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- Uddeholm steel. Often referred as UHB Elmax, although I am not certain where does that come from, definitely not from Uddeholm catalogs. UHB might be Uddeholm-Bohler abbreviation, just a guess. In their color coding this is blue/black code steel. Meaning, Cold Work/High Performance steel. As far as the knives are concerned, interesting properties Elmax's are high wear resistance coupled with its high corrosion resistance. Max working hardness is about 62HRC, although production knives are mostly in 60-61HRC range.
Elmax is considered one of the premium alloys for folding and small fixed blade knives. When used with coarse edge about 400-800 grit range it has durable, very aggressive edge, but Elmax can also support very fine, high polished edges as well. For a high carbide, high chromium steel Elmax is still reasonably tough. Doesn't mean it will make a good sword at 62HRC, but as far as folders and small knives are concerned it is one of the top choices. PM process used in making Elmax reduces grain size and helps with carbide distribution, both of which positively affect steel properties necessary for the knife blade. Bohler-Uddeholm M390 steel
is quite similar, and a bit better performer then Elmax, although you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference unless you had two identical knives with optimum heat treatment to compare to each other. In real life, knife edge and blade geometry, plus heat treatment protocols would play a bigger role then the differences in their chemistry.
Bohler-Uddeholm - Elmax PM 170