En-Garde! A Review of Fencing Blade Material Development

Haocheng Jiang, Jingfang Shen, Xingyu Yao, Constance Van Horne, Xianhui Lu, Yong Xiong, Limei Cha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Using two fencing swords manufactured in Europe and China, we investigated the typical materials used for fencing blades and compared the experimental results with the nominal compositions of a variety of steels. We found that spring steels and maraging steels were the primary metals used in fencing blades. The review then provides an overview of the chemical compositions, heat treatment processes, microstructures and associated mechanical properties of these materials. By combining the requirements for the safety of athletes, mechanical behaviors of different steels, and production costs for industry, we introduced possible directions for the heat treatments and processing methods that have the potential to enhance performance and overcome the limitations of previous materials. In addition, an ultra-strong steel, Fe-9.95Mn-0.44C-1.87Al-0.67V which could be a promising new candidate in this area, was recommended. Finally, we suggested that successful cooperation between manufacturers and researchers is necessary to reach the various requirements of fencing blades to meet the growing popularity of fencing in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number236
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Fencing blades
  • Maraging steels
  • Spring steels


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