PDA

View Full Version : Misinformation Damascus steel's value to golf



jamo83
06-20-2013, 09:06 PM
I am terribly sorry to be new and to post on the forum which is predominately about the use of damascus steel in custom knives. I have two big hobbies I love to hunt and use this steel often at the ranch. I also love to golf and in golf for those who play it is a never ending quest to find a putter that you love. Guess that is why it has become the most expensive club you can buy in your bag. I began to get curious about using the different kinds of damascus in milling a custom putter. Several club makers have come out with outrageously expensive putters made of damascus ($15,0000 for Titleist SC) I checked into it today and was quoted $700 or necessary billet size I would need to make the head of the putter. I have searched high and low on all golf forums and there seems to be a lot of misinformation and guessing as to what this steel could do. The most popular steel amongst golfers is Carbon. It has the best feel because it doesn't vibrate too badly after hitting the ball but you have to constantly wipe it and oil even while playing sometimes to prevent corrosion. My question for the forum is what would be the best composite of Damascus to use which would preform similarly to Carbon 11L17, Carbon 1018, or Carbon 1025 and without the threat of corrosion. Copper has become popular as well. Is the Mokumbe Gano of copper,brass,nickel-silver similar to pure copper. I guess I am just trying to get a breakdown of the hardness of all these different damascus steels and whether or not anyone knows the vibration frequency. They make beautiful putters but most of the people in the golf world believe this is just one steel. I am sure you all are tired of answering similar questions but I could not find straight answers from club makers. They do not realize there are different combinations and different qualities based on the skill of the metallurgist who is making it. Again sorry to post here but there is no where else where this is being intelligently discussed. It is mainly people curious about it and club makers get on the message board and call the steel crap and that its made from terrible material. I haven't found that to be so I think some of them do not to take the time to machine this steel but the rare ones that have been done people have loved the feel and say the patterns are beautiful. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

ajhuff
06-20-2013, 09:23 PM
Fascinating. I think the materials you are comparing against each other are all comparable with each other.

You will have no measurable resistance to rust until you begin to have at least 10.5% Cr, as a general statement.

-AJ

Larrin
06-20-2013, 09:40 PM
There shouldn't be a difference in vibration between carbon and stainless steel. At least not one that could be noticed. Sounds like the misinformation goes much further than Damascus. Carbon fiber would be a much easier way to limit vibration.

Larrin
06-20-2013, 09:58 PM
I looked up some elastic modulus numbers (which controls vibration) and stainless steel is actually slightly lower than carbon steel, meaning it would actually vibrate less.

jamo83
06-21-2013, 01:12 AM
Thank yall for the quick replies. That's is what I have always felt golfer forget to factor in shaft type and ballt type. I liked my 303 stainless steel. It's why I looked into Stainless Damascus. It will look beautiful after acid etching almost like a wood putter.

ThEoRy
06-21-2013, 01:55 AM
The type of steel is only a part of the equation. The heat treatment of the steel is what creates the hardness. If I were you, I'd send Devin Thomas a pm.

ajhuff
06-21-2013, 07:57 AM
The type of steel is only a part of the equation. The heat treatment of the steel is what creates the hardness. If I were you, I'd send Devin Thomas a pm.

Not entirely. If he's using 303 stainless that's an austenitic steel and not heat treatable.

-AJ

jamo83
06-21-2013, 09:13 AM
I may be wrong but the stainless damascus i was looking at was a combo of swedish/304 stainless.

ajhuff
06-21-2013, 09:45 AM
I am going way out on a limb here in not being an expert in golf club head physics, but I don't think the fact that the steel is Damascus steel rather than a single single steel makes any performance difference. I think you are looking at strictly a cosmetic issue and any claims to performance are strictly marketing.

-AJ

jamo83
06-21-2013, 10:18 AM
No you are not out on a limb. It is mostly for ascetic value but if I could get it heat treated, which club makers won't do then it would be better than the normal GSS or 303 they use. I have been told by several golfer that if you put on your headphones and hit a SS putter or a Carbon putter that you will not be able to tell the difference. So auditory may deceive some into preferring one over the other. I personally like that SS is a harder material than carbon because it only requires a smooth hit on the ball but yeah from what I have read Damascus doesn't offer an advantage over the SS but it might if heat treated. Plus I believe I read that some of the softer properties of 304 over take the AEB-L but again I am newbie in metallurgy. I have just been trying to find that perfect metal for the club that offers hardness as well as dampening vibration. The beauty of the Damascus (especially etched) and its similar performance to SS is what draw me to it as a material. Club designers are spreading misinformation saying that it underperforms SS which I haven't found to be the case.

ajhuff
06-21-2013, 10:30 AM
OK well it that regard your stainless steels can be split into two categories, ferritic and austenitic. Or in simpler terms magnetic and nonmagnetic. The ferritic (magnetic) grades like the AEBL you mention respond to heat treatment. The austenitic (nonmagnetic) steels like 304 do not respond to heat treatment. That may be why you can't find someone to do it.

-AJ

Larrin
06-21-2013, 12:23 PM
The hardness doesn't effect the vibration. Vibration is controlled by the elastic modulus which remains the same regardless of heat treatment. Therefore you could go as hard as you want without changing the vibration.

Lucretia
06-21-2013, 12:51 PM
OK, not a golfer, but it sounds like he's talking about changing the metal of the head, and the rest of the club stays the same. The affect of hardness would be to change the frequency composition of the energy input into the club when it hits the ball, which determines the excitation of the club and its dynamic response. Softer materials produce lower frequency excitations, harder materials higher frequencies. That said, looking at different steels I'd say the difference would be negligible and difficult to even measure. For modal analysis testing purposes, to get different excitation profiles a "hard" tip will be metal, a "soft" tip will be rubber--I just don't see that there would be a big energy difference as a result using different steels, assuming the heads are geometrically identical.

OP, for "vibration", are you talking about how the club feels in your hand? The weight of the head will probably have more effect than the material used.

I wouldn't say the elastic modulus "controls" vibration. The elastic modulus is related to, and can be derived from, the dynamic properties of the material. Two materials with different elastic moduli have different resonant frequencies, but the elastic modulus doesn't "control" it. Instead it is a measurement of material's inherent characteristics.

Larrin
06-21-2013, 02:55 PM
OK, not a golfer, but it sounds like he's talking about changing the metal of the head, and the rest of the club stays the same. The affect of hardness would be to change the frequency composition of the energy input into the club when it hits the ball, which determines the excitation of the club and its dynamic response. Softer materials produce lower frequency excitations, harder materials higher frequencies. That said, looking at different steels I'd say the difference would be negligible and difficult to even measure. For modal analysis testing purposes, to get different excitation profiles a "hard" tip will be metal, a "soft" tip will be rubber--I just don't see that there would be a big energy difference as a result using different steels, assuming the heads are geometrically identical.

I'm not sure where to start with my response. You're confusing many things together, and using some terms I'm not familiar with, i.e. frequency composition. Bottom line, you're confusing stiffness and hardness. Elastic modulus is a measure of stiffness.

jamo83
06-21-2013, 02:55 PM
I went and did some double checking and as I thought most professional players on the tour prefer some sort of Stainless steel. Some are cut by CNC and the face is deep milled. Some are polymer inserts. While some play carbon putters most do not because professional greens are much faster and steel seems more crisp IMO. Think that is why a majority of amateur players prefer carbon because greens are slower and it is forgiving on mishits away from the sweetspot. Honestly, I haven't been able to tell much difference on paper the differences in the stainless steals used are negligible. Putter makers like Scotty Cameron (Titleist) have patented phrases such as "German Stainless Steel". Their putters are better because they don't use American Stainless steel but someone did a comparison of the two steels and found them to be identical. Saying he used German SS allowed him to charge 3x his normal crazy price and rabid golf fans paid it. As this has become more controversial he has said in response that his putters have a better steel and feel because he double anneals his steel. I am not expert but isn't that redundant or over kill. He is the one who came out with a limited damascus putter, made 27, and charged $15,000 each. I put the picture below. It doesn't look damascus to me but maybe I'm worng. I got called Mr. Thomas' shop and was surprised to get to talk to him myself and he was the nicest guy. I think he has had more than few golfers or club manufactures call about his SS Damascus and quickly get off the phone when they find it cost prohibitive. That did not surprise me because as I stated previously they would rather find inexpensive material to make look nice so they could sell their customers on how it outperforms putters made with the same material. I'm not lying when I say golfers actually argue on message boards about whether German Stainless steel is better than American Stainless steel. I have been talking to Lee and Ken from Xenon Golf, who left a big company to start their own custom shop and he seemed interested to talk with Mr. Thomas. Hope the guys at Xenon get in touch with Mr. Thomas so they too can become better educated on the best metals to use. As far as I know SS is preferred by club builders because of its ease in machining. Maybe the guys at Xenon will be interested in casting it is something the no one does currently as far as I know. Just wanted to thank Mr. Thomas for taking the personal time to talk to me and y'all for having the patience to answer some of these simple questions. I positive sure now as I had suspected that most of the metals golfers are overcharged for are basically the same but are marketed to convince them that they are somehow better and the damascus being used in some putters is poorly created or not damascus at all. I still love the look of Mr. Thomas stainless damascus and think it would be incredible after being heat treated. I will be more than happy to pay a premium for something I know is a special metal and that is painstakingly hand crafted. $1000 for a one of kind putter with steel forged by hand and milled by a craftsman beats 27 factory made ones that cost $15,000. Here is that crazily priced putter. This can't be true stainless damascus can it? I misspoke he sold them for $19,000 and called his damascus the highest grade of any steel possible. Of course now you can't find any information on his site. Thanks again.


http://http://www.golfdiscussions.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=32093.0

jamo83
06-21-2013, 03:13 PM
I was going to say there is a definite difference from carbon, to stainless, to copper. I go by Brinell and Rockwell results but I am new to learning about all of this but metallurgy is fascinating to me. I dont think you are wrong shaft and grip will change it a little but what I am looking for is the how crisp the ball comes of the face. There are differences however slight between these materials. What gets crazy is when golfers actually convince themselves there is a difference between German Stainless steel or American Stainless steel. I have also been bothered by custom club makers claiming they have damascus steel and it is the grade of steel possible. It turns out they are using carbon damascus or worse regular stainless that is somehow etched or colored to poorly mimic the contrasts. No one that I have seen has used stainless steel damascus or if they if it is rare. I think, especially if heat treated it perform tremendously and look amazing. Like I posted it would probably cost $1,000 hand made from steel to putter but that is nothing compared to the $19,000 people paid for that stupid Scotty Putter. I maybe stepping outside of my extremely limited knowledge and please dont hesitate to tell me I am way off but I think feel of carbon steel vs stainless has something to do the ductility of the steel based on the carbon content of the steel.

jamo83
06-21-2013, 03:17 PM
correcting second sentence above

*bothered by club makers who overcharge for damascus clubs and claim it is the highest grade of steel possible

Larrin
06-21-2013, 05:14 PM
Like I said, hardness values are not what you should look at.

El Pescador
06-21-2013, 05:27 PM
Scotty Cameron put together a Titleist Del Mar II with a Mokume Gane insert made from copper, bronze, and nickel silver for me when I caddied for him in the late 90's. Felt just like a soft copper insert. Good luck with the putter.

Lucretia
06-21-2013, 06:22 PM
I'm not sure where to start with my response. You're confusing many things together, and using some terms I'm not familiar with, i.e. frequency composition. Bottom line, you're confusing stiffness and hardness. Elastic modulus is a measure of stiffness.

mea culpa--responded before coffee. Testing jargon is to use a soft tip or a hard tip on your hammer, you are correct regarding stiffness vs hardness . And it doesn't sound like it's the vibration of the club that's the issue, rather it's the nature of the collision between ball and head of club.


WARNING: Boring nerdly stuff ahead

As far as frequency composition goes...this is an oversimplification and the units aren't correct, but:


put a force gage between the ball and putter, and the resulting force when you hit the ball will look something like this:

16250

When you look at a garbled up waveform like you get from the force gage, you can recreate the waveform by adding sine waves of varying amplitudes and frequencies:


16252

Perform a Fourier transform on the signal from the force gage, and you basically get a graph of amplitude vs frequency of the sine waves required to recreate the force you've measured.


16251


Why do we care? Because the golf club based on its geometry and materials will resonate at particular frequencies. If your Fourier transform of the force shows large amplitudes at these frequencies, the golf club will respond and vibrate more energetically.


Now here's a tricksy bit--the effective force with which you hit the ball turns out to be the square root of the area under the curve after the Fourier magic has been performed--regardless of the shape of the curve. You can have a narrow band of frequencies with high amplitudes, or a very broad band of frequencies with low amplitude RESULTING FROM THE SAME EFFECTIVE FORCE. So by materials selection and geometries it is possible to "tune" the club so that the resonant frequency of the club does not occur at a maximum excitation frequency and vibration in the club will be minimized. Or vice versa. In general a stiffer material at the impact point will result in a narrower band with more high frequency components and a less stiff material will give you a wider band with lower frequencies--a "tink" vs a "thud".

But is sounds like that's not what the question was after all, so feel free to ignore everything I just said.

jamo83
06-22-2013, 04:24 AM
I love the information. This is why I have also been looking for other metals as well and was interested in finding out more about Copper Nickel alloy specifically 90/10 and 70/30. Thanks for the info!