Katanas, particular Japanese swords commonly known to be Samurai weapons, are different from Tachi by their light curve and their long handle that allows the weapon to be grabbed by the two hands. These Samurai Swords are made of different materials, basically Iron. Actually, Iron is not used as it is because it is soft and very flexible, susceptible to oxidation and has no particular strength. Japanese Sword maker have developed through ages many ways and means to overcome the Weak Iron properties and keep the material properties of being responsive to heat treatment and susceptible for forging.
Among the steel material used in the industrial field and metallurgy manufactories, the Spring Steel is a very god candidate for making Samurai Sword. Because it is a new alloy of Carbon steel, some metals (Magnesium or Chromium) and a certain fraction of minerals. It appears that it is a cherished material for making Swords because it has, in its several types, some particular properties.
Certainly, there are steps to respect while preparing the material and while forging the Katana. What are the characteristics of Spring Steel Katanas and what are the advantages of using the Spring Steel in making Samurai Swords?
Spring Steel Material
Spring Steel is used in springs manufactures. It is generally High Carbon, or medium Carbon Steel or even Low alloy Steel. Object made of this material are able to recover their initial shapes or forms after deformation and deflections due to their very high yield strength.
Spring Steel is usually obtained by adding silicon fraction to carbon steel or high carbon steel. Notably, there are two categories of spring steel that are commonly used for making swords, the 5160 and 9260. They are alloys which are said to be resistant to extreme bending and they are able to recover their initial shape even after an advanced lateral bending session.
They are characterized by a very important durability and they are easy to handle and maintain. With those noble properties, it is normal that those spring steel’s types are very expensive. The use of those materials in making Spring Steel Katanas can be a delicate operation.
Spring Steel Katana Characteristics
Obviously, Spring Steel Katana inherits the ability of resisting to high degree of bending and can often recover the initial shape and form. Spring Steel Katanas are characterized by an excellent durability: they exhibit an uncommon resistance to bending and mistaken strikes. They are qualified by Modern Swords; they are made of new material (Spring Steel) but they are still made according the Traditional sword making processes inherited from the Samurai Ages of Japanese civilization.
5160 Spring Steel Katana is very resistant to corrosion. It is not a stainless based material, but it has a confirmed durability. Adding a little fraction of silicon (about %0.2) makes the spring steel Katanas, resulting from the forgery of the obtained steel, a very tough sword with excellent durability features. Spring Steel Katana is very resistant to corrosion.
9260 Spring Steel Katana is another type of swords that is made of another alloy of spring steel. The material is a Manganese-Silicone alloy with %2 of silicon. That important silicone fraction gives the sword a high resistance to bending and a great ability to regain original shape after suffering lateral bending efforts. The material allows heat treatment and gives the katana very high resistance to shocks.
The durability of the 9260 Spring Steel Katana is high and the katana requires a minimum care because it can keep the curves and it resists to lateral bending. The sharp edge can endure several cut operations. Spring Steel Katana can endure several dojo cuts; the sharp edge is resistant and can keep its sharpness for long time, according the cut object. It is a very good piece for training and it can endure the mistaken angle of cut, the wrong hits because of its high shock absorption.
Spring Steel Katana Forging
Forging Spring Steel is a very delicate process: because of the hard steel pattern, it is very difficult to polish a sword which has some form errors resulting from bad application of forging processes.
There is an important notice to consider, heat treatment and tempering are very particular processes which have to be conducted properly with extreme care, otherwise, and they would result in loss of carbon and the changing of the Carbon Steel behavior, inducing unhealthy Spring Steel for forging the Samurai Sword.
There are very straight periods of heating, and determined alternation of quenching in water which are different from quenching in oil. Clay coating is very delicate process as well because it requires the extended knowledge of the sword makers of the characteristics needed and how to obtain them through applying the several processes. In most cases, edges are lightly sharpened: the high resistance of the blade does not meant the durability of the sharp edge; the sharp edge is therefore more susceptible alteration and rapidly lose its sharpness.
Due to the extreme resistance of the spring steel material and its high shock absorption, it is recommended that the katana, intended for training and dojo use, should be Full Tang to sustain their solidity and support their high tensile power. The other parts needed to complete the piece of art are carefully selected according the material used for making the sword, because of the spring steel katana’s characteristics; the pieces to add are to be resistant to shocks and they should be flexible to adopt the behavior of the blade.
Being full Tang, with custom pieces and items is one option when the Katanas is destined to be collection item or an ornamental piece. The Spring Steel does not require so much care because of the resistance of the material to corrosion and oxidation. Although, it is recommended that the edge is not made to be very sharp because it would alter its resistance and make consume the border each time it needs to be sharpened. In all cases, Katanas are to handle with extreme precautions and very attentively to avoid injuries and accidents.