What Is Talonite?
Talonite® is a Cobalt-Chromium alloy. When it is made the Chromium and
Molybdenum combine chemically with the carbon to form Chromium carbide and
Molybdenum carbide. The cobalt forms a soft and strong matrix that holds the
carbide grains in place. This means that a Rockwell or other hardness tests
will test the matrix and give relatively low readings however the hardness
and wear resistance is in the carbide particles.
Why Talonite Cuts so Well - Lubricity
Talonite® is much slicker than steels so it wears much longer. Talonite® has
outlasted 6K by 35% in wear tests. These were wear tests in a cereal
manufacturing plant. The abrasive substance was organic fibers in corn and
wheat. Talonite® rates much higher than steel and much closer to diamond or
Teflon in slickness. Talonite® is slicker so it also cuts faster and easier.
Machinery's Handbook, 24th Edition says that these alloys can be run 20% to
50% faster than high-speed steels when cutting.
The development of high speed and high temperature turbines for jet engines
led to the development of a new Haynes alloy. A good way to understand the
corrosion resistance of Talonite® is to think of a Navy fighter that sucks
sand into the engine flying out of Pensacola and sucks seawater in landing
on a carrier.
Talonite® is used regularly in applications such as sawing green lumber in a
sawmill. Highly corrosive organic acids, high heat from friction and cut
lengths of millions of inches as well as interrupted cuts and intense
thermal cycles, (extremely hot in the cut and out into flood coolant).
Talonite® makes an excellent dive knife. It does not rust by the usual
definitions, however it is technically susceptible to chemical attack.
Generally it requires something on the order of boiling 20% acid solution
such as hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid for weeks or months.
Talonite® was developed for rough environments. If your instruments were
really good you might detect corrosion in salt water after a thousand years.
Talonite Compared To Steel
Talonite® is an alloy that is primarily cobalt and chrome with only a very
small percent of iron in it. Steel is iron with a very little bit of carbon
in it. (Iron with .1 - .3% carbon and a maximum of about 2.5%).
Talonite® is very different than steel and cannot be compared one to one
with steels. Talonite® has a lower Rockwell than some steels but it contains
carbide grains. It is softer on a Rockwell test but much more wear resistant
than steels. In addition to the hardness of the carbides it also has about a
30% greater lubricity.
Talonite® can be sharpened to a razor edge as well as any other material,
however it will cut much better than other materials with an equivalent edge
because it is much slicker. Steels have a greater tendency to grab in the
cut. The grabbing creates more work and dulls the edge faster.
The metals that go into an alloy are part of what determines its quality.
Time, temperature, number of steps, kind of steps, and quality of
ingredients also determine the quality. Talonite® is superior because it is
made using more sophisticated chemistry. A catalytic additive can give an
alloy smaller carbide grains, which makes it more wear resistant.
A catalyst can alter the structure of the cobalt bonding mechanisms so they
grow more slowly and more evenly, which gives a structure that is both
softer (resists impact) and tougher (resists to tearing or rupture).
Talonite Is Expensive
It is a performance alloy first, last and always. It was developed to
withstand tremendous abuse in jet engines and other applications. Jet engine
turbine blades have to keep an exact edge no matter what gets sucked in.
Even the wear from air passing over them is more than a knife will ever see.
This alloy was designed without cost in mind. Fortunately it is such an
excellent alloy that the demand has brought the price down but it is still
about $200 a pound.
Even though Talonite is 20, 50, 100 times as expensive as steel it is so
popular that the big problem has been getting enough of it made. There is
only one plant in the world that is precise enough to make alloy this good.
Talonite Is Hard To Work
It takes more time and material to make a knife with Talonite as it does
with other materials. Talonite is very wear resistant when being shaped to
make a knife. Talonite knives sell for more than knives in lesser materials.
However Talonite knives are so good that they are a bargain even at these
Talonite Is New
It Is Expensive
Sold By Alpha Knife Supply
Chuck, Brenda & Jessica Bybee