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Ju Ye




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: why just few people use stainless steel to make armour ?         Reply with quote

what is disadvantage of stainless steel armour for battle fighting? my friend told me coz stainless steel will crack easier than mild steel during attacking. and is stainless steel armour more experience than mild steel / cold roll steel? i saw some russian craftsman sell stainless stelle armour and price is experience than mild steel option.]

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Scott Hanson




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is basically correct. Stainless steel is more brittle than carbon steel, as a general rule. It's been awhile since I had metallurgy classes, but I believe is has to do with the chromium taking up some of the interstitial space that the carbon would normally reside in and causing extra stress in the material.

I'm sure someone here is more current on their metallurgy and can give the proper explanation.

There are "high carbon" stainless steels that would probably have acceptable performance for armor and long blades, but these will be more expensive than a simple high carbon steel.

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Quinn W.




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're right - it is usually more expensive than mild steel (but not spring steel).
It is also less historically accurate.

As for performance, I believe the basics have already been covered in this topic:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...historical

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Ju Ye




Location: australia
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hanson wrote:
That is basically correct. Stainless steel is more brittle than carbon steel, as a general rule. It's been awhile since I had metallurgy classes, but I believe is has to do with the chromium taking up some of the interstitial space that the carbon would normally reside in and causing extra stress in the material.

I'm sure someone here is more current on their metallurgy and can give the proper explanation.

There are "high carbon" stainless steels that would probably have acceptable performance for armor and long blades, but these will be more expensive than a simple high carbon steel.


thx for reply, i think the hardest thing is how to identify the stainless steel, coz looks it's a general vocabulary, i also send same topic on armour archive forum, but they have totally opposite answer, i feeling maybe they talk the other stainless, like alloy or as u said, "high carbon" stainless steels .

thx for your information, and for normal armour, when we said "stainless steel armour ", which material been exactly using in armour making.......lol ,i think this questions will be quite confuse ...

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stainless works for armour, and has the convenience of rust-resistance.

Stainless armour is more expensive because it's harder to work (harder to cut, to drill, to weld), and perhaps somewhat due to being more expensive than mild steel. The last time I bought steel for armour, which was a long time ago, stainless cost 3 times as much. But most of the cost of armour is usually the labour.

I did most of my SCA fighting with a stainless helm. Works great, except for ringing like a bell.

Where brittleness in stainless is a problem is with high-carbon stainless steels that are hardened to high hardnesses. For achieving the "best" compromise between hardness and toughness, carbon steels will beat stainless steels. If hardness isn't an issue (as it won't be if you're prepared to use mild steel), then stainless can do perfectly well. If you're shaving weight from your armour by trying for hard+tough (like hardened spring steel armour), then stainless won't do so well.

I'd say the main disadvantage of stainless steel is authenticity. Unless you're trying to be authentic to movies like "Excalibur" rather than authentic to history.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 5:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, stainless is a modern alloy. So is the cold-rolled mild steel sheet many people use for armour these days. What about the inclusion of chromium makes stainless less historic than a modern homogenous mild steel alloy? Both are inaccurate as they aren't bloomery steel of varying thickness and inconsistent metallurgy. Happy

The honest truth, in my opinion, is that people often associate stainless steel with cheap, poorly made replicas. Because these bad replicas are badly and ahistorically designed and poorly made, they often fail (spectacularly). But more often, the failure is due to design issues (and/or lack of proper heat treat in weapons) rather than material issues. As with other materials, the material gets condemned because of its use in bad products.

I've seen plenty of jousters use stainless harnesses. It can work if made properly.

People often forget that the vast majority of modern makers of arms and armour are using materials that are vastly different from historical ones. Our understanding of metallurgy and the technology we have makes things available that weren't back then. The alloys most swordmakers use for blades and fittings are different than historical specimens. Ditto with armourers.

If you want true historical accuracy in an armour, you need to look past all modern alloys, especially ones that come in same-thickness-throughout sheets. But the pricetag will go up exponentially.

If you want to shoot down stainless armour for durability issues, you might be able to make some kind of case. But if your issue with it is "accuracy" you should shoot down armour made of cold-rolled mild steel, too, as it's a modern alloy our ancestors didn't have access to.

Just my opinion. Happy

Happy

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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a stainless harness I fight in now and then, it is an Italian piscod hence the 'now and then' I have been hit hard in it and had no issues.

The upside of Stainless is it is much easier to maintain in North Carolina than my old munitions grade mild steel. Humidity, air pollution and sweat all lead to rust.

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Quinn W.




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have witnessed stainless armor take a solid beating, and can vouch for its effectiveness if well-made. Yes, you can get technical with what is more brittle etc, but at the end of the day a good stainless kit is entirely combat-capable. Plus they are much easier to maintain.

I guess when you put it like Chad did, stainless is no less accurate than any other modern alloy, but I always figured that as long as you're not subjecting it to chemical tests the other steels are closer in how they look and handle. Objectively both are inaccurate, but subjectively I think that other steels are more accurate in "feel."
However, that sentiment doesn't really make me feel any better as I watch my munitions breastplate get slowly devoured by rust.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paint it black, with a good rust-prevention tannic acid paint. Of course, if you're going to paint it, then you might as well have stainless as the steel. OTOH, if you're going to paint it, rust will be a lesser problem, so you might as well stick with mild steel.

(I was such an authenticity nut that I wore plastic-plate brigandine with my stainless helm.)

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Paint it black, with a good rust-prevention tannic acid paint. Of course, if you're going to paint it, then you might as well have stainless as the steel. OTOH, if you're going to paint it, rust will be a lesser problem, so you might as well stick with mild steel.

(I was such an authenticity nut that I wore plastic-plate brigandine with my stainless helm.)


i wouldnt mind trying a brigadine like that,

i remembr a person online, for cosplay ideas in making samurai Sode suggested using plastic workmens buckets.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The plates can't be seen, since the outer layer is fabric. Since the plates are thicker, I butted them rather than overlapping them, so it isn't so historical. The problem with steel brigandine is that authentically thin plates will get bent up a lot (in modern full-contact fighting), and will need to be fixed. Polycarbonate doesn't suffer from this, or mold, or rust.

The plates were a little too large, so flexibility suffered. More protective than it needed to be. I've been (very, very) slowly making the replacement, with smaller plates, in Chinese style, along the lines of the armour in figd 72 & 73 in Stone's Glossary: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=J5PgapzD6...mp;f=false

For Japanese style lamellar, or other lamellars, you can buy plastic lamellae. Basically, low-maintenance substitute for rawhide lamellae. I haven't seen these in real life, so can't comment on close-up appearance.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Ralph Grinly





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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many years ago, I constructed a suit of lamellar armour using a pile of stainless steel offcuts I found. They were the waste from some industrial process that had been stamped out of sheet, and I wound up with about 400 or so 1 inch wide by about 3 inches plates..just the right size I thought to make up the armour I required. (not that I used them all) The plates had been finished to a sort of satin/brushed finish, so they looked more like silver than normal stainless steel. It took me ages to make the armour..and LOTS and LOTS of literally burnt out/melted drill bits - figure out 8 holes per plate, and about 300 plates.
It was an interesting exercise, and wound up looking not too bad..and after 20 odd years in storage, it still looks nice and shiney.
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Ju Ye




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jul, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thx all reply, your information help me a lot Happy and if using 302 & 2xx series stainless make armour with annealing, does armour still have same level for impact ?
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Jeffrey Hedgecock
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jul, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Over my 25 year career so far, I have worked in all three materials; mild, spring and stainless, though of the pieces I've made, the fewest have been in stainless.

Where historical accuracy is concerned, although all three are modern alloys, only 1050 spring steel approximates better quality historical steels. Stainless is the least accurate because of one simple fact- it doesn't rust. There were no non-rusting steels historically.

Metallographic steel analysis and study by Alan Williams and Anthony deReuck suggests that 1050 spring steel is the closest modern equivalent to historical steel of above-average quality. That is, steel the best armours were made from.

In order of durability, low to high, that is "ability to resist impact" and return to original form, it goes mild steel, stainless, then spring steel of at least 40 points of carbon (when properly heat treated). Most armourers who know how to make historically correct armour (both in form and function) -don't- work in stainless, for a variety of reasons. I personally only work in spring steel now because with the amount of work I put into my pieces, I want them to last a good long time, and the best way to ensure that is to make them of 1050 spring and heat treat them well. I find mild too soft, even if work-hardened, and stainless is just plain too hard on the tools and my body, and doesn't yield a result I'm happy with, in color and overall "look". My experience has also suggested that generally speaking, the people who want stainless armour really aren't interested in properly maintaining their armour (hence the stainless), and I believe that for armour to function properly over time it should be regularly maintained and attended to. The people I have met that like stainless armour prefer avoiding all maintenance and repair whatsoever. For me, there's no such thing as "maintenance-free" armour.

I personally believe typical stainless steels (that doesn't include "spring stainless") will never approach the toughness and durability of spring steels like 1050. Typical stainless alloys just can't be heat treated like 1050 can, so will never be as tough. In my opinion, if you want armour that will handle hard use and last a long time, there is no better steel than 1050.

Cheers,

Jeffrey Hedgecock
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Ju Ye




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jul, 2012 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Hedgecock wrote:
Over my 25 year career so far, I have worked in all three materials; mild, spring and stainless, though of the pieces I've made, the fewest have been in stainless.

Where historical accuracy is concerned, although all three are modern alloys, only 1050 spring steel approximates better quality historical steels. Stainless is the least accurate because of one simple fact- it doesn't rust. There were no non-rusting steels historically.

Metallographic steel analysis and study by Alan Williams and Anthony deReuck suggests that 1050 spring steel is the closest modern equivalent to historical steel of above-average quality. That is, steel the best armours were made from.

In order of durability, low to high, that is "ability to resist impact" and return to original form, it goes mild steel, stainless, then spring steel of at least 40 points of carbon (when properly heat treated). Most armourers who know how to make historically correct armour (both in form and function) -don't- work in stainless, for a variety of reasons. I personally only work in spring steel now because with the amount of work I put into my pieces, I want them to last a good long time, and the best way to ensure that is to make them of 1050 spring and heat treat them well. I find mild too soft, even if work-hardened, and stainless is just plain too hard on the tools and my body, and doesn't yield a result I'm happy with, in color and overall "look". My experience has also suggested that generally speaking, the people who want stainless armour really aren't interested in properly maintaining their armour (hence the stainless), and I believe that for armour to function properly over time it should be regularly maintained and attended to. The people I have met that like stainless armour prefer avoiding all maintenance and repair whatsoever. For me, there's no such thing as "maintenance-free" armour.

I personally believe typical stainless steels (that doesn't include "spring stainless") will never approach the toughness and durability of spring steels like 1050. Typical stainless alloys just can't be heat treated like 1050 can, so will never be as tough. In my opinion, if you want armour that will handle hard use and last a long time, there is no better steel than 1050.


thx for this information Mr. Jeffrey Happy I'm a fan of your work,lol. (the St. Florian Armour, and i also put one post to inquiry the style of St. Florian Armour on A.A). for spring steel, now am still a student, so i cant consider the good spring steel armour, but would mind told me, in your experience, which mild steel & stainless steel you will use ? the cold rolled mild steel or type 316 stainless steel ?

Foglia

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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jul, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

referring to a question above, how to identify a stainless steel from a carbon steel.

spark testing is one way, stainless steel throws very little spark when being ground, the easiest way though, take a magnet to it. you'll feel very little attraction from the magnet when it passes over stainless, but it will not hold the weight of the magnet. i'm not sure of why it has this property, it may be because of the chromium content, other stainless steels use a nickle alloy as well as the chromium.

its heck to work with - cutting it and shaping it are just difficult. the tempering process is different, i've read that a sub zero quench gives it its best results using a mixture of dry ice and acetone.






there's been a lot of questions around here as well about keeping your carbon steel armour rust free, someone approached me not long ago about a clear powder coating process for knives. its much more expensive than paint, but from what i understand its an extremely durable finish. the gentleman that described it to me stated that you can't cut into it, and hitting it with a hammer will not crack it. i'm wondering if anyone has explored this possibility for their own armour parts.
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jul, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Hedgecock wrote:
Most armourers who know how to make historically correct armour (both in form and function) -don't- work in stainless, for a variety of reasons.


Which, as I've said for quite a while, is very much a shame. . .

Quote:
My experience has also suggested that generally speaking, the people who want stainless armour really aren't interested in properly maintaining their armour (hence the stainless), and I believe that for armour to function properly over time it should be regularly maintained and attended to. The people I have met that like stainless armour prefer avoiding all maintenance and repair whatsoever. For me, there's no such thing as "maintenance-free" armour.


. . . because accurately shaped and constructed armour that could pass through the hands of hundreds of students over a week while doing educational presentations without a care in the world would be answer to a prayer (among other advantages to very much appreciated and mostly volunteer labor otherwise very much time constrained in putting on such events). . .

. . . and elevating the overall presentation of professionals (meaning people who do work that requires such kit daily for their living wage) would be a service to us all, noting that these folks often live with the following conditions daily:

1) Work happens outdoors, rain or shine.
2) Home consists of living out of horse trucks, tents, campers, and hotels for months on end.
3) On more occasion than most would like or like to admit to, the armour needs to go from the field, to the armour box, to the closest FedEx, and on to the next city within the span of an hour or two at best, and doesn't come out of the box again until the plane lands or truck pulls in an hour before its next use in that next city on the route. . .

Short version: wanting to spend the time, and practically, actually having the time to spend are often enough two very different things in the modern world where the best, most enduring armour is all but a requirement of the job.

Quote:
I personally believe typical stainless steels (that doesn't include "spring stainless") will never approach the toughness and durability of spring steels like 1050. Typical stainless alloys just can't be heat treated like 1050 can, so will never be as tough. In my opinion, if you want armour that will handle hard use and last a long time, there is no better steel than 1050.


Agreed that heat treatable stainless alloys can't be heat treated like 1050. They are very different materials that require very different procedures to heat treat comparably. Folks doing early experiments with heat treating stainless found out how much different. Basically, it looks as if folks have learned that there is no "free lunch" in this adventure and the heat treated stainless alloys are not the illusive "super metal" originally hoped for in armouring (read: all but bullet proof at questionably thin thicknesses, never rusts, crumples safely even at extreme failure, "looks" the part of historical materials even at a high polish. . .)

In short, mild steel, stainless steel, and heat treated variations on both sides of the aisle all have a place in the making of armour in the modern world. Just like in centuries past, the end user must create a list of priorities, then understand the compromises involved with decisions made to most effectively meet those priorities.

Quote:
I personally only work in spring steel now because with the amount of work I put into my pieces, I want them to last a good long time, and the best way to ensure that is to make them of 1050 spring and heat treat them well. I find mild too soft, even if work-hardened, and stainless is just plain too hard on the tools and my body, and doesn't yield a result I'm happy with, in color and overall "look".


I would never question a person's personal reasons for doing anything, and can very much respect saving your tools and body such that you can keep doing what you enjoy as long into life as you care to! That said, firstly I would like to note that suitably heat treatable material - either stainless or non-stainless - properly worked and heat treated, can result a final product that can last a goodly long time under very demanding conditions (and sometimes that means going so far as to sending the heat treat work out to professionals who specialize in it and have spent fortunes and lifetimes researching how to get exactly what a client requires in terms of hardness, toughness, etc. out of a given material with fully modern, scientific, technological precision and consistency). Actually, for those of us in the USA, the team that represented our nation at the Battle of the Nations is proof positive of this. It seems that regardless of the fact that it was our nation's first time to the competition, that there was universal praise for the armour that our regional smiths produced for the event as well as object proof in our team's armour failure rates and conditions along with our team's rate and severity of injury.

Secondly and in conclusion, I would just like to underscore that choices in materials for armour making are like any other tools in the process in that one simply chooses the most proper tool available for the job at hand. Set your priorities, understand your compromises, and make the best decisions possible to accomplish those priorities.

Thank you for your post, Jeff, in being very helpful in covering a lot of ground in very little space!
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Jeffrey Hedgecock
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hope you're not trying to guilt me into making stainless pieces again. Eek!

I do see the value in having low maintenance handling artifacts, but at the same time, you may consider the idea that using such a non-historical material can give a mistaken impression to the handler about historical pieces. You might also consider that 1050 when well polished doesn't rust any where near as much as mild. Cool

Just some things to think about......

Cheers,

Jeffrey Hedgecock
Historic Enterprises, Inc.
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jul, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Who, me? Never. . . Laughing Out Loud Wink

Point well taken about the very thin line walked regarding mistaken impressions. Tools like those described absolutely must be used along side very well put together lesson plans and well versed teaching skills to avoid throwing mud into already generally murky waters teaching these subjects to the average person not already studied in them.

Quote:
You might also consider that 1050 when well polished doesn't rust any where near as much as mild.


. . . says the man who lives in SoCal. . . Razz Now I'm not saying where I'm at is as bad as say. . . southern Florida. . . but I am reminded of a lesson long ago learned. No matter how skilled or how strong my resolve, in a fight with physics, at some point I will lose, no matter how noble the good fight be.

Thanks again, Jeff!
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