Forging different steels by the Damascus technique results in a composite material consisting of layers with alternating properties caused mainly by different carbon concentrations. Substantial toughness and elongation are combined with high tensile strength and hardness in such Damascus steels. Since the 3rd century AD blades and weapons were produced by this technique.
Detailed investigations of old swords indicate that Damascus steels were also used for decoration by applying the inlay technique. A steel blade was forged and an inlay of Damascus steel was joined by forging. A cross section of this material was investigated by means of metallographic methods. Of high interest are the intersections between Damascus steel inlay and the steel blade. After metallographic preparation the various microstructures were characterized and Vicker´s microhardness measurements were performed.