Knife Blade Materials

Blades of knives are used for cutting, chopping, slashing, puncturing or for scraping surface or any material. The material used to make blades is known as blade material. Knife blades can be made from variety of material but the most common one are stainless steel, carbon steel and alloys made from various steels. Other materials used for making blade but not so common are titanium steel, ceramics, plastics and alloys. Steel has become one of the widely used materials. A clear understanding about the composition and properties of steel is required to have a grip on the knife blade material being used:

Composition of steel: it consist of basically iron and carbon. Sulphur, manganese, silicon and phosphorus are also found in small proportion. Carbon steel is one which contains only iron and carbon; these steels are used for making of blades.

Steel used for making blades are generally enhanced with other materials and are called alloys steel. Various properties are imparted in steel due to addition of other materials. Alloy steel which on addition with some other material becomes corrosion resistant is used for making blades. These steels are known as stainless steel and find wide use in knife blade making apart from other countless uses.

Materials added in steel for giving it a name of alloy steel are carbon, vanadium, chromium, molybdenum and nickel. Each of these materials provides certain properties to steel and also help in manufacturing of blades. For instance hardness is provided by carbon and ductility by vanadium.

Stainless steels are prepared by melting it in furnace with addition of alloying materials. Then they are poured into moulds known as ingots. These are then sent to mill and desired shape of steel is made. Blades are cut from these plates with the aid of laser cutting.

Properties of steel required for making blade are as follows: It should be hard, durable and of high strength. Edge retention property should be high so as to withstand high pressure applied during a particular use. Steel must be corrosion and wear resistant. These properties of steel are taken into consideration for making a knife blade.

Marten site steel is used for making of blade. As steel cools, there is a change in its internal structure. Marten site steel is very hard in nature and cools rapidly after heating. Types of marten site steels used for making of blade are S30V, 420J2, BG 42 and HC 420.

S30V is comprised of steel and vanadium. Vanadium enhances its edge holding tendency as well as provides resistivity against change. It is one of the best steel varieties available today for making knife blades. It is also ductile and hard in nature with high durability. It also features corrosion resistance property. All this makes it a crusader for making blades.