Damascus steels are related to composites which combine the properties of diverse steel qualities. By forging steel plates with different compositions, in particular differences in the carbon content, a multilayered workpiece is manufactured. Forging of cast iron has not been common because of its low melting point and brittleness at lower temperatures. Wolfgang Scheiblechner, a blacksmith from Palfau in Austria, combined ductile cast iron and soft iron to a unique composite material, which was investigated by means of metallographic methods. The intersections of cast iron and iron are of high interest, where carbon diffusion from ductile cast iron (graphite 100 % C) to soft iron (0 % C) takes place. In this case, all the microstructures characteristic for cast irons, steels, and soft iron were present. The microstructures were additionally influenced by forging and quenching. The cast iron region was dominated by nodular graphite and bainite; ledeburite was observed occasionally. The soft iron regions showed coarse equiaxed ferrite and grain boundary cementite. In the transition areas, ferrite showed a wide variety of shapes, and the microstructure changed from hypereutectoid to hypoeutectoid steel. The various microstructures were characterized by light optical microscopy and confirmed by Vicker's microhardness measurements.
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