Xplorer wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:10 am
I've spent quite a lot of time working with LC200N (both for Lance's Siren project, as well as my own projects).
The hardness of LC200N seems to be capped at about 61. The production LC200N we see is generally HRC58/59. As we've all seen it performs quite well at 58/59. I've done a lot of work specifically to create a custom heat treat protocol that achieves a higher hardness and I can tell you that the extra time, cost and effort to get LC above 59 is simply more than we can ever expect a production company to do.
I have tested a bunch of LC200N blades at HRC 60.5 and just a couple of weeks ago my friend Shawn (deadboxhero) achieved 61. All of my testing has shown that LC200N performs noticeably better at that slightly higher hardness. It demonstrated better edge holding in the form of increased wear resistance. There is no chipping or any other adverse effects and edge retention is improved.
So, while it can get a little better than we currently see in production..only a little
better...it's not likely to happen in production because of time and cost.
Thanks very much for sharing the results of your testing and research, that's very interesting.
I guess the toughness of LC200N is still pretty good at that 60-61 range, considering the relatively low carbide/nitride content.
Do you grind LC200N in your customs fairly thin behind the edge?
It's good to know that Spyderco have probably hit a good balance point as far as production heat treats go for LC200N. Most of Spyderco's heat treats seem to set the benchmark standard for production knives.
It's common for people to request harder HTs, but I wonder if they are aware that there's a point of steadily diminishing returns, where a negligible hardness increase may result in a larger loss of corrosion resistance and/or toughness.
I guess LC200N would make a pretty nice custom kitchen knife as well.
Keep up the good work, I'm looking forward to trying out the Siren.