Japanese steel is known for its high quality and sharpness. It is often used for knives and other kitchen utensils but you can also find it in car parts, tools and even musical instruments.
The composition of Japanese steel
The composition of Japanese steel can vary depending on the type of steel and its application. Generally, Japanese steel consists of a combination of iron, carbon and other elements such as vanadium, molybdenum, chromium and nickel. For example, a common type of Japanese steel for knives consists of about 1% carbon and 15% chromium.
How is Japanese steel made?
Japanese steel is traditionally made through a process called "tatara". This method dates back more than a thousand years and was mainly used to produce swords. This involves placing iron sand, charcoal and the ashes of different types of plants in a clay kiln. The furnace gradually heats up to a temperature of about 1,400 degrees Celsius. This warming up can take several days.
Once the mixture is melted in the furnace, it is separated into several layers based on density and carbon content. These layers are stacked on top of each other and forged into a block of steel. This ensures that the steel becomes strong.
Nowadays, Japanese steel is also produced in a modern way, using technology and machinery. This steel is widely used in knives, scissors and other cutting tools, among others.