Damascus steel

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Description

A very strong, hand-wrought steel made in Near Eastern and Asian countries from approximately 900 to 1600 CE. Damascus steel was made from a heterogeneous metal mixture of iron and steel that was drawn out, folded over, and then welded many times. This sequence produced wavy patterns in the steel which were enhanced with acid etching. The hot metal mixture was also placed selectively in contact with organic materials to add carbon (up to 2%) to the alloy. Damascus steel was primarily used for sword blades.

Synonyms and Related Terms

damask steel; damasked steel; Damaszenerstahl (Deut.); acero de damasco (Esp.); Damast staal (Ned.)

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • David C. Scott, Metallography and Microstructure of Ancient and Historic Metals, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1991
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998