Blade Steel Information & Composition
We've been chasing this steel for years. I first read about the steel named Cronidur 30 in an aerospace magazine years ago. We looked for a source and learned the steel was available in Europe and was very expensive. A few years later we found a domestic source but the price was still too high.
In late 2013 we were reviewing Zapp steels and recognized the composition of a steel they called LC 200N. It was the same as Cronidur 30. We called Zapp and bought a small sheet for testing. In early 2014 we talked to Zapp and agreed to change the name to Z-FiNit, (Zapp Fine grain Nitrogen steel).
Cronidur 30 = LC 200N = Z-FiNit
The data sheet for Z-FiNit says the steel can be heat treated to HRC 61. Brad at Peters Heat treating has been working with the steel and has achieved HRC 59. Brad is working to achieve a higher hardness. We highly recommend Peters if you need someone to heat treat Z-FiNit.
It is critical to include cryogenic treatment in liquid nitrogen after quenching to achieve maximum wear resistance.
At HRC 59 the steel performs well. The performance is better than 52100. Because it is a nitrogen stainless steel, the corrosion resistance is excellent, far surpassing 440C. The toughness is excellent. Do not be afraid to grind the blade edge very thin. In our experience, the edge does not chip.
There are several stainless steels containing nitrogen available to knifemakers. The advantage of adding nitrogen to steel is corrosion resistance. The nitrogen frees chromium to provide corrosion resistance.
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