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Wootzsteel

FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Wootzsteelisacruciblesteelcharacterizedbyapatternof
bands,whichareformedbysheetsofmicrocarbideswithina
temperedmartensiteorpearlitematrixinhighercarbonsteel,or
byferriteandpearlitebandinginlowercarbonsteels.Itisthe
pioneeringsteelalloymatrixdevelopedinSouthIndiainthe
sixthcenturyBCandexportedglobally.Itwasalsoknowninthe
ancientworldbymanydifferentnamesincludingWootz,Ukku,
HindwaniandSericIron.

Contents
1 History
1.1 Developmentofmodernmetallurgy
2 Characteristics
3 Reproductionresearch
4 Seealso
5 References
6 Furtherreading
7 Externallinks

Pictureshows18thcenturyPersian
forgedswordmadefromDamascus.
Cruciblesteels,suchaswootzsteel
andDamascussteel,exhibitunique
bandingpatternsbecauseofthe
intermixedferriteandcementite
alloysinthesteel

History
TheWootzsteeloriginatedinSouthIndia.[1][2]ThereareseveralancientTamil,Greek,Chineseand
RomanliteraryreferencestohighcarbonIndiansteelsincethetimeofAlexander'sIndiacampaign.The
cruciblesteelproductionprocessstartedinthesixthcenturyBC,atproductionsitesofKodumanalin
TamilNadu,GolcondainTelangana,KarnatakaandSriLankaandexportedgloballytheTamilsofthe
CheraDynastyproducingwhatwastermedthefineststeelintheworld,i.e.SericIrontotheRomans,
Egyptians,ChineseandArabsby500BC.[3][4][5]Thesteelwasexportedascakesofsteelyironthat
cametobeknownas"Wootz."[6]
TheTamilakammethodwastoheatblackmagnetiteoreinthepresenceofcarboninasealedclay
crucibleinsideacharcoalfurnace.Analternativewastosmelttheorefirsttogivewroughtiron,then
heatedandhammeredtoberidofslag.Thecarbonsourcewasbambooandleavesfromplantssuchas
Avrai.[6][7]TheChineseandlocalsinSriLankaadoptedtheproductionmethodsofcreatingWootzsteel
fromtheCheraTamilsbythe5thcenturyBC.[8][9]InSriLanka,thisearlysteelmakingmethod
employedauniquewindfurnace,drivenbythemonsoonwinds,capableofproducinghighcarbonsteel
andproductionsitesfromantiquityhaveemerged,inplacessuchasAnuradhapura,Tissamaharamaand
Samanalawewa,aswellasimportedartifactsofancientironandsteelfromKodumanal.A200BCTamil
tradeguildinTissamaharama,intheSouthEastofSriLanka,broughtwiththemsomeoftheoldestiron
andsteelartifactsandproductionprocessestotheislandfromtheclassicalperiod.[10][11][12][13]The
ArabsintroducedtheSouthIndian/SriLankanwootzsteeltoDamascus,whereanindustrydeveloped
formakingweaponsofthissteel.The12thcenturyArabtravelerEdrisimentionedthe"Hinduwani"or
Indiansteelasthebestintheworld.[1]

AnothersignofitsreputationisseeninaPersianphrasetogivean"Indiananswer",meaning"acut
withanIndiansword."[14]WootzsteelwaswidelyexportedandtradedthroughoutancientEuropeand
theArabworld,andbecameparticularlyfamousintheMiddleEast.[14]

Developmentofmodernmetallurgy
Fromthe17thcenturyonwards,severalEuropeantravelersobservedthesteelmanufacturinginSouth
India,atMysore,MalabarandGolconda.Theword"wootz"appearstohaveoriginatedasa
mistranscriptionofwook,ananglicisedversionofukku,thewordforsteelintheKannada
language.[15][16]Accordingtoonetheory,thewordukkuisbasedonthemeaning"melt,dissolve"other
Dravidianlanguageshavesimilarsoundingwordsforsteel.TheTamillanguagerootwordforthealloy
isurukku.[17]Anothertheorysaysthatthewordisavariationofuchchaorucha("superior").When
BenjaminHeyneinspectedtheIndiansteelinCededDistrictsandotherKannadaspeakingareas,hewas
informedthatthesteelwasuchakabbina("superioriron"),alsoknownasukkutunduinMysore.[18][19]
LegendsofwootzsteelandDamascusswordsarousedthecuriosityoftheEuropeanscientific
communityfromthe17thtothe19thCentury.TheuseofhighcarbonalloyswasnotknowninEurope
previouslyandthustheresearchintowootzsteelplayedanimportantroleinthedevelopmentofmodern
English,FrenchandRussianmetallurgy.[20]
In1790,samplesofwootzsteelwerereceivedbySirJosephBanks,PresidentoftheBritishRoyal
society,sentbyHelenusScott.Thesesamplesweresubjectedtoscientificexaminationandanalysisby
severalexperts.[21][22][23]
SpecimensofdaggersandotherweaponsweresentbytheRajahsofIndiatotheInternationalExhibition
of1851and1862.Thoughthearmsoftheswordswerebeautifullydecoratedandjeweled,theywere
mosthighlyprizedforthequalityoftheirsteel.TheswordsoftheSikhsweresaidtobearbendingand
crumpling,andyetbefineandsharp.[14]

Characteristics
WootzischaracterizedbyapatterncausedbybandsofclusteredFe3Cparticlesmadeof
microsegregationoflowlevelsofcarbideformingelements.[24]Thereisapossibilityofanabundanceof
ultrahardmetalliccarbidesinthesteelmatrixprecipitatingoutinbands.Wootzswords,especially
Damascusblades,wererenownedfortheirsharpnessandtoughness.
SteelmanufacturedinKutchparticularlyenjoyedawidespreadreputation,similartothosemanufactured
atGlasgowandSheffield.[14]
Thetechniquesforitsmakingdiedoutaround1700.AccordingtoSirRichardBurton,[7]theBritish
prohibitedthetradein1866:
Aboutapoundweightofmalleableiron,madefrommagneticore,isplaced,minutely
brokenandmoistened,inacrucibleofrefractoryclay,togetherwithfinelychoppedpieces
ofwoodCassiaauriculata.Itispackedwithoutflux.Theopenpotsarethencoveredwith
thegreenleavesoftheAsclepiasgiganteaortheConvolvuluslanifolius,andthetopsare
coatedoverwithwetclay,whichissundriedtohardness.Charcoalwillnotdoasa
substituteforthegreentwigs.Sometwodozenofthesecupelsorcruciblesaredisposed

archwaysatthebottomofafurnace,whoseblastismanagedwithbellowsofbullock'shide.
Thefueliscomposedmostlyofcharcoalandofsundriedbrattisorcowchips.Aftertwoor
threehours'smeltingthecooledcruciblesarebrokenup,whentheregulusappearsinthe
shapeandsizeofhalfanegg.AccordingtoTavernier,thebestbuttonsfromaboutGolconda
wereaslargeasahalfpennyroll,andsufficedtomaketwoSwordblades.These"cops"are
convertedintobarsbyexposureforseveralhourstoacharcoalfirenothotenoughtomelt
them.Theyarethenturnedoverbeforetheblast,andthusthetoohighlycarburisedsteelis
oxidised.
AccordingtoProfessorOldham,"Wootz"isalsoworkedintheDamudahValley,at
Birbhum,Dyucha,Narayanpur,Damrah,andGoanpiir.In1852somethirtyfurnacesat
Dyuchareducedtheoretokachhdorpigiron,smallbloomsfromCatalanforgesasmany
moreconvertedittosteel,preparedinfurnacesofdifferentkind.Theworkwasdoneby
differentcastestheMuslimslabouredattherudemetal,theHindupreferredtherefining
work.IhavereadthatancientlyalargequantityofWootzfounditswaywestwardvia
Peshawar.
Whenlastvisiting(April19,1876)theMahabaleshwarHillsnearBombay,Ihadthe
pleasuretomeetMr.Joyner,C.E.,andwithhisassistancemadepersonalinquiriesintothe
process.ThewholeoftheSayhddrirange(WesternGhats),andespeciallythegreatMight
ofShivamountains,hadformanyagessuppliedPersiawiththebeststeel.OurGovernment,
since1866,forbadetheindustry,asitthreatenedthehighlandswithdisforesting.Theore
wasworkedbytheHilltribes,ofwhomtheprincipalaretheDhdnwars,Dravidiansnow
speakingHindustani.Onlythebrickworkoftheirmanyraisedfurnacesremained.Forfuel
theypreferredtheJumbulwood,andtheAnjanorironwood.Theypackedtheironand
fourteenpoundsofcharcoalinlayersand,aftertwohoursofbellowsworking,themetal
flowedintotheforms.TheKurs'(bloom),fiveinchesindiameterbytwoandahalfdeep,
wasthenbeatenintotilesorplates.ThematrixresembledtheBrazilian,apooryellow
brownlimonitestripingthemudcolouredclayandactualtestingdisprovedthecommon
ideathatthe"watering"ofthesurfaceisfoundinthemetal.TheJauhar,("jewel"or
ribboning)ofthesocalledDamascusbladewasproducedartificially,mostlybydrawing
outthesteelintothinribbonswhichwerepiledandweldedbythehammer.Oraltraditionin
Indiamaintainsthatasmallpieceofeitherwhiteorblackhematite(oroldwootz)hadtobe
includedineachmelt,andthataminimumoftheseelementsmustbepresentinthesteelfor
thepropersegregationofthemicrocarbidestotakeplace.

Reproductionresearch
RussianmetallurgistPavelPetrovichAnosov(seeBulatsteel)wasabletoreproduceancientWootzsteel
withalmostallitspropertiesandthesteelhecreatedwasverysimilartotraditionalWootz.He
documentedfourdifferentmethodsofproducingWootzsteelthatexhibitedtraditionalpatterns.Hedied
beforehecouldfullydocumentandpublishhisresearch.Dr.OlegSherbyandDr.JeffWadsworthand
LawrenceLivermoreNationalLaboratoryhavealldoneresearch,attemptingtocreatesteelswith
characteristicssimilartoWootz,butwithoutsuccess.J.DVerhoevenandAlPendrayreconstructed
methodsofproduction,provedtheroleofimpuritiesoforeinthepatterncreation,andreproduced
Wootzsteelwithpatternsmicroscopicallyandvisuallyidenticaltooneoftheancientbladepatterns.
ThereareothersmithswhoarenowconsistentlyproducingWootzsteelbladesidenticaltotheold
patterns.

OnemustrememberwhilelookingatreproductioneffortsthatWootzwasmadeovernearlya2000year
period(theoldestswordsamplesdatetoaround200AD)andthatthemethodsofproductionofingots,
theingredients,andthemethodsofforgingvariedfromoneareatothenext.SomeWootzblades
displayedapattern,whilesomedidnot.Heattreatingwasquitedifferentfromforging,andtherewere
manydifferentpatternswhichwerecreatedbythevarioussmithswhospannedfromChinato
Scandinavia.
ItiseasytosaythatWootz/Pulad/Bulat/Hindwaniisonepatternandonemethodwithoneblade
characteristic,butthatisnotacorrectrepresentationofthebladesthatsurvivetodayortheaccountsof
witnessedmethodsfromantiquity.NotallofthesecretsofWootzhavebeendiscovered,butithas
essentiallybeenrecreatedbyAnosov,Pendrayandmanysmithsinthe20thcentury.Nonetheless,
researchcontinues.

Seealso
Damascussteel
IronpillarofDelhi
Patternwelding

References
1.SharadaSrinivasanSrinivasaRanganathan(2004).India'sLegendaryWootzSteel:AnAdvancedMaterialof
theAncientWorld.NationalInstituteofAdvancedStudies.OCLC82439861.
2.GeraldW.R.Ward.TheGroveEncyclopediaofMaterialsandTechniquesinArt.pp.380
3.SharadaSrinivasan(1994)Wootzcruciblesteel:anewlydiscoveredproductionsiteinSouthIndiaPapers
fromtheInstituteofArchaeology5(1994)4959
4.HerbertHeneryCoghlan.(1977).NotesonprehistoricandearlyironintheOldWorld.pp99100
5.B.Sasisekharan(1999).TECHNOLOGYOFIRONANDSTEELINKODUMANAL
(http://www.new1.dli.ernet.in/data1/upload/insa/INSA_1/20005b66_263.pdf)
6.HildaRoderickEllisDavidson(1998).TheSwordinAngloSaxonEngland:ItsArchaeologyandLiterature.
Boydell&BrewerLtd.pp.20.ISBN9780851157160.
7.Burton,SirRichardFrancis(1884).TheBookoftheSword.Internetarchive:ChattoandWindus.p.111.
ISBN1605204366.
8.Needham,Volume4,Part1,p.282.
9.Manning,CharlotteSpeir."AncientandMedievalIndia.Volume2".ISBN9780543929433.
10.HobbiesVolume68,Issue5Page45.LghtnerPublishingCompany(1963)
11.Mahathevan,Iravatham(24June2010)."AnepigraphicperspectiveontheantiquityofTamil".TheHindu
(TheHinduGroup).Retrieved31October2010.
12.Ragupathy,P(28June2010)."TissamaharamapotsherdevidencesordinaryearlyTamilsamongpopulation".
Tamilnet(Tamilnet).Retrieved31October2010.
13.http://www.archaeology.lk/http:/www.archaeology.lk/wpcontent/uploads/2011/02/DinithiVolume1Issue
4.pdf
14.Manning,CharlotteSpeir."AncientandMedivalIndia.Volume2".ISBN9780543929433.
15.RoddamNarasimhaJSrinivasanSKBiswas(6December2003).TheDynamicsofTechnology:Creation
andDiffusionofSkillsandKnowledge.SAGEPublications.pp.135.ISBN9780761996705.
16.MichaelFaraday,asquotedbyPeterDay,ThePhilosopher'sTree,p.108,ISBN0750305711
17.GirijaPandeandJanafGeijerstam(2002).Traditionandinnovationinthehistoryofironmaking:anIndo
Europeanperspective.PaharParikarma.p.45.ISBN9788186246191.
18.EdwardBalfour(1885).TheCyclopdiaofIndiaandofEasternandSouthernAsia,CommercialIndustrial,
andScientific:ProductsoftheMineral,Vegetable,andAnimalKingdoms,UsefulArtsandManufactures.
BernardQuaritch.pp.1092.
19.JamesStephenJeans(1880).Steel:ItsHistory,Manufacture,PropertiesandUses.E.&F.N.Spon.p.294.
20.CyrilStanleySmith(1September2012).AHistoryofMetallography:TheDevelopmentofIdeasonthe
StructureofMetalsBefore1890.LiteraryLicensing,LLC.ISBN9781258473365.

21.Pearson,G.(1January1795)."ExperimentsandObservationstoInvestigatetheNatureofaKindofSteel,
ManufacturedatBombay,andThereCalledWootz:WithRemarksonthePropertiesandCompositionofthe
DifferentStatesofIron.ByGeorgePearson,M.D.F.R.S.".PhilosophicalTransactionsoftheRoyalSociety
ofLondon85(0):322346.doi:10.1098/rstl.1795.0020.JSTOR106960.
22.Mushet,D.(1January1805)."ExperimentsonWootz".PhilosophicalTransactionsoftheRoyalSocietyof
London95(0):163175.doi:10.1098/rstl.1805.0010.JSTOR107164.
23.RobertHadfield,AResearchonFaraday's"SteelandAlloys",PhilosophicalTransactionsoftheRoyal
SocietyofLondon.SeriesA,ContainingPapersofaMathematicalorPhysicalCharacterVol.230,(1932),
pp.221292,atp.225.Publishedby:TheRoyalSociety.StableURL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/91231
24.Verhoeven,J.D.Pendray,A.H.Dauksch,W.E.(September1998)."TheKeyRoleofImpuritiesinAncient
DamascusSteelBlades".JournalofTheMinerals,Metals&MaterialsSociety.Archivedfromtheoriginalon
20150209.

Furtherreading
Srinivasan,SharadaWootzcruciblesteel:anewlydiscoveredproductionsiteinSouthIndia.
InstituteofArchaeology,UniversityCollegeLondon,5(1994),pp.4961.
Srinivasan,S.andGriffiths,D.SouthIndianwootz:evidenceforhighcarbonsteelfromcrucibles
fromanewlyidentifiedsiteandpreliminarycomparisonswithrelatedfinds.MaterialIssuesinArt
andArchaeologyV,MaterialsResearchSocietySymposiumProceedingsSeriesVol.462.
Hansson2002,p81"Denskapandemnniskan"
urukkufromtheTamilLexicon,UniversityofMadras(http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi
bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.1:1:3912.tamillex)
HistoryandCharacteristicsofWootzSteelinIndiaandAbroad.(IndianJournalofHistoryof
Sciencevol.42,no.3September2007).NewDelhi:IndianNationalScienceAcademy,2007.
Srinivasan,Sharada&Ranganathan,SrinivasanIndia'sLegendaryWootzSteel:anadvanced
materialoftheancientworld.Bangalore:NationalInstituteofAdvancedStudiesandIndian
InstituteofScience,2004.
J.D.Verhoeven,"TheMysteryofDamascusBlades",ScientificAmerican,pp.7479,January
2001

Externallinks
ThekeyroleofimpuritiesinancientDamascussteelblades
(http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/9809/Verhoeven9809.html)
NanotubespresentinDamascusBlades(http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061113/full/061113
11.html)
Wootzrelateditems(http://www.wootz.co)
Experimentsdocumented(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvRqYE0baA)onYouTube
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wootz_steel&oldid=711692516"
Categories: Steels HistoryofIndia Indianinventions Historyofmetallurgy
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