Join Date: Nov 2005
Another 2 cents -
Wootz is made & heat treated to take advantage of the superior hardness & potential sharpness of the iron carbide particles, which are distributed in regular, plain old steel. Rockwell testers cannot measure the carbides (too small), only the matrix, which was left soft, as it is only there to carry the carbides to the target and didn't need to be hard in and of itself. That's why those swords measured so low.
Wootz was better than most the steels of that era, if not all, but was supplanted by steels that may have been almost as good, but were definitely much cheaper to produce.