15N20 and You


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JShirley
April 29, 2013, 11:36 PM
15N20 is band-saw steel. It has been frequently used in "Damascus"/pattern-welded steel as the shiny layer, because of the 2% nickel content. 15N20 is supposed to take a very nice edge, but has not been used much in the US as a stand-alone steel because it has rarely been available in anything except very thin stock.

NJSB (http://newjerseysteelbaron.com/shop/15n20/) has 15N20 in appropriate thicknesses, so I think the forum will see some 15N20 knives in a few months, but in the meantime, has anyone else here used any? If so, what have your experiences been? Did you HT yourself, or send it off? How has edge retention and toughness been? Any corrosion issues?

Thanks,

John

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bikerdoc
April 30, 2013, 12:46 PM
Let you know soon. ;)

ETA: found this. Impressive.

15N20 (L6)

15N20 (or L6) is a low alloy steel usually used in large saw blades and such. It is a very good steel but is somewhat red-hard due to the vanadium content. 15N20 has the following characteristics:

Carbon: 0.70 to 0.90%
Chromium: 0.03%
Manganese : 0.35 to 0.55%
Nickle: 1.4 to 2.6%
Phosphorus: 0.025%
Silicon: 0.25%
Sulphur: 0.01% maximum
Vanadium: 0.15%
Wear Resistance: Medium
Toughness: very high
Red Hardness: low
Distortion in heat treating: low
Forging: Start at 980 to 1090C
Austenite forging: Yes
Hardening: 790 to 840C
Quench: Oil
Tempering: 150 to 260C
RC Hardness: 63 to 55

hso
April 30, 2013, 02:33 PM
Doc,

L6 and 15N20 aren't as similar as their compositions might lead you to believe.

JShirley
April 30, 2013, 09:38 PM
Yeah, they're both band saw steels, but hso is right.

JTW Jr.
May 2, 2013, 09:41 PM
When I first started making knives, I used 15n20 to practice in , made a whole lot of thin small give-away knives...still have a few laying around the shop that I use to cut sandpaper with.

Brin
May 4, 2013, 12:19 PM
I have made Damascus steel and knife blades, with 15n20. It is a very tough steel that takes a nice edge. You can skin two to three mule deer before you have to dress up the edge. The only draw back is it does rust.
To anneal 15n20 you need a long slow cool down in wood ash or vermiculite from a non- magnetic temperature, otherwise it will be impossible to drill. Heat treating is easy, all you have to do is heat to non-magnetic for a few minutes , then quench in a warm oil, then temper at 350 to 400 Fahrenheit.

JShirley
May 4, 2013, 02:29 PM
Thanks to both of you. It would be great if you were able to show what the finished blades look like.

Brin
May 4, 2013, 04:32 PM
Here are two Damascus knifes and one Damascus and 8670 knife.

JShirley
May 5, 2013, 09:01 AM
I especially like the pattern on the top, thanks.

JTW, any chance of us seeing one of your sandpaper knives? :)

John

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