I have a question about the properties of jade. While perusing a text on
Chinese history, I came upon a claim that jade is "stronger than steel", and
that its utility in manufacturing tools and weapons was limited only by the
rarity of large, unflawed pieces to work with. This struck me as an odd
assertion, and I decided to follow up on it; I found it to be repeated in
several books on mineralogy I have on hand, including one which more
specifically states that "fine-grained jadeite [...] has greater tensile
strength than steel".
However, I'm not able to find any actual data to back this up; all the
sources I've checked list jadeite's *hardness* (which does indeed compare
favorably to that of hardened steel, both ~7 on Moh's scale), but none have
numerical data on jadeite's toughness, tensile strength, or anything else
that would allow a more comprehensive comparison. Does anyone know of a
source that contains the information I'm looking for - or, better yet, an
actual comparative study?
(Though I realise the latter is probably too much to hope for...)
- David Prokopetz.
- posted 17 years ago