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Damascus and Damasteel. Let's understand the differences and nuances.

Damascus and Damasteel. Let's understand the differences and nuances.

 

People who are looking for a Damascus steel blade for themselves often notice another steel called Damasteel in search filters . What is the difference between this steel and ordinary Damascus? Short answer: The difference is in the production process and, as a result, other properties. We will consider these points in more detail below.

 

Traditional Damascus steel.

In the traditional process of creating Damascus steel, a blacksmith welds and presses two or more types of steel into layers. In forging, steel is bent repeatedly until there are 100 or more layers in the workpiece . The workpiece is heated, beaten, and folded many times. The precise patterns on the blade are created by twisting, folding and pulling the workpiece. 

Overall, this process creates a very strong blade, but its durability is due to the steel alloys that are initially chosen. Depending on the steel used, Damascus may or may not be stainless. To prevent Damascus steel from rusting, all steel included in the package must contain at least 14% chromium . 

The pattern in Damascus steel is only revealed visually when the steel is cleaned, prepared and acid etched. The two types of steel may react differently to oxidation.

Damascus steel blade

 

Damasteel

Damasteel begins with a steel production process using gas atomization. Molten steel is passed through a nozzle and sprayed. The resulting fine steel powder particles have an ideal spherical shape with a high level of purity and an even distribution of carbides. 

This powder is then collected into a canister, which is sealed, compacted and bound using a process called hot isostatic pressing (HIP) . After the HIP process, the size of the steel material is reduced by approximately 30%. The steel has no welds, making it structurally extremely strong.

After this, the capsule is forged, and rolled in a special way to obtain different patterns. This patterning phase is very similar in both steels. Damasteel comes in a wide range and includes various complex patterns: rose, raindrops and many others.

Benchmade Bugout folding knife steel Munin Damasteel
 

Advantages of Damasteel steel

The advantage of the gas atomization and HIP process is that Damasteel contains fewer impurities than traditional Damascus steel.

Damasteel uses RWL34 and PMC27 steels . RWL34 is a Swedish-made knife steel named after the legendary knife of Robert Bob Loveless . It is most similar to CPM 154 and chemically similar to ATS 34.

When etched, RWL 34 appears as a lighter color pattern in the overall pattern. The second steel in Damascus steel is stainless PMC27, which is also produced in Sweden. Etching produces a darker pattern. Both of these composite steels are manufactured using gas atomization and provide improved toughness and edge retention compared to conventional steels.

Conclusion

Overall, both traditional Damascus and Damasteel have the beauty and uniqueness that makes this material famous. Damasteel, however, may be a better option if you are looking for high-performance Damascus, or are interested in stainless properties. Damasteel has a slightly different pattern than traditional damask, and the resulting visual styles are a distinctive feature.

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