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Here’s why Razor Blades dull so fast

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  • Tip Bones

And you’re familiar with the endless frustration and expense of constantly replacing the blade. It seems unfair but after all, steel kitchen knives go a bit dull after a few onions, but not nearly as dull as a razorblade which is also made of steel. But it turns out, hair might be kind of like kryptonite for steel.

Steel is an alloy, meaning it’s a mix of two different materials, -Iron & carbon.


When they make razor blades, manufactures starts with a thin, flexible strip of steel, which they then subject to a series of heating, and cooling to give those materials a desired structure. Depending on the precise temperature used and how quickly the metal is cooled, different combinations of iron-carbon crystals will from- some stronger than others.

Razor blades are made of steels with a martensitic crystal structure, a particular arrangement of iron and carbon atoms that strike the right balance between hardness and flexibility. All that it is to say, we know a fair amount about how to make steel and how to create nice sharp blade.

So, a 2020 study, published in the journal science, set out to explain why the razor blades we end up with don’t do a better job of staying sharp. In it one of the researchers used a razor to shave their beard, a little at a time. In between each shave, the team uses scanning electron microscope to take pictures of the razor. That’s a powerful microscope often used to image surfaces in detail.

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