Accession Number:

ADA610496

Title:

Research@ARL: Materials Modeling at Multiple Scales. Volume 3, Issue 2

Descriptive Note:

Journal

Corporate Author:

ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

Report Date:

2014-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

317.0

Abstract:

The discovery of novel materials enables advancement in weapon technologies as the history of one of the most important and most beautiful weapons, the sword, shows. Daggers made during the Bronze Age were too brittle. The advent of the Iron Age allowed transformation of the dagger into a powerful cutting weapon, the sword. Adding 0.2-1.2 percent of carbon and improving processing conditions quenching, tempering resulted in hard and versatile steel swords.1 The uniform distribution of carbon throughout the iron gave rise to wootz steel, one of the best materials for swords in antiquity. The improvements in the materials were followed by advancements in sword design to produce lighter and more lethal weapons. The crucial issue for sword design is the center of percussion, the strike point on the blade, where the shock felt by a swordsman is minimized as he strikes a target. The sword design evolved empirically over many centuries until the Renaissance, when giants such as Galileo attempted to understand sword dynamics. At present, using Newtonian dynamics and knowing material properties, we can computationally design the sword and predict the optimal location of the center of percussion.1 Yet many mysteries of the techniques of medieval swords craftsmen still remain to be rediscovered such as the processing technique that led to the insertion of carbon nanotubes and cementite nanowires in the steel of Damascus blades one of the most advanced sabres of all time.2 Clearly, material characteristics at the small atomic level impact material performance at larger, macroscopic scales, and therefore understanding this relation calls for multiscale research.

Subject Categories:

  • Ceramics, Refractories and Glass
  • Laminates and Composite Materials
  • Properties of Metals and Alloys
  • Miscellaneous Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE