So what about that 5160 versus L6?

All else aside, what -could- be the stronger sword steel? 5160 or L6 (4370)?
Alvin in AZ

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snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

That data should be available. Look at shear failure specs. Of course, that chrome does help resist the corrosive environnment that a real sword encounters in combat use, but if you clean it right after the battle, you shouldn't run into any long term corrosion worries. If you lose, you're dead and it's someone else's worry. I dunno tho, there are some really good exotics out there, like D2 and some of the other tool steels. Then there's always compositing; a tool edge set into a ultra strong core, like D2 or Vascowear in a Titanium base. Light, springy, hard at the edge, withering bitch to fab, Very Large Pricetag.
Charly
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hello:

5160 as it has proven to be a very GOOD steel for this application, so for a so called "broadsword" (whatever that is...) use 5160.
For a more "flexible" bade, one where you need the "flex" over the "chop", as in say a small sword or rapier (the REAL ones..not the radio antennea versions..) then L-6 would be (and is) my pick.
Of course what is more important is how they are thermally treated. Both are excellent steels when properly hardened and tempered correctly. I have used both for decades and well, I would be comfortbale with either one.
Hope this helps
JPH
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Having noted how cheap three feet of 3/4" round stock 52100 is I've had a bug to give it a try. would it be practical for a long blade? Been thinking about making a Super-Machete for really serious brush clearing jobs.
GA

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GA:
52100?? well, to me that is a great knife steel but for my druthers it has a little too much C for a big chopper/hacker. I like steels for the bigger stuff to max out C wise at around 70/75 points. But give it a go...see how it does and let us know??
JPH
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JPH said:

52100, same stuff as in my Swamp Rat Camp Tramp, which in evaluation by Cliff Stamp, held up pretty well. I suspect a lot is in the the heat treatment with this material.
dennis in nca
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I may be totally out to lunch on this but I figured you could sacrifice some of the raw hardness in favor of wear resistance in a really abusive application. As long as it wasn't brittle.
GA
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Yep. :) Out to lunch or something. :/
Lowering hardness, lowers wear resistance. :)
Toughness is a name of a property that's used two different ways by two different fields of steel metallurgy.
Swords and "tough knives" would fit into the part about "machine parts and fasteners" and not-breaking is what they mean by "tough".
Knife guilds require a knife that won't break when bent but can stay bent after an unspecified amount of pressure is applied and the pressure amount seems to be of no concern to them at all. :(
Tool steels or the "hard steel field" (the part of the machine that cuts or shapes the part) "tough" there means not deforming -and not- breaking in use. But -if- it fails, it might as well break since that's what type of failure steel in its "strongest" state does.
Like a stockman pocket knife blade... if it breaks off clean then you can fold it up and get out another. ;)
"Deformed" like a tough-bolt that did it's job -by not letting go- would still be ruined if you were talking about a punch as opposed to a bolt. Deformed or broken-to-pieces, either way, is a failure in the tool steel field.
Elastic limit is where the steel is push to where it either bends and stays bent or breaks (or some of both;). If you measure the amount of pressure it takes to push a steel past it's elastic-limit (or tension to pull it past its elastic limit) and you work at getting it to be the highest "number" (amount of strain) it'll be in the area of its higher hardness -and- it'll prob'ly fail by breaking, especially if the carbon content is above .80%.
So for a bolt or sword to sustain abuse and not break, it may not be at its ultimate "machine test" strength but still is "best" for the use.
Alvin in AZ (ASM's number one newsgroup parrot and proud of it;) ps- and an ASM member since way back in mid-2004;)
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Alright, bad choice of terminology. My thought was that with a higher carbon content, even if you drew the hardness way back it would still be "stronger" and still hold an edge better than a similarly drawn medium carbon steel. Yeah, I'm sure I do need to spend more time at the books. It sinks in better when I have a specific application in mind. This is all a back brain project at the moment.
GA

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Knowing nothing practical about it, using only theory, I've been thinking of L6 (4370) as "5160 improved". That's not taking into account any practical matters of forging, heat treatment or L6's tenacious scale.
It's an old r.k disagreement. ;)
BTW, a couple guys from the metallurgy newsgroup tested a couple circular saw blades for me "the non-carbide tipped type" and found they were "0186" or called 8670-modified.
The reason we know the name is another guy on there actually worked in a factory that made high-end saw blades even tho they make only carbide-tipped-ones, his high-end saw blades were made of "steel 0186" supplied by Latrobe.
The head metallurgist at Latrobe (on the phone) made like all the chrome-moly-nickel steel circular saw blades made since WW2 aren't L6 but instead 8670-modified steel made or supplied through Latrobe.
Something else I found out was Vermont American is the largest circular saw blade manufacturer in the world and all those house brands like Sears "Krome-edge" are made by VA. VA gets their Cr-Mo-Ni steel from Latrobe too... 0186 (or 8670-modified).
I have the composition ranges for 0186 if you're interested.
Oldham's non-carbide tipped saw blade turned out to be a very clean and pure 1069.
And a relatively new Nicholson file that, to me at the time, sparked like 1095 turned out to be what's refered to as "1.22% carbon steel" in ASM's books.
...Since then I've learned the-darker-the-better for spark testing! :)
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/testsamples.htm
Alvin in AZ (you still in Nevada?)
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So Alvin A few months back I got a few 36" diameter x 3/16" thick carbide tipped saw blades from Boeing Surplus.
I figured they would be decent knife steel and at 3/16" thick some sizeable blades could be made.
So if this stuff is 0186 and not L6, then what is the best heat treat process to use.
Heat to ?, then quench in ? , and temper to ?
I have made a lot of blades but all from simple steels like O1, W1 and 1095.
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