Maxamet - the ultimate Mule steel

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Cliff Stamp
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Maxamet - the ultimate Mule steel

Postby Cliff Stamp » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:08 pm

As Spyderco tends to be pushed towards very high carbide mules and they work with carpenter then this is the obvious choice : http://cartech.ides.com/datasheet.aspx?i=101&E=84

Maxamet is an extreme alloy, for comparison, it is to 10V what S90V is to 420J2. Maxamet is used when HSS like M4 fail because they are too soft or wear too fast - just consider that for a matter of perspective.

In industry it has very strong advantages because it can be used where traditional alloys wear too fast or take too much deformation but ceramic fails by fracture, as an example :

"Roll-Kraft, the world leader in tube and pipe mill rolls, evaluated Maxamet alloy in an abrasive tube forming application at a customer's plant. Normally, the costly tungsten carbide rolls in this application would produce 250,000 to 300,000 ft. of tubing. AISI D2 rolls typically produce about 100,000 ft. before rework is required.

Roll-Kraft's Director of Operations, Dave Jenkins, reported that the roll that had been made from Maxamet alloy was pulled from service after 320,000 ft. of production and found to have only 0.003" wear. Roll-Kraft was able to manufacture the rolls made from Maxamet alloy without difficulty as this alloy was found to be machinable. The tooling was reconditioned and put back in service on the production line."

Ref : http://www.cartech.com/techarticles.aspx?id=1588


As a knife - it would set a limit for hardness (as it is 70+ HRC) and wear resistance . In regards to sharpening, don't be concerned about that, I have ground 121REX (a similar CPM steel) on regular benchstones, there is no need for CBN or diamonds.

I am getting a bunch of knives made from a huge bar of it (almost 1/4" thick just for the lol's) :

Image

Image

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Postby jabba359 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:12 pm

If I got a knife in this, considering how much use my knives get and how extreme you say the steel is, I would probably never cut enough material to have a need to sharpen it. Ever. :D
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Henry - get both
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Postby Henry - get both » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:16 pm

I figure you will surface grind that bar down to ~.125" thick before cutting the blanks out?

What kind of blade geometry will the finished mule have?

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:21 pm

Henry - get both wrote:I figure you will surface grind that bar down to ~.125" thick before cutting the blanks out?
Ha, this is 38 HRC with full anneal, that would be sensible but I doubt that will be done. If it is practical it will have a distal taper.
What kind of blade geometry will the finished mule have?
Full flat, true zero. However I may do the final zero by hand. It will be under 0.005" from the maker (Jeremy McCullen) as he runs a water cooled grinder and can easily (and has) ground under that. However to do true zero you have to use fine abrasives and the Maxamet will likely eat them due to the carbide/abrasive size ratio effect on belt wear. Essentially the rate of belt wear rises dramatically as you approach the size of the carbides in the steel (if you are above them the abrasive just ploughs them out of the way, when they are the same size they wear against each other).

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Postby JNewell » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:44 pm

possessing properties intermediate between conventional high speed tool steels and cemented carbide.
Holy smoke... :eek:

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Postby bearfacedkiller » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:08 pm

Wow!!!

Carbon 2.15 %
Manganese 0.30 %
Sulfur 0.070 %
Silicon 0.25 %
Chromium 4.75 %
Cobalt 10.00 %
Vanadium 6.00 %
Tungsten 13.00 %
Iron Balance

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Postby xceptnl » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:16 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:Wow!!!

Carbon 2.15 %
Chromium 4.75 %
Cobalt 10.00 %
Vanadium 6.00 %
Tungsten 13.00 %
These are some serious percentages
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sal wrote: .... even today, we design a knife from the edge out!
*Landon*

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Postby Strong-Dog » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:18 pm

Sounds very similar to SM-35M50 Micromelt steel haha
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Postby Ankerson » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:27 pm

Cliff Stamp wrote:As Spyderco tends to be pushed towards very high carbide mules and they work with carpenter then this is the obvious choice : http://cartech.ides.com/datasheet.aspx?i=101&E=84

Maxamet is an extreme alloy, for comparison, it is to 10V what S90V is to 420J2. Maxamet is used when HSS like M4 fail because they are too soft or wear too fast - just consider that for a matter of perspective.

In industry it has very strong advantages because it can be used where traditional alloys wear too fast or take too much deformation but ceramic fails by fracture, as an example :

"Roll-Kraft, the world leader in tube and pipe mill rolls, evaluated Maxamet alloy in an abrasive tube forming application at a customer's plant. Normally, the costly tungsten carbide rolls in this application would produce 250,000 to 300,000 ft. of tubing. AISI D2 rolls typically produce about 100,000 ft. before rework is required.

Roll-Kraft's Director of Operations, Dave Jenkins, reported that the roll that had been made from Maxamet alloy was pulled from service after 320,000 ft. of production and found to have only 0.003" wear. Roll-Kraft was able to manufacture the rolls made from Maxamet alloy without difficulty as this alloy was found to be machinable. The tooling was reconditioned and put back in service on the production line."

Ref : http://www.cartech.com/techarticles.aspx?id=1588


As a knife - it would set a limit for hardness (as it is 70+ HRC) and wear resistance . In regards to sharpening, don't be concerned about that, I have ground 121REX (a similar CPM steel) on regular benchstones, there is no need for CBN or diamonds.

I am getting a bunch of knives made from a huge bar of it (almost 1/4" thick just for the lol's) :

Image

Image

From Carpenters Data Sheet: http://cartech.ides.com/datasheet.aspx?i=101&E=84

Wear Resistance:

The wear resistance of Micro-Melt Maxamet alloy is better than that of conventional powder metal high speed steel grades and is equivalent to AISI A11 cold work powder metal tool steel.

A11 is K294 and CPM 10V

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Postby Philo Beddoe » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:44 pm

Yep, and ZT is putting out a knife called the 0888MAX with the blade steel made out of Maxamet at a hardness in the 67 to 69 range..

Very limited numbers, somewhere around 120 were made, the target number was 250 but because of how hard Maxamet is to work with only approximately 120 were made..there were issues with several of the blades warping..

When you push the envelope sometimes the envelope pushes back..

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Postby JNewell » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:50 pm

Philo Beddoe wrote:Very limited numbers, somewhere around 120 were made
Can we start a complaint thread about that in Off Topic? :rolleyes:

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Postby Cliff Stamp » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:10 pm

Philo Beddoe wrote: When you push the envelope sometimes the envelope pushes back..
Doesn't afraid of envelopes :

Image

If two were good then obviously six are much better.

To clarify a few issues, while the alloy percentages are insanely high, the bulk of that is to give it the very high hot hardness which are needed in power machining very difficult materials. For a hand tool there is (in general) no value in obtaining hot hardness and thus the alloy content isn't directly useful. It does however look pretty impressive on paper.

In fact some of the alloy is only there because of the problems created when alloy content gets that high. The cobalt for example keeps ferrite out of the hardened state, without it the final state will be a mix of martensite (you want) and ferrite (you don't). Ferrite is very soft/weak compared to martensite and when you put a huge amount of alloy content it stabilizes ferrite. This is often why you will see steels shift to large amounts of cobalt when they want to gain high hot hardness (which demands that large alloy content).

I have also asked the maker to put up some videos and talk/show some of the issues with working with this steel as often the difficulty of working with steels is vastly over exaggerated as part of the promotion.

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Postby bearfacedkiller » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:45 pm

Pardon my remedial questions but;

Would this be fairly fine grained or not?

Would this be somewhat stainless even with only 4.75% chromium? What do cobalt and the other alloys do for stainlessness?

I'm still trying to understand the alloys but with numbers this high who knows.

I have really leaned towards tool steels for their ease of sharpening as well as how sharp I can get them. Loving d2, m4 and cruwear and have always loved 52100 and 1095. I haven't always enjoyed the high alloy stainless steels that are all the rage. Would this behave more like the tool steels i'm familiar with only much harder?

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Postby bearfacedkiller » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:48 pm

I'm so grateful for the wealth of information you guys have. I have lurked for a long time and now I know enough that I have many questions and you guys always seem so willing to share your knowledge. Man this forum kicks but.

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Postby hunterseeker5 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:01 pm

ROFL. Nice troll thread Cliff. :D

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Postby sal » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:18 am

Hi Cliff,

We can check into it.

sal

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Postby Stuart Ackerman » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:34 am

...and I will buy it in a Mule format...maybe even two...

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Postby Joshua J. » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:05 am

Philo Beddoe wrote:Yep, and ZT is putting out a knife called the 0888MAX with the blade steel made out of Maxamet at a hardness in the 67 to 69 range..

Very limited numbers, somewhere around 120 were made, the target number was 250 but because of how hard Maxamet is to work with only approximately 120 were made..there were issues with several of the blades warping..

When you push the envelope sometimes the envelope pushes back..
Off topic:
Are they not out yet? That knife was certainly very high on my desirability list.
Too bad it sounds like getting one will be a lottery.

On topic:
Spyderco should definitely acquire some Maxamet.

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Postby Invective » Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:00 am

This looks and sounds a lot like the Japanese HAP72, only without the moly.

I would also definitely purchase one as a mule, regardless of price, I've always wanted a knife that would need sharpening once a decade :p

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Postby dgebler » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:40 am

Cliff:

I noticed your design went from two to six, but in the process went from a full tang single piece of steel to just the blades with some sort of a three hole pattern to attach to a handle scale. Can I ask how you are planning to have these knives assembled and the trade-offs between your original intent of a full tang knife. I am just interested to know how this will be done as it does not even retain a stick tang and still retain the strength to take advantage of this extreme alloy. Pardon my relative lack of knowledge in knife making, but I am not familiar with this method and would love to know more.

Thanks,
Drew


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