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Old 5th January 2009, 05:55 AM   #15
Chris Evans
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 589

Originally Posted by Jeff D
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your answer. Regarding the quenching of wootz, what do you make of this. Sorry this is the best picture I could make.

Thanks again

Hi Jeff,

Interesting photo. Edge appears to be heat treated - Am I right?

If so, this could have been a means of countering the negative effects of dissolution of carbides, as the unhardened spine would have retained sufficient strength to render the blade serviceable. I wonder how they would have quenched the edge only of a deeply curved blade ...What would be really informative is to take a cross section of the blade and examine its microstructure......

This is pure speculation on my part, but another way of hardening Wootz would have been to decarburize the steel by prolongued heating in an oxidizing atmosphere to reduce its carbon content and then, after a process of homgenization by hammering and folding, quenching and tempering - The obvious difficulty would have been knowing when to stop the decarburization process.

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