wootz (steel)


wootz (steel)

Steel produced by a method known in ancient India. The process involved preparation of porous iron, hammering it while hot to release slag, breaking it up and sealing it with wood chips in a clay container, and heating it until the pieces of iron absorbed carbon from the wood and melted. The steel thus produced had a uniform composition of 1–1.6% carbon and could be heated and forged into bars for later use in fashioning articles, such as the famous medieval Damascus swords. See also bloomery process.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on wootz (steel), visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up wootz (steel)? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.