What is Damascus steel?
What is Damascus Steel?
Damascus Steel is a metal composed of multiple different steels that have been layered and then forged together multiple times. Damascus Steel is renowned for its multi-layered steel structure. This combination offers both aesthetic and functional advantages. It looks like steel with rings and lines embedded within, often giving it a woodgrain finish & making it a favorite among steel lovers. Read on to learn more about it's history & it's modern-day applications.
Damascus Steel: A Brief History
Damascus steel earned its name due to its ancient origins in Syria's Damascus region. It stands out for its intricate patterns created by combining different steel types - resulting in a "layering" effect, since the different steels won't mix but rather bond together in a layered form. In ancient times, Damascus steel was utilized in the making of swords & blades due to its strength, resistance to shattering & ability to be sharpened into a fine yet resilient edge. Long standing legends maintain that Damascus steel has the ability to pierce a bronze or iron breastplate & can slice a hair that's falling across the blade. You'll find Damascus steel and other, similar pattern welding techniques used not only in the Damascus region, but also in Viking swords, Japanese katanas & Indonesia keris swords. Modern day research has even corroborated the well understood strength & resilience of Damascus steel.
How is Damascus Steel Created
The first step is to clean the metals to remove all dirt, debris & impurities from the surface of the materials. After cleaning, the stainless-steels are layered and then heated to forging temperatures (typically 1,000 -2 ,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Once forging temperatures for the Damascus steel are reached, any remaining oxides on the steel are removed by adding flux which separates surface elements from the steel.
Forge welding is used to affix layers together after adding flux. This process can be carried out using a press, anvil or hammer. After being folded over once, this fold process may be repeated several times until your desired pattern is achieved. To further enhance its beauty and uniqueness, twisting the layers that have been welded together creates a beautiful pattern, often described as a "woodgrain" pattern.
Damascus steel is not typically produced on a large scale because of the process required to melt & fold the different metals together; however, it can be produced on a small scale.
Modern Day Applications:
Damascus steel today is employed in the production of artisan metal products that require hardness and ductility. Damascus steel is ideal for applications where strength & flexibility are important while forging the metal. You'll find Damascus steel utilized in higher end firearm parts, cutlery sets & even haircutting scissors. One of the more common applications is in high-end jewelry where lifelong preservation & malleability during forging are important. Here at EMBR rings, we produce some of the most luxurious, durable & iconic Damascus steel rings for both men & women. We deploy modern techniques to provide colored Damascus rings, the oh-so masculine Damascus rings with wood inner bands & Damascus rings with colored interiors.
Today, you see references to Damascus steel in video games such as Call of Duty (Modern Warfare & Mobile), the HBO hit show Game of Thrones and the traditional English poem Beowolf.