What makes modern day Steel stronger and more efficient than steel used before the 17th century Renaissance?

How has steel improved over the history of humanity since its first appearance 4000 years ago? e.g. what makes modern armour such as Tank armour have a higher tensile strength than the armour Roman centurions used?

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One Response to “What makes modern day Steel stronger and more efficient than steel used before the 17th century Renaissance?”

  1. Roger S Says:

    Chromium, Nickel, Vanadium and Molybdenum. These are things which can be added to steel to change its properties such as hardness, corrosion resistance and ductility. Steel was originally made by roasting iron ore with charcoal in a kiln. Nuggets of steel were found after the kiln had cooled and some were high carbon steel and some low carbon steel. There was no way of actually alloying them precisely the way they are today. However, the Japanese learned how to combine the two steel types into the finest swords ever made. The core was low carbon steel with a high carbon steel shell encasing it. The hard shell could be sharpened like a razor and the softer core absorbed impacts without shattering. European swords were forged from a single type of steel and often shattered because the steel was too high in carbon.

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