Lubricium is Impervium that has been “cold reduced”. It has an entirely different name because it is a considerably different alloy.
Production of Lubricium
Cold reduction is a forging operation. You take a 5/8” round rod and forge it down to a 3/8” round rod. The area in cross section of the rod has been reduced from 0.306 sq. in to 0.11 sq. in. or about a 3/4 rds reduction. You are beating on it hard enough and long enough to re-arrange the crystalline structure. It gets packed much tighter. Obviously this is a very long and expensive process.
Cost of Lubricium
Lubricium is several times the cost of MS-60 and is hard to get. We recommend that you start with MS -60 and only use Lubricium where the need is critical.
The alloy is about 65% iron with Nickel and chromium for carbide formation. It also has about 10% manganese for toughness and vibration dampening. It has about 0.10% carbon. As a final step a gas is introduced as final alloying agent.
We do not think that these alloys will make quite as good a knife as Talonite but it is a much less expensive alloy.
It is unquestionably the best alloy for knife pins, screws, bushings and other parts. It is a stainless steel so it does not corrode. It is very wear resistant. It has a Rockwell C of 38 but this is misleading because it is a matrix with significant Nickel and Chrome carbides. The Rockwell measures the matrix and not the carbides, which generally have Rockwell values in the 90’s.
Both alloys polish beautifully. The surface finish is generally compared to German Nickel as a smooth, brilliant appearance.
Both alloys are easier to work that Talonite. As with Talonite these alloys do not need heat-treating. Think of them as pre-heat treated. They can be worked into excellent, beautiful knives and used successfully right off the bench. These knives resist things such as ordinary fires and cryogenic temperatures well but they will lose a lot of their desirable characteristics if they are subjected to any sort of a heat treat cycle.
Both Impervium and Lubricium alloys are excellent for knives. They make knife blades superior to most other stainless steels and, perhaps, better than all other stainless steels.