% 0.002%14.00%0.60%0.200.40
440-C 1.04% 0.74% 0.36% 0.003% 0.003%16.92% 0.46%--
154-CM 1.05% 0.30% 0.50% 0.030% 0.030%14.00%4.00%--


Heat treating:(as done by Paul Bos)
AST-34 is a secondary hardening steel. That means it gets harder with the freezing and tempering, usually gaining 2 -3 Rc points.
Heat to 1975 degrees F and soak for 40 minutes. Quench in Argon or rapid quench in air, straighten as necessary before freezing to 120 degrees F, than freeze to below 220 degrees F for 6 - 8 hours to transform retained austerities.
Double temper at 950 degrees F, 2 hours for each temper. This gives a final Rc of 59 - 60.
Compared to: 440-C when tempered from 950 degrees F gets only 54 Rc.


Available hot rolled or precision ground and in the sizes used by most knife makers.

Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- K & G Finishing Supplies
- Jantz Supply
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply
- Admiral STEEL


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Owl

Purple ball bullet  AUS-4, AUS-6, AUS-8, AUS-10

Also designated 4A, 6A, 8A, 10A - are Japanese stainless steels, roughly comparable to 440A (AUS-6, .65% carbon) and 440B (AUS-8, .75% carbon) and 440C (AUS-10, 1.1% carbon).
AUS-6 is used by Al Mar. Cold Steel's use of AUS-8 has made it pretty popular, as heat treated by CS it won't hold an edge like ATS-34, but is a bit softer and may be a bit tougher.
AUS-10 has roughly the same carbon content as 440C but with slightly less chromium, so it should be a bit less rust resistant but perhaps a bit tougher than 440C. All 3 steels have some vanadium added (which the 440 series lacks), which will improve wear resistance. No Tungsten. Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese MolybdenumNickelSilicon PhosphorusSulfurVanadium
AUS-4 0.4-0.45% 13.00-14.50% 1.00% - 0.49% 0.04% 1.00% 0.03% -
AUS-6 0.55-0.65% 13.00-14.50% 1.00% - 0.49% 0.04% 1.00% 0.03% 0.10-0.25%
AUS-8 0.70-0.75% 13.00-14.50% 0.50% 0.10-0.30% 0.49% 0.04% 1.00% 0.03% 0.10-0.26%
AUS-10 0.95-1.10% 13.00-14.50% 0.50% 0.10-0.31% 0.49% 0.04% 1.00% 0.03% 0.10-0.27%


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Owl

Purple ball bullet  Sandvic 12C27 and 12C27 Modified

Scandinavian steel used often in Finish pukes and Norwegian knives.

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese PhosphorusSiliconSulfur
Sandvic 12C270.0250.40.010.0250.40.01
Sandvic 12C27 MOD0.0250.40.010.0250.40.01



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Purple ball bullet  CPM 3V, CPM 10V, CPM 420V and CPM(T)440V

CPM is a registered trademark of Crucible Materials Corp.
Information is posted with Crucible Materials Corp. permission


CPM S30V is the NEW addition from Crucible Materials Corp.
CPM S60V is a new designation for CPM 440V
CPM S90V is a new designation for CPM 420V.

CPM - Crucible Particle Metallurgy - steels are made by Crucible Specialty Metals, and are super edge holding steels.
The process used to manufacture particle metallurgy permits unusually high Carbon and Vanadium content.

About Particle Metallurgy
The traditional process uses the pressing of blended metal powders into a mold. The compacted part is then heated to just below the melting point. This is called sintering.
Sintering is similar to forge welding, since the individual particles are bonded without melting down. Parts can be produced that contain elements impossible to include in casting procedures.
Like making porous filters for gas and oil lines, sintered bronze self lubricated bearings, tungsten carbide cutting tool tips and replaceable ceramic inserts.
Crucible Specialty Metals company advanced the process of particle metallurgy in 1970 by introducing
Crucible Particle Metallurgy.
This process differs from traditional PM in that it is used to produce a large compact (billet), which is than rolled or forged in conventional mills into bars, rods, wire, sheet or plates required by the industry.
The wear resistance and strength of CPM steels are always greater than of the steels made by conventional methods. The fine grain size and even distribution of the alloy elements are the key.
Spyderco offers at least one model in CPM T440V

Comparison of CPM versus 440-C and 154CM Stainless:

CarbonManganeseSilicon ChromiumMolybdenumVanadium
440 C 1.20 1.00 1.00 18.00 0.75 0.00
154 CM 1.02 0.60 0.25 14.00 4.00 0.00
CPM 3V 0.80 0.50 0.90 5.23 1.30 9.75
CPM 10V 2.46 - - 7.50 1.30 9.75
CPM S60V (440V) 2.30 - - 14.00 1.00 9.00
CPM S90V (420V) 2.15 0.40 0.40 17.00 0.40 5.50
CPM S30V 1.45 0.40 0.40 14.00 2.00 4.00


Heat treating
Preheat at 1500 - 1550 degrees F and hold for about 1/2 hour. Transfer to furnace heated to 1950-2150 degrees F, depending on the temperature selected.
- 1,950 degrees F is recommended for maximum toughness,
- 2,150 degrees F is recommended for maximum wear resistance.
To ensure adequate solutioning of the alloy carbides and proper response to tempering, a minimum soak time of 30 minutes at temperature is recommended for hardening from 1950 degrees F, and a minimum soak time of 10 minutes at temperature for hardening from 2150 degrees F.
These times should be adjusted accordingly for large or very thin section sizes.
Air quench. Temper immediately.

Edge holding ability is said to be 2 - 3x better than 440C at 57 - 58RC.
CPM steels are easier to grind and polish than conventional stainless.

440-V available SIZES

Hot Rolled Texas Knifemaker's Supply 1/8" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 1' + and 36" long - Orange End
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 3/16" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 1' + and 36" long - Orange End
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 18" and 36" long - White End
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 5/32" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 18" and 36" long - White End
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 3/16" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 18" and 36" long - White End
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 3/16" thick x 2" wide x 18" and 36" long - White End
Precision ground Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 3/32" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 18" and 36" long - White End
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" thick x 1-1/2" wide x 18" and 36" long - White End
Sheet Texas Knifemaker's Supply 3/32" thick x 6" wide x 12" long - Orange End
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 3/32" thick x 6" wide x 24" long - Orange End
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 3/32" thick x 6" wide x 36" long - Orange End

CPM S30V - is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance.
It's chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.
S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2,
and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.
The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.

Current Data Sheets are available in HTML and PDF formats at company's web site:
http://www.crucibleservice.com/datasheets/dynamicPull.cfm?gradeName=CPM%20S30V Animated star burst bullet

Heat treatment of CPM S30V

Forging: 2100°F (1150°C) Do not forge below 1750°F (950°C).
Annealing: Heat to 1650°F (900°C), hold 2 hours, slow cool no faster than 25°F (15°C) per hour to 1100°F (595°C), then furnace cool or cool in still air to room temperature.
Annealed Hardness: About BHN 255
Stress Relieving
Annealed Parts: Heat to 1100-1300°F (595-705°C), hold 2 hours, then furnace cool or cool in still air. Hardened Parts: Heat to 25-50°F (15-30°C) below original tempering temperature, hold 2 hours, then furnace cool or cool in still air.
Straightening: Best done warm 400-800°F (200-430°C)
Hardening Preheat: Heat to 1550-1600°F (845-870°C) Equalize.
Austenitize: 1900-2000°F (1035-1095°C), hold time at temperature 15-30 minutes.
Quench: Air or positive pressure quench (2 bar minimum) to below 125°F (50°C), or salt or interrupted oil quench to about 1000°F (540°C), then air cool to below 125°F (50°C).
Temper: Double temper at 400-750°F (200-400°C). Hold for 2 hours minimum each time.
A freezing treatment - may be used between the first and second tempers. Freezing treatments help to attain maximum hardenability and must always be followed by at least one temper.

NOTE: For optimum stress relieving, CPM S30V may be tempered at 1000-1025°F (540-550°C). Tempering in this range may result in a slight decrease in corrosion resistance. Size Change: +0.05 to +0.10% when fully martensitic. The presence of retained austenite may reduce the net growth.
When tempering at 400-750°F (200-400°C), freezing treatments may be necessary to minimize retained austenite.
Note: Properties shown throughout this data sheet are typical values. Normal variations in chemistry, size and heat treat conditions may cause deviations from these values. For additional data or metallurgical assistance, please consult your local Crucible Service Center.
Recommended Heat Treatment:
Austenitize 1950°F (1065°C). Quench to below 125°F (50°C). Double temper at 600°F (315°C) 2 hrs. minimum each temper. Cool to hand warm between tempers. A freezing treatment may be added between tempers.
Aim hardness: 58-61 HRC.


Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply



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Purple ball bullet  CRUCIBLE 154 CM STAINLESS STEEL

Crucible 154 CM is hardenable Chromium steel, to which Molybdenum has been added to improve the hot-hardness characteristics. (It is also called 440 C Modified). It was developed by Crucible Metals as a high temperature alloy for use in fan-jet engines.
ATS-34 is a Japanese version of 154 CM and, comparing the alloy content, these two steels are interchangeable.

Nominal Analysis

CarbonManganesePhosphorus SulfurSiliconChromium Molybdenum.
ATS-34 1.03% 0.25% 0.029% 0.002% 0.41%13.75%3.56%
440-C 1.20% 1.00% 0.040% 0.030% 1.00%18.00% 0.75%
154-CM 1.05% 0.60% 0.030% 0.030% 0.25%14.00%4.00%


Forging
Crucible 154 CM should be forged at 1950 - 2050 degrees F, and not lower than 1750 degrees F.
Annealing It should be annealed for maximum softness by thorough soaking at 1850 degrees F for 6 hours, followed by a furnace cool. This grade can be cycle annealed by heating to 1100 degrees F, holding 2 hours, cooling to 1300 degrees F and holding for 4 hours. The steel may then be cooled in AIR if desired. A typical annealed hardness would be Brinell 235.
Brinell 235 = Rockwell "C" 22
Hardening and Tempering
Crucible 154 CM can be hardened by oil quenching from 1900 - 2000 degrees F. Refrigeration at minus 100 degrees F should be used when higher harnesses are desired.
Tempering should be at the proper austenizing temperature to give the desired approximate Rockwell "C" hardness, as indicated by the following charts:

As hardened 700 F 900 F1000 F 1050 F 1100 F 1200 F
1850 F 59 Rc 56 58 56 52 46 40
1900 F 60 Rc 56 57 58 52 48 44
1950 F 61 Rc 57 60 56 56 48 46
2000 F 61Rc 57 61 62 58 51 47
2050 F 59 Rc 54 57 55 61 53 48
2100 F 52 Rc 50 52 55 62 55 60


Hot Hardness
Rockwell hardness at elevated temperature after indicated exposure
Initial Rc hardness as quenched ............63 *
98%F .....................1hr..........................57
98%F...................1000hrs......................57
800F......................1hr...........................54
800F...................1000hrs.......................54
*2050F (20 Min.), 0 Q., 1000F (1+1+2), refrigerated between tempers.

Machineability
This steel is 10 - 20% more difficult to machine than AISI 440C. With high speed carbide tooling, the following is suggested:
Operation ............................High Speed ..................................Carbide
Turning..........................50/60fpm......0.003"/rev...............1 50fpm....0.010"/rev.
Forming.........................50/60fpm......0.001"/rev...............10 0fpm....0.0015"/rev.
Cutoff.............................50/60fpm......0.001"/rev.............. .100fpm....0.0015"/rev.
Drilling..............................40fpm.........0.002"/rev........... .......---............---

Welding and brazing
Crucible 154 CM should be welded or brazed in the annealed condition whenever possible. In the heat-treated condition, weld ability is poor and requires careful pre-heating and post-heating.
Welding or brazing by any conventional method is satisfactory. Welding rods of austenitic stainless steel are suitable for weld that do not need to be unusually hard or abrasion resistant, but a rod of comparable analysis should be used when weld is to be in critical area.
Any of the cooper-base alloys is suitable for brazing.
Silver soldering is normalcy done after the heat treatment, so temperatures that exceed the original tempering temperature should be avoided.
Available hot rolled or precision ground in large amounts or oddball sizes, it is extremely hard to find in sizes used by most knife makers.

Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- K & G Finishing Supplies
- Jantz Supply
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply


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Purple ball bullet  CRUMVEAR


No data
Color code- RED/BLUETexas 
Knifemaker's Supply 1/8" x 1-1/2" - priced per foot


Listed in the catalog of:
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply


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Purple ball bullet  L-6

This is a band saw steel that is very tough and holds an edge well, but rusts easily. It is, like O-1, easy to work with. Rusts readily without proper maintenance. Some say that this may be one of the very best steels available for cutlery, especially where toughness is desired, but my personal choice for that purpose is stainless.

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese MolybdenumNickelSilicon TungstenVanadium
L-6 0.65-0.75% 0.60-1.20% 0.25-0.80% 0.50% 1.25-2.00% 0.50% - 0.20-0.30%



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Purple ball bullet Origins of Damascus steel


as the age of iron followed the bronze age, a major discovery of the first steel alloy was made in India. How early it was discovered is still a mystery, possibly even ear;ier than 300 BC.
This alloy called Wootz was traded in the city of Damascus in Syria - the major trading center of the Orient.
It is said that the Wootz, traded in one pound ingots and was so precious it traded for equal weight in gold.
It was so precious that thin layer of Wootz was fused to a layer of plain iron bar, then to make it strong and unbreacable, it was folded to form many layers.
It became known as Damascus steel because the majority of supper quality swords were made and traded in Damascus.
They were superior to European swords in strength, edge sharpness, and cutting ability.
It is said that Damascus sword could cut a silk handkerchief thrown in the air in half, impossible feat with European blade, and still super hard to acheave today with most modern technology and craftsmanship.
Wootz small ingots - about 1 lb. each, were made by melting iron ore with charcoal in sealed clay crucibles, or crucibles with tight fitting lids.
The locak iron ore also contained other elements to further improve this steel alloy.

More reading: Wikipedia reference


Definition of Damascus steel
It is a steel with a pattern on the surface. It is also any steel that has either crystalline or mechanical structure brought out and highlighted by acid etching. Patterned steel or layered steel.

Damascus Steel Types:

Purple ball bullet CRYSTALLINE

Old Wootz
- Indian (crystalline = grain going every which way)
- Persian (laminar = grain arranged in rows or plates and stacked up vs being a regular grain structure)
Modern Wootz
- Crystals arranged in long sheets, laminar grain
- Crystals arranged in a more random pattern
Etched to bring out dendrites (tree like formation of crystals in the steel) and crystal patterns
- From bar stock
- From cast blade shape

Purple ball bullet MECHANICAL (forge or furnace welded)
Pattern Welded
- Layered where individual layers are of the same composition and have same properties throughout
- Layered where the individual layers are different in ingredients (composite bar)
- Turkish - twisted rods
- High density
Wire
- All-steel wire cables
- Steel of varying carbon contents and iron wire cables
- Made-up combinations of cables
- Streets sweeper steel brush wires
- Piano wires
- Other wire combinations
Chains
- Motorcycle
- Bicycle
- Timing
- Chain Saw

Analysis of Wootz

CarbonManganeseChromium PhosphorusSulfurCo per NickelSilicon
1.4-1.7% 0.06% trace 0.1% 0.02% 0.04% 0.03% 0.04%


Many great volumes have been written about Damascus and many knife makers are producing pattern welded steel with great success and beauty.



Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply Jantz Supply Texas Knifemaker's Supply K & G Finishing Supplies Unfinished blanks of various sizes and patterns are available from many Knifemaker's supplies.

Purple ball bullet 440-C and D2 Damascus

This Damascus steel is formed into billets and is available by the inch in the sizes listed in the table below. It is fully guaranteed against defects. Instructions for tempering and etching are available.
Raindrop
Ladder
Random
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 1/8" x 1-1/8" Billets (4" through 16")
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 1/8" x 1-1/8" Billets TWISTED (4" thrum 16")
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 1/8" x 1-1/2" Billets (4" thrum 16")
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 3/16" x 1-1/2" Billets (4" thrum 16")
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 3/16" x 1-1/2" Billets TWISTED (4" thrum 16")
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 1/48" x 2" Billets (4" thrum 16")
Texas Knifemaker's Supply 1/4" x 2" Billets TWISTED (4" thrum 16")


Purple ball bullet Tim Zowada's O1 and L6 steel billets

Random pattern Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply1/8" x 1-1/8" x 7-1/5" or 15" - Hot forged
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply3/16" x 1-1/2" x 7-1/5" or 15" - Hot forged
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply1/4" x 1-1/2" x 7-1/5" or 15" - Hot forged
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply1/4" x 2" x 7-1/5" or 15" - Hot forged


Purple ball bullet  5160 and 1018 Damascus steel billets (512 layers)

Random pattern
8" and 16"
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply3/32", 1/8", 5/32" and 3/16" x 1"
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply3/32", 1/8", 5/32" and 3/16" x 1-1/2"
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply3/32", 1/8", 5/32" and 3/16" x 2"
Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8", 5/32" and 3/16" x 4"


Purple ball bullet  Mike Norris's 'Stainless Steel Plus' - D2 / 302 SS / AEBL.

Random pattern Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" x 1" and 1-1/2" x 8", 5/32" x 1-1/2" x 8", 1/8", 3/16" and 1-1/2" x 8" and 12", 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 12"
Banded Ladder Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" x 1" and 1-1/2" x 8", 5/32" x 1-1/2" x 8", 1/8", 3/16" and 1-1/2" x 8" and 12", 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 12"
Banded Twist Sheffield's Knifemakers Supply 1/8" x 1" and 1-1/2" x 8", 5/32" x 1-1/2" x 8", 1/8", 3/16" and 1-1/2" x 8" and 12", 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 12"


Purple ball bullet 1095 and 203E (160 layers)

Random pattern Jantz Supply 1/8" x 1" x 4", 1/8" x 1-1/2" x 5" and 8", 3/16" x 1-1/2" x 5" and 8", 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 10"


Purple ball bullet Double Stainless by Devin Thomas

Ladder & Raindrop K & G Finishing Supplies 1/8" x 1", 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 1/4" x 1-1/4"
K & G Finishing Supplies 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 1/4" x 1-1/2", 1/4" x 2"
Double Stainless Ladder


Purple ball bullet 1095 and Nickel (High contrast Carbon)

Serpentine Ladder
Raindrop & Twist
K & G Finishing Supplies 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 1/4" x 1-1/4"
K & G Finishing Supplies 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 1/4" x 1-1/2", 1/4" x 2"
Hi Contrast Carbon Twist


Purple ball bullet 1084 and 15 N 20 (High Carbon)

Turkish Twist
Firestorm
K & G Finishing Supplies 1/8" x 1" or 1-1/4" or 1-1/2"
K & G Finishing Supplies 5/32" x 1" or 1-1/4" or 1-1/2"
K & G Finishing Supplies 3/16" x 1" or 1-1/4" or 1-1/2"
Turkish twist Firestorm Damascus


Purple ball bullet 1095 & 01 - ThunderforgedŽ Damascus

Twist Pattern #1 & #2 contains 88 layers
Birdseye Pattern contains 240 layers

Click on pictures to go to the web site to get the sizes and prices
   

All ThunderforgedŽ Damascus is 1095 & 01. The 01 nickel is 8%. It is reasonably soft to grind on, not hard on the equipment. This Nickel Damascus CAN be oil quenched, and you get a good high Rockwell after the blade has been heat treated..
Damascus steel, in general, has always been known as the ultimate steel to be used for knives.
Each piece of ThunderforgedŽ Damascus is different in its own way, it carries its own distinction, quality undisputed.
ThunderforgedŽ Damascus looks gorgeous once it has been etched in acid and ground into. The distinction of it boldly appears.
All of our ThunderforgedŽ Damascus is blanchard ground. Each of our patterns in ThunderforgedŽ Damascus are consistently held. Custom sizes of ThunderforgedŽ Damascus are available upon request, and wholesale inquires are welcome. Please allow for delivery time, inquire with info at uai.org

Heat Treating Instructions for ThunderforgedŽ Damascus

Step by Step

Heating the Blade
The blade should be evenly heated to a bright red/dull orange color. This should be achieved between 1,400 & 1,500 degrees F (760 & 815 degrees C). Be careful not to overheat. Quenching an overheated blade will increase the change of cracking or warping.
Another good method it to heat the blade until the magnetic properties are lost. To test that a blade is ready to quench a magnet may be used. Once there is little or no attraction between the blade and magnet the blade will have reached the proper temperature and is ready to quench.
Quenching the Blade
Quenching is performed in either light oil (we recommend olive old with clove - quenches well we find), or a standard quenching oil. Or use a brine solution (salt & water). Dissolving salt in boiling water until it no longer dissolves makes a brine solution. The brine quench will make the blade much harder as it will cool the steel much faster than the oil. The oil quench is well suited to a large blade where toughness is more needed whereas the brine quench is more suited to the small skinner and folder blades where holding an edge is important. The blade should be quenched either point first or spine first in order to minimize the chance of cracking or warping. Care must be taken when quenching in brine. The quicker the blade is cooled the more likely it is to crack. A good precaution is to preheat the brine to around 100 degrees F (38 C) prior to quenching. The oil quench is well suited to a large blade where toughness is more needed whereas the brine quench is more suited to the small skinner and folder blades where holding an edge is important.
Drawing the Temper of the Blade
Drawing, or tempering the blade is done by heating the steel in an oven. The blade is placed in a heat treat oven and brought to a specific temperature. It is then allowed to soak at that temperature to assure a full even heat. The specific temperature determines the relative hardness of the blade.
It should be noted that some parts of all nickel Damascus may test somewhat softer due to the nickel content.
Following table is approximate, because the 1095 and O1 have slightly different hardness at the same tempering temperatures.
Note
When heat treating multiple blades keep ample space between each blade for proper air circulation.

  Sizes & Prices


Hardness table for ThunderforgedŽ Damascus

Degrees F/CAs quenched 350/176400/204450/232500/ 260 550/287600/315
Hardness(Rc)64-65 63-6561-6460-63 58-6156-5957-59



Purple ball bullet  Damascus from India as it is made today



DamascusDaggers1



Narayan DamascusNarayan Damascus magnified

Typical Analysis

CarbonManganeseChromium MolybdenumVanadium
x x xxx



Narayan-knife-finished Narayan-knife-finished
Narayan-dagger-blank



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Purple ball bullet  Gingami-1 / GIN-1 / G-2

Gingami-1 aka GIN-1 aka G-2. A steel with slightly less Carbon, slightly more Chromium, and much less Mmolybdenum than ATS-34. No Nickel, Tungsten or Vanadium. A very good stainless steel.
It is used often by Spyderco

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese MolybdenumPhosphorusSilicon Sulfur
GIN-1 0.90% 15.50% 0.60% 0.30% 0.02% 0.37% 0.03%

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Purple ball bullet  Stellite 6K

Stellite 6K is a Non-Steel Cobalt alloy - Flexible material with very good wear resistance, it is practically corrosion resistant. Stellite 6K, used in industry for cutting knives, and saw teeth is sometimes used by knife makers. Very expensive.
Used by David Boye for his diving knives.


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Purple ball bullet  440-A, 440-B, UNILOY 440C, 440F, 440F-Se, and 440-XH Hardenable Stainless Steels


The 440-A and 440-B Stainless Steels are low on Carbon and used for mass produced knives with softer blades.
I suspect every knife stamped as just 440, or 400 Series Stainless was made out of these cheaper steels. Lots come from abroad and it is not readily available from knifemaking supply outlets.
The SOG Seal 2000 is 440A, and Randall uses 440B for their stainless knives.

Typical Analysis

CarbonManganesePhosphorusSulfur MolybdenumChromiumSeleniumSilicone VanadiumNickel
440-A 0.45-0.75 1.00 max 0.04 max 0.03 max 0.75 max16-18.00 0.75 max 1.00 - -
440-B 0.75-0.95 1.00 max 0.04 max 0.03 max 0.75 max16-18.00 0.75 max 1.00 - -
440-C 0.95-1.20 1.00 max 0.040 max 0.030 max 1.00 max18.00 0.75 max 0.00 - -
440-F 0.95-1.20 1.00 max 0.040 max 0.05 min 1.00 max 18.00 - 0.40 - -
440-F-SE 0.95-1.20 1.00 max 0.040 max 0.030 max 1.00 max 18.00 0.75 max0.10 min - -
440-XH 1.60 0.50 - - 0.8016.00 0.75 max 0.40 0.45 0.35


Forging
Uniloy 440C should be hot worked starting at 1900 - 2100 degrees F and finishing above about 1700 degrees F. Pieces should be preheated at 1400 - 1500 degrees F, than heated to the working temperature. After working, either anneal by furnace cooling from 1100 degrees F. or slow cool in an insulating material.
Cold forming
This steel can be moderately cold formed when in the fully annealed state.
Annealing
To fully anneal, heat uniformly to 1550 -1850 degrees F, soak thoroughly and than slowly furnace cool.
Brinell hardness is about 230.
If full softness is not required, process anneal by heating uniformly to 1350 - 1450 degrees F, soak and than furnace cool.
Brinell hardness is about 260.
Hardening
Preheating to 100 - 1450 degrees F, is recommended. Heat to 1850 - 1950 degrees F, soak, and than quench in warm oil or air cool.
Hardness is about Rockwell "C" 60-61.
This material can reach slightly higher hardness values if sub zero treatment is used after quenching from the hardening temperature.
Tempering
As soon as possible after quenching, this grade should be tempered at 300 - 700 degrees F. This treatment slightly reduces hardness, but improves toughness without greatly affecting corrosion resistance. Temperatures above 700 degrees F are not normally used because they result in lower impact strength and reduced corrosion resistance.
Welding
Due to its air hardening character, Uniloy 440C requires special precautions in welding. It should be preheated to about 300 degrees F and after welding should be immediately annealed for 6 - 8 hours at 1300 - 1400 degrees F and air cooled.
*Type 440C electrodes are used when similar properties in weld are required....* (I was personably unable to discover any source of this particular electrode to fix a broken Bowie knife.)
If you must weld, type 309 or Arctec Unicrome may be used.
Machining
Uniloy 440C is machined in the annealed state at speeds about 40% of those used for free machining AISI B1112 steel. For automatic screw machines using high speed tooling, speeds in the range 55 - 75 surface feet per minute are suggested as a guide.

Typical Hardening and Tempering Data:
Rockwell C hardness after tempering 1 hour at:
Degrees FQuenched 300400500 98%700800 90010001100
Hardness(Rc)60.059.057.5 56.055.055.056.057.052.5 43.0

Oil quenched from 1900 degrees F.
Available hot rolled or precision ground.

Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply
- K & G Finishing Supplies
- Jantz Supply
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply
- Admiral STEEL


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Purple ball bullet  W-1 Spring Steel

Most files are made from W-1, which is the same as W-2 except for less Vanadium and more Tungsten

Flat barSheffield's 
Knifemakers Supply 1/16" x 1/8" x 12" - priced per foot
Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply

Purple ball bullet  W-2 Tool Steel

Color CodeBLACKTexas 
Knifemaker's Supply 1/4" x 1-1/4" - priced per foot
Listed in the catalog of:
- Texas Knifemaker's Supply

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese MolybdenumNickelSilicon TungstenVanadium
W1 0.70-1.50% 0.15% 0.10-0.40% 0.10% 0.20% 0.10-0.40% 0.50%0.10%
W-2 0.85-1.50% 0.15% 0.10-0.40% 0.10% 0.20% 0.10-0.40% 0.15% 0.15-0.35%


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Purple ball bullet  440-C Cast Dendritic Stainless Steel


No data
SizesSheffield's Knifemakers 
Supply 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" x 1-1/4" x 10"


Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply


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Purple ball bullet  1095 Hi Carbon Steel

Make springs, blades, small parts. you will find many uses around the shop for this excellent quality high carbon steel. Bright finish, annealed.
The 10-series -- 1095 (and 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050, etc.) Many of the 10-series steels for cutlery, though 1095 is the most popular for knives. When you go in order from 1095-1050, you generally go from more carbon to less, from better edge holding to less edge holding, and tough to tougher to toughest.
As such, you'll see 1060 and 1050, used often for swords. For knives, 1095 is sort of the "standard" carbon steel, not too expensive and performs well.
It is reasonably tough and holds an edge very well. It rusts easily. This is a simple steel, which contains only two alloying elements: 0.95% Carbon and 0.4% Manganese.
The various Kay-Bar blades are usually 1095 with a black coating.

Hardening
Bring to 1425- 1450 degrees Fahrenheit, than quench immediately, holding at a non-crucial point such as the back of the blade or handle area.
Tempering
Temper between 400 - 600 degrees Fahrenheit, depending upon the desired hardness.

Flat bar Jantz Supply 1/8" x 1-1/2" x 9" and 12" and 18"
Jantz Supply 3/16" x 1-1/2" and 2" x 9" and 12" and 18"
Jantz Supply 1/4" x 2" x 18" - 1075


Listed in the catalog of:
- Jantz Supply
- Admiral STEEL


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Purple ball bullet  52100 BALL BEARING STEEL

Besides using ball and roller bearings, races/balls/rollers, it can be obtained in bar stock.
In comparison to 5180, 50100B and O-1, it has more Carbon and more Chromium.
Carbon heightens the abrasion resistance and Chromium hardeners deeper with simpler heat treatments and makes the blade stronger. It does not take much Chromium, even 0.5% is enough.


Typical Analysis:

CarbonManganeseChromium VanadiumTungstenSilicon
52100 1.10% 0.35% 1.50%-- 0.35%
5180 0.60% 0.80%0.80%-- -
50100B 0.95% 0.45% 0.45% 0.20%- -
O-1 0.90% 1.60% 0.50%-0.50% -


Heat treatment recommended by Crucible Specialty Metals:

Forging: Forge at 2000 degrees F, cool in still air afterwards.
Normalizing: Temperature at 1850 - 1700 degrees F.
Annealing:
Heat to 1440 degrees F and soak for 8 hours, cool at the rate of 15 degrees F per hour to 1200 degrees F, hold at that temperature for 6 more hours, than cool in still air.
Hardening:
Oil quench from 1550 degrees F should give a hardness of 67 Rc. Water quenching is said to be risky, introducing too much stress.
Tempering:
Assuming that the blade reached full hardness in the quench, tempering temperature of:
350 degrees F...............................60 - 61 Rc
450 degrees F...............................58 - 59 Rc
500 degrees F...............................56 - 57 Rc.

The heat treatment of 52100 is different than that of many of the other alloy steels, including 5180, in that the hardening temperature controls the amount of Carbon that dissolves in the austenite - the condition of steel at high temperature where it is a solid solution of Iron and Carbon.
This gives a finished blade that has lower banite - a transformation product that forms at the lower temperature than martensite rather then tempered martensite - the hardest form of steel.
When overheated for the quench, most alloy steels simply have coarser grain, but 52100 will develop a week structure.

Triple quench / triple draw method: (as done by Ed Fowler)
-The theory behind the triple quench is that by bringing the blade rapidly up to the hardening temperature, the grain size remains smaller then when the usual soak time is used. The soak time allows all the transformations to be made within the steel, yet the grain grows with the additional time at the soak temperature. With the rapid quench the transformation is not complete, however the second and third quenches complete the necessary transformation.
-This method seems to produce the best cutting and stronger blades with more edge holding ability than a single quenched blade of the same hardness
-After proper forging, normalizing and annealing, use magnet to judge the critical temperature and quench the blade in Texaco type "A" oil heated to 180 degrees F.
Cool the blade and let sit for 24 hours. Repeat the identical process 2 more times.
Now put the blade for 8 - 10 hours into the freezer and follow by 3 tempering cycles at 375 degrees for 2 hours each.
Note: Blades hardened at 24 hour intervals cut better and demonstrate greater strength and toughness, than the blades hardened 3 times in one day.

Molten salt quench method: (as done by Al Pendray)
After forging and rough grinding, heat the blade to 1850 n-1900 degrees F, hold 3 - 5 minutes, then quench in molten salt at 500 degrees F, hold 3 minutes, then air cool.
Place back in the salt at 500 -98% degrees F and hold for 2 - 3 hours. Then heat to 1550 degrees for 30 seconds for thin blades, 60 seconds for thick blades and quench in 475 - 500 degree salt.
450 degrees F..............................60 - 61 Rc
500 degrees F..............................59 - 59 Rc
Hold the blades in the salt quench at temperature for 2 - 4 hours. The longer time produces tougher blade that is 1 - 2 points Rc softer.
How to determine the type of steel in the bearing:
-Not all ball and roller bearings and races are made out of 52100 steel.
Forge a bar out of the ball or roller, heat till it becomes nonmagnetic, and quench in oil.
If the tip breaks like glass when flexed, it is most likely 52100.
If the drawn piece of race stays springy, the material was just case hardened and most likely was made of 4815 steel - good for pattern welded billets. The Nickel content will give a nice layer contrast.
A high percentage of larger roller bearings seem to be case hardened. The smaller ones are mostly 52100. If you find ball bearings resistant to hammer, form little scales and do not rust when left in the bucket of water for a few days, they are probably 440C.

Listed in the catalog of:
- Sheffield's Knifemaker's Supply


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Purple ball bullet  LescalloyŽ BG42Ž VIM-VAR

Applications
A high performance CR-MO-V alloy for aircraft gears, ball screws, bearings and other critical applications
BG-42 is somewhat similar to ATS-34, with two major differences: It has more Carbon, Chromium and Manganese than ATS-34, and has 1.2% Vanadium (ATS-34 has no Vanadium), so look for even better edge-holding than ATS-34.
Used by Bob Loveless, Chris Reeves in his Sebenzas.

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese MolybdenumSiliconVanadium
BG-42 1.15% 14.50% 0.50% 4.00% 0.30%1.20%

CarbonChromiumManganese Molybd.Silicon PhosphorusSulfur
ATS-34 1.04%13.93% 0.40% 3.55% 0.28% 0.029% 0.002%
440-C 1.20%18.00% 1.00% 0.75% 1.00% 0.040% 0.030%
154-CM 1.02%14.00% 0.60% 4.00% 0.25% 0.030% 0.030%


The metallurgy of BG42 is that of hi speed steel except for how it is influenced by higher Carbon and Chromium content. This higher content provide for more carbides for wear and corrosion resistance.
Accordingly the BG42 is handled like the classic hi speed steel with the addition of refrigeration cycle in heat treatment to minimize retained austenite.
In the annealed condition the alloy consists of a large volume of spheroidized carbides in a ferrite matrix. After hardening and tempering, the structure consists of approximately 19% volume carbide in hard martensitic matrix. Some VC type carbides are present while no Mo or Cr carbide have been detected.

Forging
Due to the high alloy content in this steel, forging requires care.
The recommended forging temperature is 2125-2175 degrees F (1163-1191 C) with the finishing temperature of 1800 degrees F (982 C) minimum.
Particular care must be directed at avoiding localized cooling, such as corners or thin sections.

The recommended cooling cycle following forging is:
Charge into furnace at 1600 - 1625 degrees F (871 - 885 C), hold 2 hours. Furnace cool to 1300 degrees F (704 C) in 2 hours. Furnace cool 50 degrees F (28 C) per hour to 1000 degrees F (538 C) or lower. Air cool at room temperature.

Welding or Brazing
Should be done in the annealed condition whenever possible. Any of the conventional methods will provide satisfactory results. Austenitic stainless steel welding rod may be used for non-critical welds, but when the weldment must be hard to provide abrasion resistance a similar analysis welding rod should be used.
Welding in the heat treated condition is difficult with this alloy, but can be accomplished with careful preheating and post heating.
Silver soldering also may be done in the heat treated condition but caution should be taken to assure the original tempering temperature is not exceeded.

Heat treatment
Annealing
Heat slowly to 1625 - 1650 degrees F(885-899 C) and soak thoroughly (5 hours minimum at temperature). Furnace cool 50 degrees F (28 C) per hour to 1100 degrees F (593 C). Continue furnace cool (furnace might be shut off) to 800 degrees F (427 C). Parts may be air cooled from this temperature to room temperature.
Resulting hardness: Brinell 269 maximum

Hardening and Tempering
Preheat to 1500 degrees F (816 C)
Austenitize at 2050 degrees F (1121 C) in salt for 30 minutes (this is longer cycle than other HS steels)
Oil quench to room temperature or salt quench at 1050 degrees F (566 C), than air cool to room temperature.
Stress relieve at 300 degrees F (149 C) for 1 hour, than air cool
Refrigerate at -100 degrees F (-73 C) - equalize - air worm
Double temper at 975 degrees F ( 524 C) - 2 hours each - air cool
Resulting hardness: Rockwell C 61 - 64

The refrigeration cycle is incorporated into the heat treatment in order to assist in the transformation of retained austenite. To minimize danger of cracking, the stress relief has been installed at no sacrifice of subsequent hardness response. Multiple tempering, perhaps 4x, is recommended when minimum retained austenite is essential.

Flat bar
Sold in 12"
increments
Admiral 
STEEL 1-1/4" x .160"
Admiral 
STEEL 1-1/2" x .130" .160" and .187"
Admiral 
STEEL 2" x .250"
Weight .68 Lbs/Ft
Weight .66, .82, .95 Lbs/Ft
Weight 1.70 Lbs/Ft

Listed in the catalog of:
- Admiral STEEL


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Purple ball bullet  N690 Stainless Steel

N690 is manufactured by Bohler Uddeholm (German company) and is their trade name for 440C.
It is a common steel used for knife making in South Africa
Have not found the supplier yet, only snippets of unofficial information.

This steel also called Austrian Cobalt steel - alloy containing 17% Chromium, Molybdenum, Vanadium, and Cobalt.
Hi percentage of free Chromium makes it very stain resistant - if true at 17%, it would actually have the second highest Cr content - 440-C has the most at 18%.
Hardness 60 HRC

Extrema Ratio knives are made in a Extrema Ratio custom shop in Italy and is not nearly as well know in the United States as other companies. Started in 1997, they have taken the tactical world by storm. Many of the soldiers and armed men and women of the world carry Extrema Ratio. The result is a blade with a very hard edge (hardened and tempered to 60° HRC) that is very sharp, very long lasting with an elastic and tough body.

The Red line of Bench Mark will be made in Taiwan - uses N690 Cobalt SS
There's at least three types of N690 steel -?
Leatherman Squirt P4

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumCobalt MolybdenumVanadium
N690 1.07% 17%1.5% 1.1% 1.1%


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Purple ball bullet  5160H CARBON CHROMIUM SPRING STEEL

Applications
This is carbon chromium grade of spring steel. As the name implies, this grade is primarily used in the manufacture of automotive leaf springs. Other uses include scrapers, equalizers, bumpers etc.
It has a high yield-tensile strength ratio, excellent toughness and high ductility.

5160 is a steel popular with forgers, and is a very high-end steel. It has good edge holding, but is known especially for its outstanding toughness (like L-6). Often used for swords (hardened in the low 50 Rc) because of its toughness, and is also used for hard use knives (hardened up near the 60 Rc).

Typical Analysis:

CarbonChromiumManganese PhosphorusSiliconSulfur
5160H .55/.65% .60/1.00%.65/1.10% .035 Max% .15/.35%.04 Max%


Forming & heat treating Usual practice for leaf springs
Hot form at.......................1650 degrees F
Quench in oil at................1525 degrees F
Temper to 38 - 44 Rockwell 'C'

Machineability & Weld ability
This grade is very difficult to machine in the as-rolled condition and should be annealed prior to machining.
Due to carbon and chromium content it is not readily welded. However, it can be welded by either gas or arc welding process, provided the section involved is preheated and stress relieved after welding. The grade of welding rod to be used depends on the thickness of the section, design, service requirements etc.

ForgingNormalizingAnnealingHardening
Heat to 2100-2200 FHeat to 1600-1700 F
Cool in air
Heat to 1450-1550 F
Cool in furnace
Harden in oil
Quench at 1525 F
Temper 800-1300 F


Sizes
HR 5160
Admiral STEEL 13/64" x 1.5"- 1.75"- 2"
Admiral 
STEEL 1/4" x 1"- 1.25"- 1.5"- 1.75"- 2"- 2.5"- 3" - 4"


Listed in the catalog of:
- Admiral STEEL


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Purple ball bullet  HEAT TREATING INFORMATION FOR SPRING STEEL

This specification covers Annealed High Carbon Spring Steel for working springs which must be formed before the heat treatment. In the annealed condition this material is capable of being bent flat on itself either with or across the grain, in thicknesses under .050".
Suggested Heat Treatment:
Heat according to chart. Quench in oil. For C 1095, quench in water. The spring should than be drawn to the hardness best suited for its purpose.
The following properties may be expected:
Formed Springs Requiring Heat Treatment AISI C 1050 AISI C 1065 AISI C 1075 AISI C 1095
Normalizing
Annealing
Hardening
As Quenched Hardness
1550 - 1650 F
1400 - 1500 F
1475 - 1550 F

Rc 58
1550 - 1650 F
1400 - 1500 F
1475 - 1550 F

Rc 62
1550 - 1650 F
1400 - 1500 F
1475 - 1550 F

Rc 64
1550 - 1650 F
1400 - 1500 F
1475 - 1550 F

Rc 66
Drawing Temp.

400 F
600 F
700 F
800 F
900 F
1000 F
1100 F
1200 F
Rockwell

Rc 52
Rc 45
Rc 39
Rc 35
Rc 31
Rc 27
Rc 22
---
Tensile PSI
250,000
210,000
180,000
160,000
139,000
124,000
112,000
---
Rockwell

Rc 57
Rc 50
Rc 46
Rc 42
Rc 39
Rc 35
Rc 28
Rc 22
Tensile PSI
295,000
240,000
215,000
190,000
180,000
160,000
125,000
1 20,000
Rockwell

Rc 59
Rc 53
Rc 47
Rc 44
Rc 40
Rc 36
Rc 32
Rc 26
Tensile PSI
305,000
255,000
230,000
205,000
182,000
162,000
140,000
1 22,000
Rockwell

Rc 62
Rc 55
Rc 49
Rc 45
Rc 41
Rc 38
Rc 34
Rc 30
Tensile PSI
320,000
270,000
238,000
212,000
189,000
176,000
155,000
1 38,000

The proper drawing range and time cycles should be determined by experiment calculated to develop those properties best suited for intended usage.

Information provided by:
- Admiral STEEL


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Purple ball bullet  Some Steel Terms, Traits & Elements


Steel Alloys:
Steel is an alloy of iron that must contain Carbon. it is the most important hardening element. Other elements may be added for specific applications.

Carbon The most important element which increases the strength of the steel, and without the high enough percentage, alloy would not harden.

High Carbon Steel contains minimum of .5% carbon, higher the %, higher hardness can be achieved
Designation First numbers - 10 means plain carbon steel, any other number designate alloy steel. 50xx serie is a chromium steel.
SAE designation system, steels with letter designations are tool steels - W-1, O-1, D-2
Designation Last numbers of a steel specify the steel's carbon content = 1095 has 0.95% carbon. 52100 has 1.0% carbon. 5160 has 0.60% carbon.

Chromium - Gives the alloy it corrosion resistance, forms chromium carbides for wear resistance, and hardenability.
It should be noted that at the higher end of the Chromium scale a steel becomes more brittle esp., at the higher level of hardness.

Stainless Steel - is a steel with at least 13% chromium. The first 11% dissolves and form carbides, left over are your rust resistance.
Higher the %, more free chromium, more rust resistance.
All stainless steel alloys can rust, they are only rust resistant, not rust proof. As with plain high carbon steels, proper blade maintenance is needed, though not as much.

Manganese - Manganese helps the grain structure, and contributes to hardenability. Also strength & wear resistance. Improves the steel (e.g., deoxidize's) during the steel's manufacturing (hot working and rolling). Present in most cutlery steels except for A-2, L-6, and CPM 420V.

Molybdenum - Forms carbides, prevents brittleness & maintains the steel's strength at high temperatures. It is added to many steel alloys, to enable them to harden in the air.
Increases strength, hardness, hardenability and toughness. Improves machinability and resistance to corrosion
A-2, ATS-34) always have 1% or more Molybdenum

Nickel - Enhancer for strength, corrosion resistance, and toughness.
Present in L-6 and AUS-6 and AUS-8.

Silicon - Increases strength, and wear resistance. Like manganese, it makes the steel more sound while it's being manufactured.

Tungsten - Increases wear resistance. When combined properly with chromium or Molybdenum, tungsten will make the steel to be a high-speed steel. The high-speed steel M-2 has a high amount of tungsten.
Popular name for Tungsten steels are Hi speed steels

Vanadium - Forms finely structured carbides to enhance wear resistance, toughness, and hardenability. A number of steels have vanadium, but M-2, Vascowear, and CPM T440V and 420V (in order of increasing amounts) have high amounts of vanadium. BG-42's biggest difference with ATS-34 is the addition of vanadium. Also D2, S30V.

Cobalt - Increases strength and hardness and permits quenching in higher temperatures. Intensifies the individual effects of other elements in more complex steels.

Hardness - The final hardness of steel is determined using a Rockwell Test and the result is displayed in HRC - for the example level of your average butchers knife is 55 HRC.
When a knife is labeled as 58-60HRC, it is best to take the mean of 59HRC e.g. as it is rare to find the majority of blades being 58 or 60. The figures listed above refer to the optimum or the maximum of hardness for a particular steel. 440C for example is listed at 60HRC any harder then this steel is subject to brittleness due to its high level of Chromium.


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