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Old 15th January 2009, 02:39 PM   #12
kisak's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 182

From my understanding, it would be entierly possible at least to obliterate the patterns seen in wootz and similar steels if you work the material "wrong". One of the things you want to achieve with the treatment you give to bloomery iron is to even out the chemical composition, while in patterned crucible steels those differences are what gives us the pattern. The "dangerous" part here is probably the extensive forging. The heat treatment (normalising, quench and temper) could leave the primary ferrite or carbides that form the pattern intact, in theory at least.

As for the properties, the impression I've gotten is that it's uncertain whether or not the grouped nature of the "pattern forming" parts in wootz and similar truly gives a benefit (it wouldn't surprise me if it was the other way around actually, fine scale and evenly distributed are often good ideas). Assuming that the austenitisation is done at the right temperature, it should be entierly possible to get the same amount of carbides out of the steel even after the pattern has been destroyed, they will just be more evenly distriburted in the blade.
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