Talk:Wootz steel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject India (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject India, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of India-related topics. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Technology (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Technology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 

Misc[edit]

Could an expert in metalworking verify this:

"...that they could cut through a man with a single stroke, and be bent around a man and return to their original shape when released."

The sources I've found in my limited searching have been adamant in glorifying the supposed advantages of wootz over other weapon metals (and always tint their work with strong nationalistic/religionist overtones). Do these traits (which the author of this article writes have been "said" to exist, implying that they are not necessarily fact) accurately describe wootz steel in any way?

The design of the blade has much to do with its performance. Cut through bone and sinew is easy to do with a thin blade that will not twist away from the direction of the cut. The pelvis is the hardest bone to cut through. An edge thats up to 10 times thiner than a piece of paper can't chip, crack or bend like foil and still function as a weapon for a life time or generations. It must cut through steel armor, bounce off shields, be struck edge to edge, eventually pierce chain mail or slash through dry hard leather. Not just once but all day. There were different grades of damascus steel. The kind that Alfred Pendray made before he introduced it to Dr. Verhoven is a different grade than reported in the journals and in the Scientific American. There is much more but that is the subject of books. Can the cut be made? Yes, on foot and horseback. Will it bend about the body like a belt? If its designed to be flat and thin then it will bend like a bow. Wear resistance, hardness, duribility. If you can throw a baseball at 90 mph replace it with a 10 inch jambia. You can cut just as fast. Even at half that speed the shock will find the flaw in the blade, handle, or user. The Persian wootz steel sword that I own is slender single edged and tapered. There is no rust after 400 years except on the steel fittings. The blade is unmarked and as true as when it was made. Time is a stone that destroys all but the best. I have a library of asian swords for 44 years made edged designs for 20 or so. I will check back to see if I answered your questions. Dave F.

The article says "Wootz steel was widely exported throughout the region, and became particularly famous in the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel.", but I was under the impression that the two were different (Damascus steel is most commonly thought as an improvement on Wootz), but I could mistaken. Can someone else comment? --ink_13 21:38, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Take a look at the Damascus steel article. Damascus is Wootz steel. I have encountered no source that says otherwise. 58.7.180.87 11:17, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
If it's really the same thing, shouldn't this article be merged into the Damascus steel article, or vice versa, with an appropriate redirect? We shouldn't maintain two separate articles about the same thing. --Sapphire Wyvern 03:04, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
They aren't really the same thing, though, are they? It seems to me that Damascus steels are thermomechanically processed Wootz steel, yielding a significantly different microstructure. Steel is a complicated alloy system, where redistributions of carbides within similar matrices are granted entirely unique designations (e.g., pearlite and bainite). Most alloy systems are not as literary in the naming of phases and specific alloy types. It seems that the terms Damascus steels and Wootz steels refer to microstructures with drastically different characteristics and mechanical properties. Therefore, I do not believe the articles should be merged. -- Matse chick 22:42, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Why is there a See Also link to w00t? --CCFreak2K 03:21, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, the article was linked to from Slashdot... everyone obviously made the conclusion that Wootz steel is used to pwn people, leading to the w00t, so we've finally discovered the proper etymology. Too bad this is Original Guessing and thus against the Wikipedia policy. =) --wwwwolf (barks/growls) 09:27, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Do not merge: There are clearly at least two time periods and distinct identities involved. Damascus is the more well-known of the two; so, one could argue for making Wootz a subsection of it. However, it seems a simple link between the two articles would be sufficient and sensible. Will Sims 12:19, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


"Oral tradition in India maintains that a small piece of either white or black hematite (or old wootz) had to be included in each melt, and that a minimum of these elements must be present in the steel for the proper segregation of the micro carbides to take place."

Errr, I think this needs to be reworded. I seriously doubt that the [presumably ancient] "oral tradition in India" knows anything about micro carbides. --Lode Runner 01:05, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

As to the first question, can a human being be cut through with a single stroke? Yes, however this depends to some degree on the geometry of the blade and to a much greater degree on the cutting technique of the blade wielder. This irrespective of the alloy involved. Japanese swords used to be tested on persons, living and dead, in just this fashion. This type of sword is definitely not wootz but of a pattern welded type.

As to the second question, can a blade wrap around a person and return to straight. Yes. The secret here will be in the heat treatment of the blade to a spring state. Again, this can be true irrespective of alloy or manufacture.

After reading the history of damascus in this chapter, my recommendation is to including the history in the wootz definition and separate wootz from pattern welded steels. Then make a note in pattern welding, that the common misapplication of damascus steel to pattern welded steels is a word tradition only. Aoguma March 30, 2007

Potential Lawsuit Magnet[edit]

Just giving you guys the heads up:

Either he might try to "shove" some info about himself to make himself the legitimate creator of the art, or try to sue Wikipedia over Copyright Infringement. God I do wish the USA had Tort reform.--293.xx.xxx.xx (talk) 11:48, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

What's really needed is patent reform; the idea that somebody can patent a process that's been in use for centuries is beyond absurd. 10:48, 25 November 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.203.209.0 (talk)

Yeah, IANAL, but I don't think that has anything to do with claims made under tort law. 12.206.222.20 (talk) 22:52, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

The process used to create wootz by the smith mentioned above is not related to the traditional process in any way, other then in creating a similar product. It involves heating and cooling cycles to create carbide segregation in the steel matrix, rather than a single crucible heating and cooling. You patent processes, not products. Al Pendray holds the patent on what is believed to be the closest to the traditional process.

A search of the United States Patent and Trademark site for wootz or techno-wootz all return "no result." What does return is http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week49/OG/html/1337-1/US07459040-20081202.html. At no point within the patent appear the words wootz or related. That claims are made that he has some how created wootz or a wootz-like product are not supported by the public references that he holds a patent on making wootz. That claim is patently untrue.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/klu/jmep/2000/00000009/00000003/00903286?crawler=true The preceeding reference is to an article by Verhoeven, previously cited as an established reference to the study of wootz. I quote: It is shown that the carbide banding in the 52100 steel occurs by a distinctly different mechanism than the carbide banding of the Damascus composition steels. Unquote. He is referring to Damascus composition steels as equal to wootz. It would be a viable discussion to consider that any steel within the chemical ranges defined by Watson's patent would possibly include a bar of 52100 or H13 or S7 or any other commercially available tool steel. Since the patent does state "a bar of steel", then any commercially produced bar or alloy within those specifications would succumb to the criticism by Dr. Verhoeven that the mechanism for carbide banding (as referenced in the patent) occurs by a distinctly different mechanism than the carbide banding of wootz and therefore they are not the same materials or process. Whomever added the dubious and unverified claim represents a non neutral point of view hedging toward an overt advertisement for his product. Aoguma (talk) 22:07, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Spelling[edit]

Is the correct spelling "Wootz" or "wootz"? This article has both version. --Wizard191 (talk) 00:12, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Origination question[edit]

Is it really sure as it stand in the article that Wootz steel orginated from India? According to Staffan Hansson professor in history in technology at Umeå technic University it could very well have originated from China, based on arabic, persian and chinese sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Awakened82 (talkcontribs) 15:51, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Defining wootz & the forging process.[edit]

As a bladesmith I wish to give a bit of clarity to this subject. Starting at the beginning. What is called Damascus in modern days fall into to two primary categories.

Pattern welding: This is the process of forge welding pieces of metal together to produce a larger piece of metal. Often this laminated bar will be folded and forge welded multiple times to increase the number of layers and or further refine the metal. This is the process used throughout the world to make blades and is nearly as old as iron working itself. This is the same process used to make the amazingly complex pre-800 ad migration period Norse swords. Also the renowned katana falls into this category.

Persian Damascus: This is a process use exclusively “or nearly so” in the middle east spanning almost 1000 years. The steel used for the Persian blades was manufactured in southern India and sold throughout Asia as well as the middle east. Outside of the Arab nations this same steel was used in laminated blade because of it's extremely high carbon content and tendency towards brittleness because of it. The effects of forging on steel: Forging is a deformation process. It does this through compression of the steel primarily through hammering. A skilled smith will forge a blade for two reasons. Obviously to shape it is one reason. The second is not as obvious. Proper forging of a blade further refines the steel by reducing the size of the crystalline formations within the lattice and more evenly distributing the elements within the steel. The problem is that heating a blade to forge it to shape is counter productive to producing a Persian Damascus pattern. The reason is because the pattern is formed through alloy and carbide banding. If you reducing the size of the crystals and distribute the elements evenly in the lattice of molecules you won't have banding. Countering the effect of forging: To produce the banding seen in true Damascus from a forged blade you have to undo part of what you have done during the forging process. One method is to bring the forged blade to critical temperatures or above and hold to generate grain growth in the steel. Critical temperature for those unfamiliar is the temperature range when the carbon atom shifts position in the lattice to produce an austenite crystalline structure. Only at this temperature can the steel be hardened to produce carbides thus making it hard. By holding in these ranges the crystals begin to shift and if held long enough they begin to combine and grow. Now slow cooling of the steel will maintain this larger more course lattice. At this point one can now begin the work to build up the pattern. Sorry I'm not going to go into detail explaining this part. Important to note: The complexity of the steel used for Persian Damascus was on par with many of the complex alloys of modern steels. It was probably air hardened is some cases. It is also important to note the people making the stuff had little or no knowledge of what the Persians were doing. Nor did they have much understanding of what they were making. They were smelting based largely on a monkey see monkey do concept combined with making offerings of gem stones to their gods. When their mines ran dry they couldn't produce a steel with the same characteristics again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.244.203.64 (talk) 03:42, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Defining wootz & the forging process. part 2[edit]

The effects of forging on steel: Forging is a deformation process. It does this through compression of the steel primarily through hammering. A skilled smith will forge a blade for two reasons. Obviously to shape it is one reason. The second is not as obvious. Proper forging of a blade further refines the steel by reducing the size of the crystalline formations within the lattice and more evenly distributing the elements within the steel. The problem is that heating a blade to forge it to shape is counter productive to producing a Persian Damascus pattern. The reason is because the pattern is formed through alloy and carbide banding. If you reducing the size of the crystals and distribute the elements evenly in the lattice of molecules you won't have banding.

Countering the effect of forging: To produce the banding seen in true Damascus from a forged blade you have to undo part of what you have done during the forging process. One method is to bring the forged blade to critical temperatures or above and hold to generate grain growth in the steel. Critical temperature for those unfamiliar is the temperature range when the carbon atom shifts position in the lattice to produce an austenite crystalline structure. Only at this temperature can the steel be hardened to produce carbides thus making it hard. By holding in these ranges the crystals begin to shift and if held long enough they begin to combine and grow. Now slow cooling of the steel will maintain this larger more course lattice. At this point one can now begin the work to build up the pattern. Sorry I'm not going to go into detail explaining this part.

Important to note: The complexity of the steel used for Persian Damascus was on par with many of the complex alloys of modern steels. It was probably air hardened is some cases. It is also important to note the people making the stuff had little or no knowledge of what the Persians were doing. Nor did they have much understanding of what they were making. They were smelting based largely on a monkey see monkey do concept combined with making offerings of gem stones to their gods. When their mines ran dry they couldn't produce a steel with the same characteristics again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.244.203.64 (talk) 03:45, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Origin of Wootz[edit]

I would like to propose a suggestion for the origin of the name "Wootz". In my opinion "Wootz" is derived from the Malayalam/Tamil word "Oothu" meaning blown. In my childhood, I have seen blacksmiths in rural Kerala who would make what they called "Oothu Urukku," literally "blown melt" in Malayalam.

Sponge iron was converted into steel by a lengthy process (days) using green leaves, fresh wood, charcoal and other materials, during which the metal was melted using a semi-continuous draft using manual bellows.

In Arabic, the character used for the vowel "O/U" is also used for the consonant "V." This has frequently caused errors in transcription in both directions, from and to Arabic. An example is the conversion of "Giorgis" (George) to "Gheevarghese" when the name was taken from Syriac to Malayalam by the Thomas Christians of Kerala.

I would like to stress that I am not an expert on etymology. However, I do have the advantage of personal experience, and knowing Malayalam and Arabic. The change from "Oothu" to "Wootz" is much more credible than that from "Urukku" to "Wootz".

I would appreciate comments from experts in the field. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fair1 (talkcontribs) 17:12, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Poor article quality[edit]

I'm not very well versed in Wikipedia's policies, but the 500 word verbatim quote in the Characteristics section as well as the grammatically incorrect reference to a YouTube video don't strike me as appropriate. --2602:304:AB0A:7E9:C64:2390:9D9D:82C0 (talk) 06:49, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I give you permission to fix it. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:09, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Moved the quote into the proper block quote format, though still really too long, we need to cut it down to what is relevant to the section its used in i.e. characteristics of wootz. However the section is really interesting and I'm loathe to cut it until we can get a proper wikisource copy of the entire book to link to.--KTo288 (talk) 15:05, 10 February 2014 (UTC)