Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEarth Sciences & Geology · 10 years ago

What is the strongest metal I could use to make a sword?

What is the strongest possible metal that I could acquire, turn into a sword, and would have the greatest immunity to breaking and losing its edge?

14 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Rhenium diboride!

    ...To be serious, though, you would want some kind of steel. I am not going to say what kind of steel, though, as they all have their possibilities. The thing about steel that makes it so great is it's hardenability and the wide variety of crystal structures that can be created within the steel itself to give it different properties.

    Martensite is what generally makes up a hamon on a Japanese sword.

    Pearlite is soft and allows for give without being brittle.

    Lower Bainite is springy, allowing a blade to bend and return with less permanent deformation as pearlite.

    Upper Bainite is springy, but is considerably more rigid (therefore fragile) than lower bainite.

    ...There are tons more, (ferrite, cementite, austentite, etc) but either I don't know much about them or they don't appear in the finished product anyways.

    These possibilities make steel the top choice for swords. You can selectively harden a sword to have a martensitic edge, being extremely hard, and a pearlitic core/spine to give it some springyness. You can harden the blade to a lower bainitic state to allow for really good durability.

    All this, however, stems from the heat treatment of steel. To reach martensite, the steel has to be heated, then quenched to cool rapidly. Martensite is extremely hard, but also brittle. This means that the steel then has to be tempered to relieve the stresses. To relieve said stresses, you must soften the martensite slightly. Lower edge retention, but less brittleness. Add in, say, a bainitic core/spine to the equation and you have a blade that is springy, therefore durable, with a hard cutting edge, meaning good edge retention and "bite".

    All of these structures can be coaxed from many of the different kinds of steel, so it is not about the type of steel as it is what the swordsmith does with the steel.

    As far as immunity to breaking and edge retention, there has to be a balance of both, meaning there is a slight lack in both directions. If you want resistance to dulling, you need a really hard blade...the downside being that the harder steel is, the more brittle it is. If you want resistance to breaking, you need soft, springy steel...which means that you have lower edge retention.

    There are pros and cons to everything. Equally important is that steel is and always will be subject to chemistry and the laws of physics.

    Don't worry about finding the ultimate supersteel, because it won't happen. Look, instead, for the best swordsmith available who can coax the best out of whatever steel will be used for what kind of sword and what sort of targets it will be cutting.

    (PS: Avoid titanium as both a base metal and an additive. Search titanium nitride embrittlement.)

    Source(s): Swordsman trained in Kashima Shinto Ryu and Mugai Ryu iai, sayashi (fittings maker), togishi (sword polisher), tsukamakishi (sword handle wrapper) and sword designer/consultant
  • maresh
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Metal Sword

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    What is the strongest metal I could use to make a sword?

    What is the strongest possible metal that I could acquire, turn into a sword, and would have the greatest immunity to breaking and losing its edge?

    Source(s): strongest metal sword:
  • 10 years ago

    the problem is the two criteria you list contraindicate one another. Holding an edge requires a harder metal, and immunity to breaking requires something softer and more flexible. The Japanese solved this by changing the temper of the steel across the blade. The Katana has a hard edge to hold sharpness backed with softer steel for flexibility. So it's not just a matter of what you use to make the blade, but how you make it.

    Personally, I'd love to see what could be done with carbon fiber, as it might possibly meet both attributes.

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  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Since titanium is almost impossible to hand forge and swords are almost always hand forged because the dies for forging material like titanium are incredibly expensive, the strongest material for a practical sword is laminated steel to give both a tough body and a sharp edge. Also, Titanium — Density: 4.54 g/cc, which is about half the weight of steel, so a you would be fighting with a light weight sword.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Titanium would work pretty good and is more available (affordable) than many of the better metals.

    Really, it is hard to beat a good steel alloy for a sword, especially since the weight is needed for the sword to work properly.

  • jpm896
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    A high-carbon steel-titanium alloy with embedded industrial grade diamonds or diamond dust. Expensive, but strong durable, and unlikely to lose sharpness.

  • 10 years ago

    Adamantium is the strongest metal there is.

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