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Scratches across his back. A girl's hair in their shower drain. In the weak phone glow, Javier allegedly started hacking.

  • Girlfriend’s samurai sword attack on man ‘scared the living poop’ out of him?
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Lovell woke to his girlfriend of two years attacking him with a sword, police say. Survival instincts - mainly martial arts training and all the Kung Fu films he had watched - clicked in. He eventually wrapped Javier in a bear hug. She needed to call police, or I was going to die. When police did arrive at the scene on March 3, they found Lovell curled up in the blood-spattered bedroom, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by police in Camas, a Washington state town east of Portland, Oregon.

Remarkably, he survived the attack despite serious injuries. Lovell almost lost the index, middle and ring fingers on his hand. But in a series of interviews this week, the competitive gamer sounded happy to be alive.

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Alex Lovell - known as "Biggie" in his local gamer scene - is an avid player of "PlayerUnknown's Battleground," a multiplayer online fighting game. Old swords have been found throughout Japan, and their history and that of the society in which they were made have been investigated by historians and archaeologists. The traditional technology for making samurai swords was established a long time ago and then handed down through the centuries. Even today, there are still craftsmen making samurai swords in Japan, even though these are no longer intended for actual use.

Because of their beautiful designs, these swords have acquired the status of aesthetic objects in Japanese society [ 1 ]. Samurai swords are made using a traditional steelmaking technology, tatara, developed in ancient Japan. Steels made by tatara are called tamahagane. Tamahagane is made by the following process Figure1 [ 2 ]. A specific iron sand and charcoal are fused together in a clay pot to make carbon steel Figure 1a. The material is then drawn out into a thin plate.

This plate is cut into smaller plates, which are then separated according to their carbon content and thus hardness Figure 1b. Each plate is folded and forged repeatedly to produce a fine-grained structure.

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The sword is constructed by combining steel plates with different carbon contents in layers, with high-carbon steel being used to form the sharp cutting edge the knife and lowcarbon steels for the side planes and thick edge the mandrel. The combined steel plates are repeatedly folded and stretched during hightemperature forging to produce the final shape of the sword. The partial coating allows the hardness of the sword to be controlled during quenching, with high and low hardnesses being obtained in the knife and mandrel, respectively.

The high hardness of the sharp edge of the sword is due not only to its high carbon content but also to martensite formed during the severe quenching of the uncoated steel. In addition, the volume expansion due to the martensitic transformation, which occurs only in the sharp edge, produces the desired bending of the sword.

After quenching, the sword is finished by grinding and polishing to produce a sharp edge as well as a beautiful design [ 3 ]. Schematic illustrations of the tatara steelmaking technology for the production of samurai swords. The tamahagane and sword shown here were provided by the research center of ancient East Asian iron culture in Ehime University. Recent investigations of the material properties of Japanese swords have shown that the steel contains a large number of inclusions [ 2 ]. Because of martensite formation, the Vickers hardness of the sharp edge area is as high as HV , compared with a value of for the thick edge area [ 4 ].

Although samurai swords have been employed for various uses over a very long period, there is an apparent lack of information regarding their mechanical and material properties. In particular, there has been no detailed description of the effects of the material characteristics of the steel, such as grain size, internal strain and inclusions, on the mechanical properties of these swords.

This might be due to the technical difficulties of obtaining suitable test specimens from the thin swords. Moreover, it is difficult to obtain real swords made by the traditional tatara steelmaking technology.

The DEADLIEST Swords in The World: CURSED Samurai Muramasa Blades

The aim of the present work is therefore to examine systematically the material and mechanical properties of an actual samurai sword using tiny specimens. For the present investigation, Tamahagane was created using iron sand from Shimane Prefecture, in the west of Japan. The WQ—S sword was slightly bent after quenching, although there was no clear bend in the unquenched sword Figures 1b and b5.

Test specimens were taken from each sword as shown in Figure 2. In addition, specimens were taken from conventional high-carbon steel Fe-C 0. S55C for comparison of mechanical properties. Tensile properties were examined at room temperature using an electro-servo-hydraulic system with 50 kN capacity. Schematic diagram showing the locations from which the samples were taken and the dimensions of a tensile test specimen.

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Failure characteristics of the sword were examined by the cyclic loading following method: Experimental setup for examination of the failure characteristics during the cyclic loading. Figure 4 displays optical micrographs of the swords and the conventional carbon steel S55C with and without quenching. The different ratios of pearlite and ferrite indicate that the carbon content of the sword varies depending on region: The grain size also varies: The fine-grained structure in the sharp edge region of the sword arises from the forging process.

On the other hand, as a result of the quenching process, lath martensite formation can be seen acicular structures in the sharp edge of the sword WQ-S1 and in the S55C sample WQ-S55C. Because of the coating that was applied to the sword surfaces other than the sharp edge during quenching, there are no significant differences in microstructural characteristics between S2 and S3, whereas it is obvious that the heating process has led to a decrease in the amount of ferrite phase in S2 and S3 compared with S1.

Optical micrographs of the swords and S55C with and without quenching.


The swords have a complicated microstructure, with several steel plates combined and with the formation of a martensite phase, and therefore the residual stress were examined by XRD. Yaso examined residual stresses in some swords by XRD and found a high residual compressive stress of MPa in the sharp edge region, which is about twice the values in the side regions [ 5 ]. This trend differs from our results.

It appears that the bending of the sword during quenching releases residual stress in the sharp edge region as a result of volume expansion, while producing severe residual stress in the thick edge of the soft weak material because of pressure from the surrounding areas. In the longitudinal direction Figure 6a , the hardness increases nonlinearly, with greater hardness being obtained in the sharp edge region for both sword samples.


The hardness of WQ-S is greater than that of NQ-S, especially in the sharp edge region, as a result of quenching, which leads to the formation of a highly strained bcc form of ferrite with a large number of dislocations resulting in high hardness. The hardness of the top of the NQ-S sample is about 2 GPa, which is about twice that of the bottom of the NQ-S sample because of the different carbon contents of these regions.

A similar hardness profile is seen in WQ—S. Such hardness profiles are a consequence of the weakness of quenching because of the coating on these areas. Figure 7 shows the hardness results for the sword S1 and S55C samples with and without quenching. It appears from these results that the hardnesses of the sword NQ-S1 and S55C samples are almost the same, because of their similar carbon content. On the other hand, the hardnesses of the quenched samples WQ-S1 are four times higher than those of the unquenched samples.

Figure 8a shows representative tensile stress—strain curves for each cast sample.