Join Date: Jun 2006
True Combat Value of Wootz
As of late, ive been wondering into the characteristics of wootz steel. Is it purely eye candy? Or is it truely a superior steel, worth the fame and value it has gained over the years.
After I had completely read and understood prof.Verhoeven's, A.H.Pendray's, and W.E.Dauksch's article, "The Key Role of Impurities in Ancient Damascus Steel Blades", and based on my short knowledge of metallurgy, I saw that no blade exceeded 37RC in hardness. That would be a very soft blade for use.
Was this due to bad heat treatment techniques, and that wootz blades can be heat treated properly today to reach acceptable hardness, i.e. 50RC? Or is it due to the steel itself it cannot be made any harder, and thus, all wootz blades are simply fancy looking pieces of soft metal, easily nicked, easily bent? Yet still, these blades' reputation as excellent performers over the years (most passing on from generation to generation in the past), seems to be well implemented in the minds of those who used them, according to historical accounts from the 19th century.