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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 8:13 am    Post subject: Mail Tests         Reply with quote

I believe Dr Alan Williams has done some testing. I would expect it is mentioned in Knight and the Blast Furnace and possible other articles.

If I remember correctly most of it is iron, there is some steel though carbon content is quite variable.

Best
Craig
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: Mail Tests         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
I believe Dr Alan Williams has done some testing. I would expect it is mentioned in Knight and the Blast Furnace and possible other articles.

If I remember correctly most of it is iron, there is some steel though carbon content is quite variable.

Best
Craig
The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour in the Middle Ages & the Early Modern Period (History of Warfare, 12)
Alan Williams (Author) Craig, thanks for the info, I never heard of this book before, sounds interesting.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Knight and the Blast Furnace is available on google books

http://books.google.com/books?id=GpVbnsqAzxIC...amp;f=true

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Mail Tests         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
I believe Dr Alan Williams has done some testing. I would expect it is mentioned in Knight and the Blast Furnace and possible other articles.

If I remember correctly most of it is iron, there is some steel though carbon content is quite variable.

Definitely. One mail example was selected for testing and the link they tried to cut was so hard that it put dents in the jaws of the bolt cutter.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Mail Tests         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
I believe Dr Alan Williams has done some testing. I would expect it is mentioned in Knight and the Blast Furnace and possible other articles.

If I remember correctly most of it is iron, there is some steel though carbon content is quite variable.

Best
Craig

Dr Wiliams tested iron plates to simulate plate armour, but the maille rings he tested were case hardened steel. This would only be historically accurate for Reneissance or possibly even later.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 6:06 am    Post subject: Re: Mail Tests         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Craig Johnson wrote:
I believe Dr Alan Williams has done some testing. I would expect it is mentioned in Knight and the Blast Furnace and possible other articles.

If I remember correctly most of it is iron, there is some steel though carbon content is quite variable.

Definitely. One mail example was selected for testing and the link they tried to cut was so hard that it put dents in the jaws of the bolt cutter.


Actually, It's a maille reproduction in modern case hardened steel he tests in the machine. The iron is only used in plate armour simulation. Bolt cutters are not equivalent to the drop test machine bill, a ring that was hard to cut due to high hardless may well have easily shattered under a drop strike if the slag content wasn't low enough to support the hardness. Anyway, we won't know any of that either way for sure until someone tests this on a surviving reneissance maille.

If you want the strength of medieval or viking iron maille, you can re-calculate by using Dr Williams' most excellent test result diagrams using the high slag content iron accurate for those time periods. It all depends on what era one refers to, in late reneissance some mailles may have been converted to steel after making them from iron, but this would have been a risky process before 1700 but possible for superior expensive maille. Make 3 to 5 mailles, hit or miss case harden them, one turns out right the rest you sell cheap. Surely a king or high noble or even a very well to do merchant could pay for 5 mailles to get one of superior strength.

However, none of the finds from medieval or iron age that I've read the reports from have case hardened steel rings, they simply lack the low slag content required to support such a process without becoming brittle. How this works is explained by Dr Williams in The Knight and the Blast Furnace. High slag content if made hard would be brittle to strikes, whereas low slag content supports it.
See for instance the Gjermundbu archeological find report (iron/viking age 900s) regarding slag content. Or the Kungslena report (medieval 1209).

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Mail Tests         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Craig Johnson wrote:
I believe Dr Alan Williams has done some testing. I would expect it is mentioned in Knight and the Blast Furnace and possible other articles.

If I remember correctly most of it is iron, there is some steel though carbon content is quite variable.

Definitely. One mail example was selected for testing and the link they tried to cut was so hard that it put dents in the jaws of the bolt cutter.


Actually, It's a maille reproduction in modern case hardened steel he tests in the machine. The iron is only used in plate armour simulation. Bolt cutters are not equivalent to the drop test machine bill, a ring that was hard to cut due to high hardless may well have easily shattered under a drop strike if the slag content wasn't low enough to support the hardness. Anyway, we won't know any of that either way for sure until someone tests this on a surviving reneissance maille.

If you want the strength of medieval or viking iron maille, you can re-calculate by using Dr Williams' most excellent test result diagrams using the high slag content iron accurate for those time periods. It all depends on what era one refers to, in late reneissance some mailles may have been converted to steel after making them from iron, but this would have been a risky process before 1700 but possible for superior expensive maille. Make 3 to 5 mailles, hit or miss case harden them, one turns out right the rest you sell cheap. Surely a king or high noble or even a very well to do merchant could pay for 5 mailles to get one of superior strength.

However, none of the finds from medieval or iron age that I've read the reports from have case hardened steel rings, they simply lack the low slag content required to support such a process without becoming brittle. How this works is explained by Dr Williams in The Knight and the Blast Furnace. High slag content if made hard would be brittle to strikes, whereas low slag content supports it.
See for instance the Gjermundbu archeological find report (iron/viking age 900s) regarding slag content. Or the Kungslena report (medieval 1209).
I plan on having an authentic example of Japanese chain armor tested id I can find not previous reasearch on the subject , I have contacted the Royal Armouries and asked if they had done any testing on Japanese mail or if they knew of any tests and I recieved a reply from Ian Bottomley saying that as far as he knew that no such tests have been done, they did recently do tests on Japanese plate armor and found that the Japanese did actually use steel plate along with iron plate on some armors, so its not impossible for the Japanese mail the have been made from steel.>>>>good article http://www.royalarmouries.org/what-we-do/rese...ate-armour
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great! I think we'll all be really thrilled over here to see the resutls.
But still, you're sacrificing a heirloom/ museum object on the altar of science? I just hope you know what you're doing. Wink

You really should read The Knight and the Blast furnace before doing your tests. It's an expensive book but you can read it with a membership at www.questia.com at low cost.
Those Dr Williams did for the book was with a drop test machine with various bills, normally used for tensile strength testing of various types of steel. The maille he got was from The Wallace Collection.
Well, for details on it all you could contact him I guess? Perhaps he'd even be interested in participating.

Would this be japanese butted or riveted maille? Butted maille tends to hold up far less than riveted, even butted made in high stength modern spring steel compared to soft iron maille.


BTW. The way to properly determine if a maille ring is steel or iron is to mould it in plastic (or resin) and grind it down halfway through, then you can examine the structure in a microscope. There are experts out there that already do this sort of thing, you should take a ring or two off the maille piece and have it tested that way before doing more destructive tests on the maille, if it's to simply determine what it's made of.
There's a great paper on the subject of maille where this test was done. I'll see if I can find a link to it on the web.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
Great! I think we'll all be really thrilled over here to see the resutls.
But still, you're sacrificing a heirloom/ museum object on the altar of science? I just hope you know what you're doing. Wink

You really should read The Knight and the Blast furnace before doing your tests. It's an expensive book but you can read it with a membership at www.questia.com at low cost.
Those Dr Williams did for the book was with a drop test machine with various bills, normally used for tensile strength testing of various types of steel. The maille he got was from The Wallace Collection.
Well, for details on it all you could contact him I guess? Perhaps he'd even be interested in participating.

Would this be japanese butted or riveted maille? Butted maille tends to hold up far less than riveted, even butted made in high stength modern spring steel compared to soft iron maille.


BTW. The way to properly determine if a maille ring is steel or iron is to mould it in plastic (or resin) and grind it down halfway through, then you can examine the structure in a microscope. There are experts out there that already do this sort of thing, you should take a ring or two off the maille piece and have it tested that way before doing more destructive tests on the maille, if it's to simply determine what it's made of.
There's a great paper on the subject of maille where this test was done. I'll see if I can find a link to it on the web.
Johan, thanks for your insight, I have purchased a small piece of a chain vest or manchira for this purpose, and since it seems that NO research has been done on the subject of Japanese chain armor (many people deny that it actually exists) how else will it get done. The Knight and the Blast Furnace refers to European mail, which will be helpful once there are parallel tests done on Japanese mail to compare results. I have never seen any examples of riveted Japanese mail..... every piece I have or have seen has been butted, its hard to compare European Mail to Japanese Mail as the weapons it was used to defend against were were quite different. If you do find the info you mentioned please post a link, thank again.
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