Old And New Materials: Samurai Sword and Silk.

Although the modern day wonder of the Silk and the ancient art of the Samurai Sword seem very different, they have a lot more in common than you think. With these two materials, the possibilities of these amazing products have been discovered using their very distinct and unique physical and chemical properties. The Samurai Sword has gone through many critics to make it one of the worlds most fascinating instruments. From a video on the Nova site on “Secrets of the Samurai Sword.” It tells of the secrets to making a Samurai Sword, and although the Japanese may not have been able to see to the microscopic level, they were able to use techniques that got the best quality’s out of iron and carbon (steel) to make a durable, strong sword. They realized that a sword must me malleable so that it wont break on contact, but they also realized that in order to be a good sword it had to be strong. The way they accomplished this is they added less carbon to the inner sword to make it malleable. This made it so that the inner blade would absorb any hit and make the blade less likely to shatter. Than the outside had more carbon which made the blade hard. In a like manner silk has been modified, using later technology and physical properties, to be used to it’s fullest potential.

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http://www.martial-art-potential.com/samurai-sword.html

http://www.milartsilk.com/?page_id=64

In the TED video by Flo Omenetto, he explains the some qualities of silk. Silk can dissolve, but it also can be stable for years,  it’s edible, and it can be implanted in the human body. Using silk they were able to make many things from cups, to medicine holders, and even bones, all because they utilized the properties of silk.

Therefore, it is clear that properties when utilized in Chemistry and in the innovation process can prove very vital to making things fulfill their highest potential and in that way we see that the commonality between this modern day wonder and the ancient art.

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