Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Questions on metal Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Fri 19 Dec, 2008 9:50 pm    Post subject: Questions on metal         Reply with quote

Hey guys, a few questions about metallurgy.

1. what is difference between high carbon steel and mild steel?

2. Which is more historically accurate?

3. Was iron or steel more common for armor?

4. What is "cast iron"?

5. Is there any other kind of metal that I should know about in european arms and armor?

E Pluribus Unum
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Arne Focke
Industry Professional



Location: near Munich, Germany
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1. The more carbon a steel contains the harder it is, but also more brittle. Since the carbon content of mild steel is quite low it is soft and tends to bend rather than break.

2. None. Modern steel contains a lot of additives to achieve certain characteristics.

3. At which time?

4. Simply iron that is cast like you would do with bronze. Maybe you have seen a documentation about how church bells are cast...
Cast iron is often used in ovens and the like.

5.Bronze, brass and copper deserve some attention. Wink

Hope this helps a little bit.

Greetings from Kiel

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Doug Lester




Location: Decatur, IL
Joined: 12 Dec 2007

Posts: 167

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To expand on Arne's answere, cast iron contains more than 2% carbon and is too brittle to forge and must be cast to shape. That's the technical answere.
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would cast iron ever be used in medieval armor?

As to Arne:

If you could tell me at what periods what kinds of metals were prevelant in armor that would be great.

E Pluribus Unum
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Justin King
Industry Professional



Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 551

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't see how cast iron would have been used for armor itself, although it may have been used for anvils or other tooling. As stated before it is brittle, unmalleable and cannot be forged. Once cast its shape can only be changed by stock removal or by re-casting.
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,298

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Would cast iron ever be used in medieval armor?


Not that I know of. I understand that it was generally regarded as a waste product because it couldn't be forged to shape. All iron and steel armor that I know of was forged/hammered.

Quote:
If you could tell me at what periods what kinds of metals were prevelant in armor that would be great.


Hoo, that's a big question! I'll stick to the earliest bits.

Not surprisingly, during the Bronze Age armor was made of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. The tin content could vary from 3 or 4 percent up to 15 percent or more, at which point it can actually be harder than wrought iron. Bronze continued in use for armor and helmets well into the Iron Age. When you think of Classical Spartans and other Greeks, plus Romans, Persians, etc., that's Iron Age, but they still use bronze for much of their armor (at least at first!).

The Romans seem to have developed brass, too, which is copper and zinc. It got used for large numbers of helmets during the late Republic and early Empire (roughly 100 BC to 300 AD). However, most Roman armor and helmets after the first century BC (and most mail before that) were made of iron. This also varied in carbon content, and some of it can be called steel though we usually only see higher-carbon steel in sword and dagger blades. Surviving pieces of lorica segmentata almost invariably are a low-carbon steel or "steely iron", and seem to have been hammer-treated so that they are harder on the outside face and softer on the inside. Obviously we're talking about some sophisticated metalwork!

Does that get you started? Vale,

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Arne Focke
Industry Professional



Location: near Munich, Germany
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am really no specialist for armor. I believe that towards the end of the late middle ages softer iron was replaced by steel as the preferred material. Many things play a role in changes like that, not just the materials change, also the production methods.
With a little browsing on myArmoury you should find a couple of interesting threads to read.
Under the link "Books" myArmoury provides some interesting reading suggestions you might want to pick up.

But its late (almost 1 AM) and my english is getting sloppy. So, i better call it a day. Wink

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mattjew- The dates matter alot here, as western europe inventeted the blast furnace arond 900, making possible the mass prodiction of high carbon steel. They also had tempering and later quench hardening of steel, as well as old-fashoned hammer-hardening.The never stopped using brass and bronze for furniture though, scabbard mouths quillons,pommels,chapes,buckles,and so on as it's heavier and easier to work.
Ja68ms
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Questions on metal
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum