58 (HRc)

A Powers of Ten study could be made for the making of a sword like forging at 1,400 degrees F, crystalline structures at the atomic level, and the annealing process!

Steel is still the best material for making swords but it depends how the steel is treated with heat that makes all the difference in the world.  In Sword Forum International, it’s the hardness of the steel that “is generally measured by units known as Rockwells on a scale known as the Rockwell ‘C’ scale… 58 to 60 HRc – Ideal hardness for the edge of differentially heat treated swords (e.g. Chinese, Japanese).”

The level of hardness of the steel can be seen at the crystaline level (10-10) – Ferrite, Cementite, Austenite, Martensite, Pearlite and Bainite.  More from the Sword Forum International… “A sword’s overall performance is partly based on the hardness level(s) achieved as a result of the crystaline structures that form once the sword blade is quenched, as different crystaline states of steel yield different physical properties. The purpose of heat treating is to achieve the best balance between hard and soft in pursuit of qualities such as edge-retention (a function of hardness) and impact tolerance (a function of softness).”

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