What is Damascus Steel

What is Damascus Steel?

In a nutshell:

What is Damascus Steel? Damascus steel is also called Damast, Damascene steel, or folded steel. In a nutshell: Damascus steel involves forging a number of layers of different steels on top of each other. The steel is then machined so that the layers become visible.

The past of Damascus Steel

In the past, a piece of raw steel was forged into a longer piece. This was then folded twice and forged together again. By repeating this process over and over again, a piece of steel was eventually obtained that consisted of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of layers. Damascus steel was made by heating the steel in a fire. The steel absorbed the carbon from the coals. By folding it over and over, the carbon was distributed throughout the steel. The carbon allowed the steel to harden, and it also gives it a finer grain structure. This allows carbon steel to be ground more finely. Knives and swords made from this steel broke and buckled much less easily.

The reason Damascus steel was folded so often is that the steel had to be hardened and refined. In this way, the unevenness of the steel was eliminated. The fact that the steel absorbed carbon and thus became better, could be discovered by chance during the process.

Damascus Steel in modern Times

Today, the process of the past is no longer necessary to produce high-quality steel. This is because the alloys that come out of steel mills today are typically much better than the old-fashioned Damascus. It is claimed that the original way of forging Damascus steel was lost in the 19th century, but this is not true. However, the making of Damascus steel has become an art form. Usually, two or more different steels are used, for example, steels with different carbon content.

Damascus steel consists of complex shapes. This can be seen in the illustrations of the knives on this page. When a blade of Damascus steel is finished, it is often chemically or mechanically treated. This makes the layers more visible. The blade is then dipped in a chemical bath, for example.

For industrially produced Damascus, it is regularly decided to forge high-quality normal steel such as VG10 or 3G between two layers of factory-produced Damascus steel. The Damascus then has only a decorative function, as the steel that forms the cutting edge is a single layer of mono steel.

Origin of the word Damascus

When you hear the word ‘Damascus steel’, you may immediately think of the Syrian city of Damascus. This is a logical connection, as the names are very similar. Therefore, the most common theory is that the steel grade is named after this city. Damask is actually a weaving technique that was used on silk fabrics. These fabrics came from Damascus and, like the damask steel, had unique patterns.

In addition, the word ‘Damas’ means ‘watered’ in Arabic. When you look at a blade made of Damascus steel, you can see the patterns flowing and reminiscent of water. This may also be the origin of the name. So it is not possible to say with 100% certainty where the name comes from.

Industrial Damascus

Besides the very expensive Damascus steel, which is made on a small scale and often by very skilled ‘artists’, there is also industrial Damascus. This is the Damascus steel that is mostly used for kitchen knives and is usually still affordable. Kitchen knives made of ‘real’ Damascus steel cost many hundreds of Dollars.

Is Damask Steel better than regular Steel?

Although Damascus steel is many times more expensive than regular steel, this is actually mainly due to the process required to obtain this steel. Many people think that Damascus steel is better, but that is actually never the case. This is primarily about appearance, as each knife is unique due to the pattern of the Damascus steel.

Damascus Steel or Damask Steel?

Is Damascus steel the same as Damascus steel? The answer is clearly no. Damasteel is in fact a manufacturer of Damascus steel. This is the only commercial manufacturer of Damascus steel where the Damascus steel is made from two types of powder steel. Thus, they combine optimal performance with stunning appearance. Damasteel is often confused with Damascus steel, but it is something completely different.

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