W1.2510 (O1 AISI) steel aloy bar for knife blade making. It is annealed with a clean surface.
1-1,40% Manganese (Mn). An important element, Manganese improves grain structure and contributes to hardenability, strength, and wear resistance. Improves the steel, deoxidizes and degasifies during the steel's manufacturing (hot working and rolling).
0,85-1,00% Carbon (C). Present in all knife steels, it is the most important hardening element. Increases tensile strength and edge retention and improves resistance to wear and abrasion. Added in isolation, decreases toughness.
0,50% Chromium (Cr). Added for increased wear resistance, hardness, tensile strength, and (most importantly) for corrosion resistance. Cr forms large, complex carbides. A steel with at least 13% chromium is typically deemed "stainless".
0,50% Tungsten (W). Scientific Wolfram. Strongest carbide former after Nb and then V. W increases wear resistance. When combined properly with Chromium or Molybdenum, Tungsten will turn a steel into a high-speed steel. The M2 high-speed steel has a high amount of tungsten.
0,50% Silicon (Si). Contributes to strength. Like Manganese, deoxidizes and degasifies to remove Oxygen from molten metal.
0,30% Vanadium (V). Contributes to wear resistance and hardenability, and as a carbide former (in fact, vanadium carbides are the hardest carbides) it contributes to wear resistance. It also refines the grain of the steel, which contributes to toughness.
0,30% Nickel (Ni). Adds toughness. Present in L6 and AUS6 and AUS8. Nickel is widely believed to play a role in corrosion resistance as well, but this is probably incorrect. One more reason Ni is added to an alloy is that it creates brighter portions in damascus steels.
0,05% Sulfur (S). Typically not desirable in cutlery steel, sulfur increases machinability, but decreases toughness.