Mr. Ulrich Gerfin developed a technique of micro-interlocking adjacent zones. This allows a superior cutting zone thoroughly connected to a soft and tough back, showing a continuous pattern at the same time. This construction can divide the blade into two or more zones. Each individual zone is characterized by different properties. The cutting zone can therefore be superb in cutting performance. For this reason Mr. Gerfin named this construction "performance zone" Damascene steel. For best performances softer and tough steels, like spring steels, are used in the back of the blade; high carbon, easily hardening steels are used for the cutting edge. The difference to the technique of the simply attached cutting strip is the very sound micro-interlocked connection between the cutting edge and the back of the blade.

Two-Zone Construction

Simple performance zones

Performance zones with nickel

While folding, a layer of a material high in contrast, e.g. nickel, is inserted into the fold. Often these materials, be it nickel or steel, are unsuited to form a superb cutting edge. By inserting them as strips smaller than the width of the Damascene bar to be folded, they can be kept out of the cutting edge. Inserting them during the first few folds will be sufficient to produce a pattern that appears to start a bit away from the cutting edge.

Flat jointed micro-interlock

A bar later forming the back, made of a high contrast combination, is welded to a high-grade tool-steel bar. By folding this combination, a micro-interlock is generated between the back and the cutting zone of the blade. An initial flat joint can prevent nickel from creeping into the cutting edge. By inserting steel layers of the total width, layers passing through the whole blade are generated.

complicated performance-zones

Flat jointed micro-interlock

complex performance-zones

Variation of micro-interlocks

Different combinations of micro-interlocks are possible. This picture shows a flat-jointed micro interlock with nickel layers inserted into the back of the blade producing a triple zone pattern.

© 2005 G.v.Tardy