Ever here of D6A steel

Brad Lilly

Moderator and Awards Boss
Here is a question for all the bladesmiths. I have and run a portable bandsawmill and have a lot of old and broken blades. The blades are around 1/32" thick and made from D6A steel (from Woodmizer). I was thinking they may forge weld, but I could not get them to stick. I'm not the most experienced guy when it comes to forging so my lack of welding skill could be why they did not weld.

Has anybody ever run across this type of steel?
 

bubba-san

Well-Known Member
Sure have , Its similar to D-7 and it is a terror to work . It has a lot a of vanadium in it , probably hard to weld . I couldnt forge it .... It is very red short . It does make good blades though . I couldnt get it to weld with hammer and anvil . Might work with press though ... good luck
 

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
I did not find a specific reference for D6A steel but, if it is like the other D series steels, it's going to be high in chromium and chromium alloys are difficult alloys to to forge weld. People have forge welded stainless steels, which are also high in chromium, but they have to be welded in a very reduced atmosphere or under inert gas. Not a process for the faint of heart or the beginner. Of course the D6A could be a proprietary designater for the steel that's not related to the AISI classifications for tool steels which would put it in the mystery metal group.

Doug
 

Brad Lilly

Moderator and Awards Boss
I have found it very hard to anneal, no mater how I try. The blades runs under 2500 psi around the drive and idle wheel that have a 2' diameter. I can run 500 bdft of lumber out of logs from one sharpening. I had hopes that there was some way to weld them to make thicker stock. If it were thick enough to make a knife from I would think it would be very tough. I will have to sit on my stash of broken blades for a little longer untill I can find a use for them.

Thanks for the information.
 

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Bubba-San. From the stats it's a hypoeutectic steel with medium carbon content for forming martensite. On slow cooling it will form plenty of "free" ferrite (ferrite outside of the pearlite) and will be tough. The nickel content will also lend itself to toughness. It's high in chromium, though not as high as some of the other D series steel, and that will make it difficult to weld. The molybdenum and vanadium in the mix will form hard carbides and help with edge retention. If you could create an atmosphere that you could forge weld this in it should make an interesting blade. Especially a chopper. If you did an edge quench to take advantage of the ferrite formation it might etch out with a nice quench line. Too much chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum to try clay quenching. The molybdenum and vanadium might make it difficult to move under the hammer. Could be better for stock removal if you could get a billet welded up or find a source of appropriate sized billets. Just my scientific wild ass guess on the subject.

Doug
 

bubba-san

Well-Known Member
No problem Doug , I agree with you . with The properties of the metal it should make a tough blade . Might be interesting to try and build something from it .
 

SteelSlaver

Well-Known Member
I wonder if you could put it between a couple pieces of thin mild steel and then weld all the way around the edges. This would make it a dry weld and take care of the atmosphere problem when forge welding. The mild steel would take care of the fact that high chrome steels shrink less than high carbon when HT. After forge welding grind off the perimeter weld and use as a San Mia
 

Brad Lilly

Moderator and Awards Boss
I wonder if you could put it between a couple pieces of thin mild steel and then weld all the way around the edges. This would make it a dry weld and take care of the atmosphere problem when forge welding. The mild steel would take care of the fact that high chrome steels shrink less than high carbon when HT. After forge welding grind off the perimeter weld and use as a San Mia
Interesting idea, I might give that a try. I did try forge welding this stuff before and it was a disaster.
 

bubba-san

Well-Known Member
Might be tough to weld as Doug alluded to earlier . I tried making some sanmai out of D-7 and some low carbon damascus ... It also was a disaster . The damascus smashed flat and the D-7 barely moved .
 
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