RWL 34 stainless steel flat bar for knife blade making. It is annealed with a clean surface.
14% 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".
4,00% Molybdenum (Mo). A carbide former, prevents brittleness, and maintains the steel's strength at high temperatures. Improves machinability and resistance to corrosion. Present in many steels, and air-hardening steels (e.g. A2, ATS-34) always have 1% or more Molybdenum.
1,05% 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% 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).
0,50% Silicon (Si). Contributes to strength. Like Manganese, deoxidizes and degasifies to remove Oxygen from molten metal.
0,20% 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.