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Wootz steel

From Academic Kids

Wootz is a steel alloy making technique, discovered in India around 300 AD (although some say as early as 200 BC). Wootz is an anglicised version of ukku, the word for steel in many south Indian languages.

Wootz, a kind of crucible steel, may be produced by placing a mixture of wrought iron or iron ore and charcoal in a crucible with glass, which is then sealed and heated in a furnace with a number of other crucibles. After some time the result is a mixture of impurities mixed with glass floating on the surface, and "buttons" of steel. The buttons (with a typical carbon content of 1.5%) were separated from the slag and poured into 2 kg ingots.

Wootz steel was widely exported throughout the region, and became particularly famous in the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel. The critical characteristic of wootz steel is abundant ultrahard metalic carbides in the steel matrix percipitating out in bands, making wootz steel display a characteristic banding on its surface which is superficially simular to the layering created in pattern welded steel. Wootz swords were renowned for their toughness, it being said 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.de:wootz fr:wootz

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