You already know that steel is made from iron, mixed and melted with small quantities carbon and what-have-you. The structural metallurgy (the size and alignment of crystals and metallic matrices) is also crucial to the physical characteristics of a finished metal, but it all starts with the magic numbers of just how much carbon, nickel, or unobtainium goes into the blender.
Wanna know just how much vanadium your AUS8 blade has in it?
Click on Zknives.com to check out their nifty interactive graph and learn the raw metallic blend of your favorite steels.
On the sample screen, you can see that 8Cr13MoV has 0.8% carbon, 13% chrome, and traces of molybdenum and vanadium. Type in your own favorite steel in the ‘Analyze Steels’ window, hit ‘Enter’ and see what comes up.
Not all steels are named after their chemical components: AUS8 contains no detectable traces of gold or uranium, and happily only the tiniest trace of sulfur.