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Meteorite Iron


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Hey all --

 

I recently bought a chunk of iron meteorite and I plan to to include it in a batch of damascus.

 

Does anyone know if it etches dark or light? I'm trying to figure out what steel to match it with (i.e. 15n20 bright if the meteor is dark, or 10xx if the meteor is light).

 

Thanks for any advice.

 

--Dave

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Meteorite will be "bright and shiney" due to the nickel content. It is also very soft (about as hard as a coat hanger), so it is best to keep it away from the edge. When I use it, I make a meteorite/1084 damascus and then laminate it on either side of a high-carbon steel core (San-mai).

Dan

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i was told by a science teacher that metiorite is almost pure nickel.

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i was told by a science teacher that metiorite is almost pure nickel.

Then they wouldn't be called iron meteorites:) Iron meteorites have a nickel contents ranging from 5-25%. Apparently the Widmanstätten pattern depends on the nickel contents, and the finer the pattern, the higher the nickel contents.

 

It's unfortunate that the most beautiful part of the meteorite, the Widmanstätten pattern, will disappear when welding it, turning it into ordinary nickel iron. Once gone, it can never be recreated, as it takes millions of years of very slow cooling to create the pattern. So this is why I personally rather just admire the beauty of the meteorites, rather then working them into anything.

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Widmanstatten patterns can be recreated in the laboratory, or shop. Like the other phase transformations us smiths get excited about, time and temperature control are all that's required. These patterns, and dendrites, are not unique to irons or steels.

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Dave ,

as mentioned it will be bright... the stuff I used was more "sliver " looking that 15n20.... but only when compared side by side.

you will need to forge it into a solid piece before you sandwich it between whatever you are planning on... the chunk you have will be very fragile when you take it up to welding heat... If you were to hit it hard at that point it will spay all over your shop... I have seen $ in meteorite lost in the first heat... I was lucky that I saw it done wrong before I tried my first piece... So flux you piece real good and on the first heat don't even swing the hammer... literally press the hammer down as hard as you can with all you weight... and THEN give it a very light tap .... take another welding heat and lighty tap the billet again... do this as many times as it takes till the billet sounds and feels like it is solid... use lots of flux the whole time... you might have to fold/stack ... I think I folded mine a couple of times. ( I have forgotten and should have kept notes) once you get it into a solid piece you can put it between the layers of the damascus you are making....

I'd mix it with some 1080 for the most dramatic effect...

the pattern that is in the piece of meteorite you have will go away just as has been mentioned... so you are going to wind up with something that looks solid and a little brighter than 15n20 if you were to compare them side by side... when put in damascus in a blade most people will never know it is meteorite .... So It will become a "cool factor" that only you will know about .... biggrin.gif

Dick

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Here are a couple of meteorite damascus knives in a San-mai style. This way, there is no "soft" meteorite on the edge. Both have meteorite/1084 twist damascus (opposing twists) laminated to a 15N20 or L6 core.

 

Regards,

Dan

snakel1.jpg

stellari1.jpg

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Widmanstatten patterns can be recreated in the laboratory, or shop. Like the other phase transformations us smiths get excited about, time and temperature control are all that's required.

Yeah, but the trouble is that the time is in terms of millions of years, in the case of nickel iron. If you undo the pattern, it's just regular nickel iron like we can make right here on earth (which ultimately also originated in space, but has been on this planet for a longer period).
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Here are a couple of meteorite damascus knives in a San-mai style. This way, there is no "soft" meteorite on the edge. Both have meteorite/1084 twist damascus (opposing twists) laminated to a 15N20 or L6 core.

 

Regards,

Dan

 

Dan,

I forgot how good you stuff looks....mmmm....meteoritey...

 

All,

I prefer to make it liquid and turn it into good steel..then weld it up.....there is a poor "how-to" I did several years ago on the forum somewhere.

 

Ric

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Yeah, but the trouble is that the time is in terms of millions of years, in the case of nickel iron. If you undo the pattern, it's just regular nickel iron like we can make right here on earth (which ultimately also originated in space, but has been on this planet for a longer period).

 

 

http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/phasetrans/2002/widmanstatten.Ali.1991.pdf

 

http://www.fmet.ugal.ro/Anale/Anale%20%202-2004/9Radu42-45.pdf

 

In situ observations of Widmanstätten ferrite formation in a low-carbon steel. Materials Science and Engineering: A, Volume 407, Issues 1-2, 25 October 2005, Pages 127-134 Dominic Phelan, Nicole Stanford and Rian Dippenaar

 

Iron and Nickel are the two heaviest elements present in the solar wind.

Edited by Mike Blue
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