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Cpm rex 45 vs s35vn

Cpm rex 45 vs s35vn

S45VN is a new powder metallurgy stainless steel being produced by Crucible that has just been announced. See the datasheet here. Crucible Industries was the first company to have Industrial production of powder metallurgy tool steels in You can read more about powder metallurgy and its history in this article. Crucible had been producing steels with very high wear resistance in combination with good toughness by designing them with high vanadium additions.

Vanadium forms very hard carbides which contribute to wear resistance, and the use of powder metallurgy keeps the carbide size small for good toughness. S60V was a modification of the common stainless grade C by adding 5. Instead, a complex chromium carbide is formed which does not have the same high hardness as the pure vanadium carbide.

You can read more about the interactions of different element in forming carbides in this article.

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The steel was found to have a good combination of toughness, corrosion resistance, and very high wear resistance. The patent for S90V was filed in [2]. However, knifemakers and knife companies also wanted a more balanced stainless steel as the high wear resistance of S90V can make processing of the steel and sharpening for the end customer more difficult. Therefore a Mo addition can be used for stainless steels with a bit lower Cr for an improvement in corrosion resistance.

This change led to a finer carbide structure and better toughness and machinability than S30V at the cost of a small reduction in edge retention.

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Read about the effect of niobium in steel in this article. It seems to be a popular opinion among some enthusiasts that S30V and S35VN are now old hat, so perhaps this new grade will attract them again.

Final refinement of the chemistry and Mill Production methods were developed by Bob Skibitski of Crucible. Crucible and Niagara collaborated to offer a steel with improved corrosion resistance without sacrificing other properties. Apart from the increase in Cr, S45VN also has a 0. Nitrogen can increase hardness and corrosion resistance in stainless steels, read more here. S30V also has a nitrogen addition [3], a point not often recognized since the nitrogen is not listed in the datasheet [4].

Powder metallurgy steels generally have at least 0. However, nitrogen can also be intentionally added to the steel for higher amounts. Nitrogen is not as prone to form chromium nitrides as carbon is to form chromium carbides, so nitrogen can often be added to steel for an increase in hardness without decreasing corrosion resistance. However, with the relatively high amount of vanadium and niobium in S45VN the nitrogen is not actually in solution.

Instead, the nitrogen promotes the formation of vanadium and niobium carbide which also decreases the amount of chromium carbides. In the article about niobium additionsI wrote about how niobium is a stronger carbide former than vanadium, leading to hard niobium carbides even in high chromium steels.

Replacing niobium with vanadium leads to a reduction in MC niobium and vanadium carbides and chromium in solution corrosion resistanceand an increase in undesirable chromium carbide M 7 C 3in a somewhat similar fashion to nitrogen.

As noted in the niobium article, small additions of niobium can also improve toughness by refining the microstructure as a whole by changing the sequence of solidification. So using niobium instead of vanadium should lead to a refined microstructure in general in part because of modifications to solidification as well as reducing the amount of chromium carbide. Chromium carbides coarsen more rapidly than vanadium and niobium carbides in powder metallurgy steels so reducing the amount of chromium carbide helps with carbide size.

Therefore, a niobium additions helps improve both toughness and corrosion resistance by increasing chromium in solution and refining the carbide size.

Comparing: CPM S35VN vs. CPM 20CV

The combination of niobium and nitrogen helps to keep the chromium carbide content as low as possible to help offset the increase in chromium so good toughness is maintained. The reduction in chromium carbide M 7 C 3 from nitrogen and niobium helps to offset the increase in Cr relative to S30V and s35VN in terms of excessive chromium carbide formation.

Chromium carbides tend to be larger than vanadium carbides, so the amount of chromium carbide should be kept as low as possible to maximize toughness. The result is that the overall carbide content is not increased much when compared with S30V, though still a bit higher than S35VN. The overall carbide content controls to a great extent the toughness of the steel.But what is the best knife steel?

Is blade steel a mystery to you? Is Crucible still just a play by Arthur Miller in your mind? Does Bohler-Uddeholm sound like a stinky cheese to you? In a hurry? All you have to do is click to be taken to that section. When it comes to getting the job done there are four main factors that determine steel quality. The goal of many knife users is to find the best steel to fits their needs.

A knife with great edge retention will vaporize cardboard even after months of carry. Toughness is key on hard-use camp knives and fixed blades. Prioritize Corrosion Resistance if you take your knives to high humidity environments. Sharpenability is pretty self-explanatory, but softer steels can be touched up in the field on that big elk hunt.

A tough blade steel resists chips and total failure when subjected to beating, impact, twisting, and torsion.

cpm rex 45 vs s35vn

Tough blade steels are ideal for camping and hard-use. Where a normal steel would chip, these knives can sustain intense batoning sessions, power through staples, and glide through steel strapping. Are you in a humid, wet, and salty environment? Do you frequently use your knife to meal prep acidic ingredients like citrus or tomatoes?

Certain steels are so good at resisting rust and corrosion that they can be left abused and salty without ill-effect.

cpm rex 45 vs s35vn

Carbon steels will pit and rust aggressively in wet environments if not properly cared for. Knives prone to corrosion can be protected with a thin coat of mineral oil. Maybe one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of blade steel is sharpenability.

Touching up certain steels with your sharpening stone is an easy, pain-free process whereas harder steels can make for an all-day affair to bring them back to sharp. Being able to field sharpen your knife can be the difference between life and death in the wilderness. An easy to sharpen knife will generally not exhibit excellent edge retention.

Heat treat, blade geometry, the job at hand, and the sharpening of the blade all play a massive role in the performance of the steel. Heat Treatment is the process of hardening and tempering the blade steel through heat.

cpm rex 45 vs s35vn

This increases the strength of the edge tremendously. A well-done and consistent heat treat goes a long way towards the performance of a knife. Low hardness increases toughness at the cost of edge strength.S30V was developed in specifically as a premium blade steel and S35VN was introduced in Not surprisingly, these premium stainless steels first appeared in high priced custom and limited production knives.

However, as I write this in Julymore brands, models and variants of production knives are being offered with blades in each of these steels than in long popular and relatively inexpensive steels, such asHC, C and 12C S30V and S35VN are making a rapid rise to prominence in the production knife market.

I knew there were some S30V knives selling for somewhat less, but I did not pay much attention to these until Gerber introduced its Gerber Gator Premium hunting knives with S30V blades. I was impressed enough with this knife that I was motivated to take a closer look at what is happening with S30V and S35VN steels in the knife market.

I will not get into the data sheet details on the products, other than to say that S30V is a high carbon steel alloyed with chromium, molybdenum and vanadium.

S35VN uses different proportions of carbon and vanadium, plus niobium, which is not used in S30V. The proprietary Crucible Particle Metallurgy CPM process perhaps has as much to do with the properties of the steels as does the alloy recipes.

cpm rex 45 vs s35vn

Crucible asserts, "the CPM process lends itself not only to the production of superior quality tool steels, but to the production of higher alloyed grades which cannot be produced by conventional steelmaking. S30V and S35VN were designed specifically for making high performance knife blades.

Custom knife maker Chris Reeve had considerable direct involvement in the development of S30V and after several years of experience building knives with it he worked with Crucible to make some improvements, which led to S35VN.

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A general understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of the two steels can best be gained by studying the following narratives from the Crucible data sheets for each steel. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides, which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.


CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than C in various environments. The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.

Its chemistry has been rebalanced so that it forms some niobium carbides along with vanadium and chromium carbides. Because both vanadium and niobium carbides are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance, the CPM stainless blade steels offer improved edge retention over conventional high chromium steels, such as C and D2.

The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional melting practices. I am not an expert on the technicalities of the composition and performance characteristics of various steel types.

Rather, I am a practical user of knives and I judge a blade by my perception of how it performs in use and how it behaves when I sharpen it.

What I know is that S30V can be made very sharp, holds its edge remarkably well in use and is not substantially harder to sharpen than other steels in the same Rc hardness neighborhood.When Crucible Industries introduced its CPM S30V steel, blade-smiths and knife-lovers alike fell in love with it; the quality wear resistance, toughness, and machinability offered by the steel was equal to none other.

Until Crucible Industries announced that they were coming out with a newer, improved version of their premium grade knife steel- CPM S35VN, which would have an increased toughness and ease of sharpening over its predecessor.

Soon it became clear that S35VN steel was a top-grade steel to rival the best in its class. The number thirty-five has no significance other than to differentiate between S30V steel. S35VN steel is composed of 1. Carbon is the most essential element in the hardness of steel; the higher the carbon content, the harder the knife is.

When combined with other alloys including chromium and vanadium, carbides are formed which are harder than just the carbon alone. This carbon content is very similar to that of the S30V type, which contains 1. The niobium, combined with the carbon, makes this steel 15 to 20 percent tougher than S30V. Combined with carbon, the niobium carbides make the steel more effective in providing resistance to wear and edge chipping than if it were more dependent on chromium, which is the case with many other steels.

The resulting edge holding ability of this steel is remarkable, ensuring S35VN steel to be a long lasting one. Not only does it increase strength and toughness, but it also promotes fine grain structure and forms hard carbides that dramatically intensify edge holding.

Molybdenum combines with carbon to make hard carbides that take that problem out of the equation. For these reasons, S35VN steel offers a superior edge retention over conventional high chromium steels such as C and D2 steels.

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Despite being less reliant on chromium, the carbide is still crucial for the high quality performance of the steel. This composition allows for S35VN steel to be an incredibly hard, high quality steel offering superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness that together make this a top grade steel at the top of its class. The CPM process creates a steel powder using a process called gas atomization, where molten steel is atomized separated into atoms by inert gas jets, and then cools down to perfectly spherical shaped powder particles with a high cleanliness level.

The powder is then combined through the HIP process into percent dense compacts. These compacts are then processed into bars through a mill. The properties received by steels that are produced through this process are said to be far greater than those of conventionally melted steels, offering improved wear and corrosion resistance, toughness, and machinability.

In addition, this method allows for the manufacturing of alloys with unique or enhanced properties that cannot be made with traditional steelmaking methods. Knives made with S35VN steel can be used for various purposes. Thanks to its high grade toughness and ability to become razor sharp, it is ideal for use in hunting and bushcraft knives, where toughness and wear-resistance are key.

Knives using this steel will surely perform even under the often less-than-ideal conditions found outdoors. For avid woodsmen, campers, and hunters, you will want a knife that provides an impressive, quality knife experience but also will not let you down where knives with other steels might. If you are frequently found outdoors in rainy, muddy, and otherwise dangerous conditions, than so will your knife.

The rugged dependability offered by S35VN steel in less-than-ideal conditions makes it quite obvious why one would want it in their knives. The Charpy V-Notch test measures the foot-pounds required to break samples of specific steels at given temperatures and predetermined hardness.

S35VN holds a transversal resistance of up to an impact energy of 12 pounds, with S30V two pounds down at 10 pounds.This illustration shows the key metallurgical characteristics responsible for the successful application of particle metallurgy products. Note the very fine and uniformly dispersed carbide distribution in CPM steels compared to the segregated distribution and broad size range of the carbides in the conventional product.

The finer carbide structure in CPM also results in finer grain size control. For the same reason the carbides are fine and uniformly distributed, so are any sulfides that are formed. At Crucible, we take advantage of this characteristic to re-sulfurize to high sulfur levels where enhanced machinability is required without significantly affecting the toughness properties.

This could not be done with conventional ingot processing. Specifically, these potential benefits include: a Better annealed machinability b More consistent and safer heat treat response c Significantly improved grindability d Good toughness characteristics e Larger size capability in full length bars The High Speed Steel Comparagraph is a graphical presentation of the three properties usually considered when selecting a high speed steel for cutting tools - red hardness, wear resistance, and toughness.

At the bottom of the chart, we have grouped the high speed steels into four major categories - general purpose e. M2wear resistant e. M3 and M4cobalt-type e. M35 and M42and super high speed e. In general, red hardness increases with total alloy content and particularly with alloys responsible for high attainable hardness.

There is a strong effect of increasing cobalt content on heat treat response and temper resistance. Wear resistance is affected by the heat treated hardness, but more importantly it is a function of the amount and type of hard alloy carbide present in the structure of the material. Of the alloying elements generally found in high speed steels, vanadium forms the most wear resistance carbides followed in decreasing order of effectiveness by tungsten, molybdenum, and chromium.

Thus, although wear resistance tends to increase with total alloy content and attainable hardness, there are notable peaks in the wear resistance curve at the high vanadium compositions, e. Toughness generally decreases with increased alloy content, particularly for the high cobalt, higher attainable hardness materials. However, the CPM high speed steels are consistently tougher than their conventional counterparts. Thus, some of the higher alloy CPM-produced grades may be as tough as, or tougher than, lower alloy conventionally-produced grades.

In applications where customers have traditionally used conventional M2 or M3 e.Its chemistry has been rebalanced so that it forms some niobium carbides along with vanadium and chromium carbides. Because both vanadium and niobium car bides are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance, the CPM stainless blade steels offer improved edge retention over conventional high chromium steels such as C and D2.

The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional melting practices. The typical applications include: Long-wearing specialty cutlery, plastic injection and extrusion feed screws and dies, non-return valve components, pelletizing equipment, and wear components for food and chemical processing. Although the longitudinal toughness of all four grades is ft.

This data sheet is for informational purposes only. Hold for 2 hours minimum each time. A freezing treatment may be used between the first and second tempers. Freezing treatments help to attain maximum hardenability and must always be followed by at least one temper.

Tempering in this range may result in a slight decrease in corrosion resistance.

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The presence of retained austenite may reduce the net growth. Cool to hand warm between tempers. A freezing treatment may be added between tempers. Aim hardness: HRC. Similar grinding equipment and practices used for high speed steels are recommended.

California New Hampshire North Carolina Illinois Sales Offices: Tennessee Michigan Hudson Tool Steel. California: New Hampshire: North Carolina: Tennessee: Illinois: Michigan: Order Summary. Type Category Advanced. California S. Tempering Temp. Salt or oil quenching will give maximum response. Vacuum or atmosphere cooling may result in up to HRC points lower. Minimun Time at Aust.Choosing the best steel for your everyday carry knife or another blade that you'll be relying on for a specific task can require some research.

No one type of steel is right for every knife, and by fully understanding the differences between popular types of steel, you'll be better able to make the right decision for your next big knife purchase. Knife makers tend to love CPM S35VN, so if you've spent any time on knife forums, you're probably familiar with it -- or at least have heard about it in passing.

Crucible's goal was to create an even tougher steel that didn't sacrifice resistance to corrosion, and they did that by using niobium carbides in place of some of S30V's vanadium carbides.

Carbides are hard particles comprised of carbon alloys in the steel matrix that indicate toughness and wear resistance but can be brittle in the wrong combinations.

S30V vs. S35VN Steel: Differences and Advantages of Each

For a heavy-on-the-science look at carbides, visit Knife Steel Nerds. The finished S35VN steel is made of 1. Crucible's CPM melting process makes steel more uniform down to the microscopic level for very stable, tough steel that is resistant to cracking or breaking. S35VN is as tough on longitude as C the hardest stainless steelbut five times tougher on transverse so it won't chip or break.

Edge Retention. The vanadium in the alloy works to create a fine grain structure that helps hold an edge. Niobium is even better than vanadium at keeping grain sizes small, so its addition to the alloy helps increase edge retention without giving up toughness or wear resistance.

The addition of molybdenum increases the material's strength to properly hold the edge. Despite the good edge retention, S35VN can be a bit difficult to sharpen.

Chromium is what gives steel its ability to resist corrosion, but it is less tough and wear resistant than other metals. The addition of molybdenum also helps to keep away corrosion, specifically the type that causes pitting in the steel. CPM 20CV is a steel created by Crucible to be excellent at resisting wear and corrosion, balanced with good toughness.

Crucible achieved the balance by combining a vanadium for edge retention with a high percentage of chromium. According to some manufacturers and knife makers, the 20CV is the best of the three at holding an edge. This premium "super steel" is used in many Benchmade knives and several Hinderer and Zero Tolerance models. It is made up of 1. The combination of carbides in CPM 20CV makes the blade tough, but not as resistant to breakage or chipping as other premium steels.

In a smaller blade, like an everyday carry folder, 20CV is tough enough for most uses. CPM 20CV is one of the best steels for retaining an edge.