Knifemakers who make damascus are familiar with 15N20 Steel. It is made by Uddeholm and is marketed for use as bandsaw blades in sawmills. In some damascus it is the shiny layers. The nickel in 15N20 steel resists the acid etch and stays shiny.
15N20 is a great steel for knife blades. It is very tough and easy to heat treat. The reason I think it is not more popular is because it is not available in thicker sizes.
1080, L6 and 8670 are shown in the table above for comparison purposes.
15N20 Heat Treating Information:
15N20 Steel Heat Treating Services:
Blade Steel Information & Composition
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