5160 Spring Steel – Getting to Know 5160 Spring Steel
5160 Steel is used in truck springs and the like. European swords use 5160 Spring Steel while Japanese sword makers use this to make Spring Steel Katana. It is always a good idea to make a monosteel using 5160 Spring Steel however, it all depends on the heat treatment used on it. It all boils down to the quality of the steel used to begin with. Some companies use recycled steel these are considered second grade and some refer to it as crap steel. It is an absolute disgrace to use such kind of steel when producing a katana. It would still be a good idea to use 5160 Steel to produce a 5160 Steel Katana. Some makers and owners dispute that used steel does not have any place in making a katana. Folded steel will not show any signs of deterioration even in its used state. However, used steel will not guarantee rust issues. 5160 will not give in to rust. A Katana made of this steel can be deceptively simple. It does not look sharp but, when used to cut it can make palm trees drop right to the ground. It can even make sweepingly clean cut on pool of noodles. The condition to look for are tight fittings and no traces of slipping through the hands of the owner. During the 1980s, 5160 was often used not just in manufacturing swords and blades alone. Old tools like those used for bars and cold chisels come from this kind of steel. These are also used for hammers as well and not just on chisels alone. This simply means that this steel is good to use on most cutting tools.
Qualities of 5160 Steel
5160 Spring Steel is made of chromium. It is tough with high ductility. This is commonly used to produce 5160 Steel Katana. This is also use for heavy spring applications like those used in automotive leaf springs. The use of machines on this steel can be tough. Maximum speed and feeds are needed to produce such tough 5160 Spring Steel. Because of its high carbon content it is hard to weld. To make it easier to weld, preheating is needed with the particular part that needs to be welded. In terms of applying heat treatment, 5160 is normally hardened in oil. It is quenched in 1525 F temperatures. Forging must be done in higher temperature between 2100 to 2200 F. It must be air cooled after being subjected to heating at 1450 F. Round spring coil springs are better when producing swords because the cross section flattens as needed.
Steel alloys have iron with carbon in it. Other alloys are added to make the steel perform better. Carbon is one of the most important hardening element. This is the very material that gives strength to the steel. Chromium is added to make the steel wear resistant. This protects the steel from corrosion and rust. Having 13% chromium makes this stainless steel. Despite all measures taken all steel will rust when not maintained properly. Manganese is an important element. This material adds grain structure and makes the steel hard. Manganese is responsible for adding strength and wear resistance to the final product. Molybdenum will prevent brittleness and maintains the steel strength even at high temperature. There is 1% of molybdenum used on these steels. Tungsten increases its wear resistance as well. When combined with the other ingredients, tungsten adds high speed steel properties.
Properties to Consider
Knife performance is better than the steel. The blade profile is also important. However, it all boils down to proper heat treatment. It was observed by craftsman that even a lesser kind of steel will often result to better blade performance than using a better steel with inferior heat treatment. Bad heat treatment can cause the blade to lose its stainless properties or that its toughness is reduce. This causes the blade to become brittle. Out of three properties which includes: blade profiling, heat treatment and steel type, heat treatment wins hands down. Sometimes excessive attention and focus is given to the other two properties especially for those with untrained eye. 5160 is not for skinning a deer though.