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Laadli Fauj

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Wootz is still available, but it isn't actually Damascus. True Damascus steel hasn't been made for a long time. None of the new so-called Damascus weapons you find for sale are actually Damascus - they just have a similar pattern (through pattern welding) but the chemical make up and method of production is completely different.

The closest steel you can get today is the hand made Japani one they use for Katanas etc. One of those will set you back over USD 20000. Indian Wootz steel isn't bad either.

However, many modern steels are very good quality despite not being made specifically for weapons, and they do the job well.

The article below may help.

Damascus Steel is a forged steel that comes out of the Middle East. It is thought to have been invented around 1100 to 1700. It is amazingly sharp and was said to be able to cut though other swords such as European swords. It is said that they can even cut though rocks. Although the recipe to make real Damascus steel is lost to history. No one really knows how it was made. The one thing that we do know is a steel called Wootz steel. All the makers of 'Damascus' steel use this steel as a base for their swords or knives. This Wootz steel comes from India and Sri Lanka. Later it started to spread to Persia. Then in the 3rd century India started to ship steel to the Middle East and continued untill the 17th century. This steel or (ingots) where what the people of the Middle East used to make their awesome Damascus Steel.

Even though the recipe is lost to history the term Damascus is now used for a steel that has a very visible patter or grain in the steel. This also can have or not have texture to it. Now Damascus steel is lamination of folded steel, then grinded and polished with the idea of showing the layers. Real Damascus patters are made when traces of carbon form visible patterns or swirls in the steel, these elements change as the steel is forged making the patters that people find fascinating and well very beautiful.

There are several other ways of making steel with patterns in them. One of them is just Wootz steel. Wootz steel is often sold as Damascus steel . Watered steel is another steel that makes patters in it, which is a steel that is often made in Japan. Damascus, Wootz, and Watered steel are the most common ways to make steel with patterns in them today. The way that Damascus steel is made today is by taking two tool steels, one high in nickel and the other a more grey steel so create the dark and light in the steel. Then when hammering the steel twisting it to make the lines or stripes in the steel. Only a very skilled swordsmith can mimic the designs that are found in the original Damascus steel. Another way to mimic the steel is to fold wire though the steel.

One of the properties of Damascus steel is that it was very hard and strong, but at the same time very flexible witch would have been a huge advantage over other swords of the time. One way that this is thought to have been achieved is alternating hard bands of iron with softer more flexible bands of iron giving you the best of both worlds. Another thought is that they where made with a small amount of vanadium. This might have been what gave Damascus steel its amazing strength. Now how it got the name is still a matter of opinion. Most people would think that the reason that they are called Damascus is that that is where they are made. There is a thought that they might be named after that man that first made them. It is thought that the man that first made the Damascus steel is in faced named Damashqu, and that is where they got there legendary name. This steel was originally made using ore from a mine. This ore had a certain chemical composition, and well for lack of a better word this mine was mined until it was empty, so they just ran out of the material used to make the steel. To attempt to artificially create this chemical composition would be very difficult.

Damascus steel swords would have been made around Damascus, Syria around 900AD to 1750AD. It is a type or steel alloy that gives great flexibly and great strength. The unfortunate people to first come across this sword were the crusaders, and it instantly gained their respect. It is said that a Damascus steel blade could cut a piece of silk in half as it fell to the ground, but could still chop through normal blades, and rock and still hold its sharp edge. No doubt if you could get your hands on one of these great swords would be a dream come true but to stand on the other side of one would be a nightmare.

Edited by Matheen
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