Thanks to anteck7 and Aaron Lee for becoming Knife Steel Nerds Patreon supporters!
History of AEB-L and 13C26
Tracking down the history of AEB-L was surprisingly difficult. The Uddeholm website claims that AEB-L was patented in 1928 ; however, that is not entirely truthful. Uddeholm did patent a stainless steel in 1928 , which was named AEB, and later AEB-H to differentiate it from AEB-L. This was a very early stainless steel, so its development and patent needs to be viewed in that historical context. You can read about the development of stainless steels in this article. The AEB patent was for 0.7-1.1% carbon, 10-16% chromium, and 0.75-2.0% manganese. The original Brearley and Haynes stainless steel patents were still in effect; they got around them by using a higher carbon content than the Brearley patent (had a 0.7% max), and by claiming that high Mn led to improved corrosion resistance (it actually doesn’t). The nominal composition of AEB became 1% carbon and 13.5% chromium, which gave it a relatively large carbide structure compared to AEB-L, but it did see some use as a razor blade steel.