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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Dec, 2006 7:38 am    Post subject: The discovery of Steel?         Reply with quote

When was steel first created/discovered and started being used in the forging weapons and armor? When was steel in common usage?
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Dec, 2006 11:35 am    Post subject: Iron/Steel         Reply with quote

Hi Justin

Big Question. If you can supply some qualifiers it will be easier to give you some good areas to look at.

What region of the world?
When steel is first actually documented or when it was first produced on a regular basis?
Are you specificlly looking for steel as differentiated from Iron?
Are you defining steel as just the carbon content avialable to be heat treated or are you thinking when steel was produce and heat treated in a consistent process by design?

Best
Craig
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Dec, 2006 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: The discovery of Steel?         Reply with quote

Justin Pasternak wrote:
When was steel first created/discovered and started being used in the forging weapons and armor? When was steel in common usage?
I've read that the oldest found iron with a significant enough quantity of carbon was found from 3000BC. So that's even long before iron came into common use. Iron can be carburized by the smelting process, depending on what kind of ore used, how reducing the environment is in the furnace etc. If and when they knew how to do that on purpose is difficult to say. Then you also have irons with different elements which harden the iron through history as well, such as phosporous and manganese.
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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Fri 22 Dec, 2006 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sorry for not making my question clear. The regions of the world that I wanted to know about were steel was being used is in western and eastern europe. I'm also curious to know when steel was first documented and used on a general basis. I also want to know how steel and iron are differentiated from one another and I was defining steel as the amount of carbon content that was formed in the steel after being heat treated.
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Dec, 2006 8:50 pm    Post subject: European Steel 101         Reply with quote

Evenin Justin

First off carbon content needs to be there prior to heat treat. The quench and temper process can only adjust what is there to begin with.

Iron is the smelted product of iron ore. It needs heat and oxygen to create iron and if the carbon content ends up in the >0 to say 1.2% range you have steel (yes I know the hyper steels may have more but this is later in the evolution of the process, we need to remember that the production of steel was an empirical process that took time to develop.) with no carbon you have iron with greater carbon you have cast iron.

The first results of produced steel must have been happenstance and the recognition that it was different may have take time. There are examples of early steel but wether these are chance or some specific origin i.e. natural occurring or meteor sourced is not always known.

The actual recognition that steel was being made and its ability to heat treat is not known but certainly falls in the lie span of mans development and use of the sword.

In its earliest forms iron was more valuable than gold. It took time to evolve into the material of choice for weapons and armor.

I will try to add more later its late and i am tired :-)

Happy Holidays
Craig
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