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Temperform’s Damascus Steel product line

With a rich history and dedication to innovation and casting quality, the Lawton Standard Company is proud to have our Temperform facility producing Damascus Steel products.

Damascus Steel transitioned into Temperform

The Damascus Steel Casting Company was founded back in 1906. It operated in New Brighton, Pennsylvania for over 100 years.

In 2020, Damascus Steel was acquired by the Lawton Standard Company. The goal was to add another steel foundry to the family, but business conditions didn’t allow them to stay open. So Damascus Steel was transitioned into the Temperform facility in Novi, Michigan. Temperform produces high-performance steel castings under the Damascus Steel name.

Plant Manager Gloria Webber discusses Damascus Steel products made by Temperform

Damascus Steel products offered at Temperform

It took quite an effort to transition Damascus Steel into Temperform, so that they could continue to offer some of the great products to their customers.

“We had to go through a whole lot of product development,” said Temperform Plant Manager Gloria Webber. “The importance was to try and give the Damascus Steel customers continuity with the supply chain. So we developed the piercing point and guide shoe business to help make that happen.”

The Damascus products made at Temperform can range up to 4,000 pounds. “Some of the product was literally too big for our facility,” said Webber. “So those products got transitioned out.”

Currently, Temperform offers these Damascus Steel products:

Piercing points: made with 6% molybdenum, which makes it super heat resistant and strong.

Guide Shoes: typically hold the shape of the spinning, hot billet in seamless tube making.

Hammers: used for crushing

The seamless tube industry and Damascus Steel

Damascus Steel products are heavily used by the seamless tube industry. The piercing points and guard shoes help in the seamless tube making process.

“So they are heating billet, red-hot billet, and they are plunging the piercing point into a spinning billet and that is piercing all the way through the billet until it exits,” said Webber. “The guide shoes will typically hold the shape of the spinning billet, so the guide shoes are guiding the out OD and piercing point is making the ID.”

After the piercing point does it’s job, seamless tube makers use a secondary process where they make the tube rounder.

Behind the Damascus Steel name

The name is a tribute to the type of steel used in a blade that was created way back in 700 A.D. in Damascus, Syria. It was known for its legendary strength and sharpness, as well as it’s interesting “wave-like” pattern. Damascus steel resulted in an alloy that was both hard and flexible. The history of this is very interesting, but Temperform does not make Damascus Steel swords. “We don’t make the swords yet, but we could,” joked plant manager Gloria Webber. “It was from ancient times, the original steel making process. Everybody wanted those swords.”

Persian shamshir / saif, 17th century, Damascus steel. Credit: Met Museum.


In 1998, J.D. Verhoeven rediscovered the composition that would create this steel. He discovered the distinct surface patterns on these blades resulted from a carbide-banding phenomenon produced by the microsegregation of minor amounts of carbide-forming elements present in wootz steel You can read J.D. Verhoeven’s paper on his findings.

Photo Credit: ancient-origins.net

                There are several schools of thought on how it became known as Damascus steel. One claims it refers to the steel being first forged in Damascus, Syria. Another school of thought claims it comes from the Arabic word for water, which is “damas.” This is due to the turbulent, wavy patterns on the metal. Another thought on the name involves a swordsmith named Damasqui, who could be the inventor of the forging method that created Damascus steel.

Contact Temperform about Damascus Steel products today

With a central location in Novi, Michigan, shipping costs are minimized and the order-to-delivery lead times are among the shortest in the industry.

To get a quote or if you have questions, contact Temperform at 1-800-227-8464 or visit us online.

Sources and references

Purdue University Engineering

J.D. Verhoeven paper on Damascus Steel

Iowa State University on J.D. Verhoeven

Ancient Origins on wootz steel

ZME Science article on Damascus Steel

Swords of Northshire Blog