ODRING the past decade, metallurgists and other research workers have shown an increasing interest in the welding and forging techniques used in the manufacture ofcertain early European iron sword-blades. A number of detailed papers had been published on 'pattern-welding ' by the I940s, but it was left to H. Maryonj r) to recognize the practical problems involved and put the correct interpretation on the basic method. The terms pattern-welded and damascened have sometimes been used as though they were interchangeable. The two techniques are, however, quite distinct. A useful survey, both from the technical and the historical point of view, of all the various methods of manufacture which are known to have been used has been made by Smith (2), who also gives the relevant bibliography, and a more specific account by Maryontg) has more recently appeared. Although there is a superficial family resemblance, the true Oriental damask is due essentially to a 'crystallization ' phenomenon in a wrought steel (I '2-2 '0 % of carbon), and far harder to produce. In pattern-welding the effects result primarily from the forging
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