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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: Polycarbonate plastic vs 10oz leather for armor?         Reply with quote

Hi

I recently had the urge to make lamellar armors, and I found this website called "Plastic Lamellar" and they sell polycarbonate plastic for lamellar armor material. How is this plastic compare to 10 oz of leather in terms of durability in actual use despite the historical accuracy? Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving guys.

Ed
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have personally stood behind a 6mm poly carb screen and had armour piercing bodkins shot at me using a 60lb compound - quite unsettling watching them come in. I would think that 4mm would stop them, so even 1.5mm in lamellar form would offer good protection and I think much better than heavy leather.

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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a very interesting test Tod. I would have hit the floor right away as soon as he fires that bow! The ones I bought are around 4mm thick. I suppose if a 6mm could stop a bodkin arrow fired by a 60lb compound bow, an armor made of 4mm might offer some protection against blows. Say do you happen to know the durability of this polycarbonate against edged weapons? Thanks.

Ed
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've tested a bit on cutting, slicing and thrusting at polycarbonate, as I personally use 2 set of bike armors as my personal armor. I wanted to find out how such material could withstand small attacks. (I dun plan to go tank in the armor, after all)

In compare, I also tested out the material my student built his armor from, bamboo pieces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiJrbOns5b8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqaMTCnDdEk

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed,

I was a bit twitchy, but had tested it beforehand.

Poly carb is tough as hell. I think you would struggle to stab a rondel through 4mm and as it refuses to shatter, a sword blow would be stopped by thinner than this. I remember making a fencing mask out of vacuum formed 1.5mm or 2mm sheet and so it thins during the process down to maybe 1.3mm and hitting it hard with a hammer dented it and stoved it in, but would not fracture it or break through.

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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2013 1:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I totally echo what Tod said. Happy
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Polycarbonate plastic vs 10oz leather for armor?         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
How is this plastic compare to 10 oz of leather in terms of durability in actual use


What kind of actual use? Against real weapons? 1/2" polycarbonate will typically stop modern pistol bullets (and should stop historical musket/pistol balls of up to about 1000J energy). So comparable to 3mm mild steel.

Compared to steel, it's soft - you can cut it with a knife, saw it easily, etc. So it might not work so well against sharp thin arrowheads. But excellent impact resistance.

Compared to leather (which is also soft, can be cut, sawed, etc.), it's great. And it doesn't suck up sweat and doesn't go moldy. If you make shields out of it, they can be see-through - a big improvement over wood or metal or rawhide shields.

It works very well for re-enactment/SCA/HEMA use.

"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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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2013 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Polycarbonate plastic vs 10oz leather for armor?         Reply with quote

I'm mostly going to play around with it, but I would like to know if 4mm thick polycarbonate plates could stop a let's say cheap knife slash/stab, and human bites cough cough*.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Plastic drinks bottles are easily available and are made of PETG and this behaves quite similar to poly carb.

A drinks bottle is maybe 0.3mm thick, lay up 13 layers of that and see what it stops.

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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought it from these guys yesterday, haven't received it though.
http://www.plasticlamellar.com/
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have some plastic drums that held antifreeze from boat storage pier. I did some test strikes and a thinner "unarmored combat" sword (an ATrim) can be pushed through pretty easily. The armored combat sword ( one of the Albion XVa's ) was a lot harder. Plastic behaves a bit like textile armor that way, but it obviously protects agains impact a lot better.

Plastic lamaller would be my choice for *ahem* certain post apocalyptic scenarios. Unless you're pinned on the ground or otherwise immobilized while someone leans in on a thrust I think you'd be good.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Plastic is a generic term for all manner of long chain molecules that share certain characteristics but the properties of each type are often very different. Chances are that your anti freeze containers are polypropylene or polyethylene (HDPP or HDPE) and these are soft and behave very differently to other plastics such as acrylic or nylon or PTFE or PVC and so on. Both of these plastics are used for bottles containing liquids that are not fizzy because they are tough and cheap, but are prone to 'creep' under load. i.e. they would progressively deform if you load them.

Fizzy drinks bottles are usually PET and it is chosen because it is tough and resists pressure and does not 'creep', but is actually relatively expensive. but is easy to get for testing and in many respects is similar to polycarbonate which is only really available in specialty products or sheets and is also expensive.

The properties of plastic are very varied and is similar to saying 'metal'. 'Metal' could be sodium that you can squash in your fingers or could be aluminium that you can easily bend repeatedly or could be hardened 1.2% carbon steel that you can snap.

Sorry for geeking out - I like materials.

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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2013 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:


Sorry for geeking out - I like materials.

Tod


LOL

On a serous note, one of my friends uses these same lames and they are fine for wooden wasters. I honestly do not know how they would stand up to metal blunts. They look ok, kind of black and shiny and he used very dark blue 550 cord also known as para cord and parachute cord to put it together. His armour has a very rich look to it, not rich as in having a lot of money but rich in depth.

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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 1:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have completed the armor. I know it looks ugly but it is my first project.

The stuff is pretty solid, I hit my self with a sword while wearing it, didn't feel a thing. The lames are laced over each other, and are about 4mm thick. For my size, around 190 lames for body front and back alone. With shoulder and tasset, maybe 230 ish.

I did however tried to cut it with a very sharp knife. It put some scratch on the lames but it didn't cut through. Stabbing protection is questionable, because if I were to get stabbed by something while wearing this, my reflex is to bend and back off, and at the same time so the lames won't sustain too much damage. If I place it against a wooden block, the blade tip will be stuck in there with no full penetration.

My conclusion is that if you wear padding below it, it can be used as some sort of basic protection. It's definitely better than regular leather despite the plastic theme.

Now I must make the shoulder and tassets Happy



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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think if you have enough padding beneath it, it's pretty good for defend against low powered to mid powered sharp sword attacks.

Good work. Doesn't look ugly at all!

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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Lancelot. Nothing wrong with the look at all.

As I said before I use a pro rodeo bull riders vest under my chain mai. I do that because it is easy to maintain

I think a equestrian vest like this would work very well for you. I have used one of these as well.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Equestrian-Horse-Ridi...3cd8a99031

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Peter Messent




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd be very interested in seeing some tests of polycarb vs period weapons; crossbows, bows, swords, spears. Army eye pro is made from polycarb, and it's pretty effective against shrapnel. That being said, I think it acts a bit non-newtonian; very impact resistant, but the slower the force is applied, the more the material distorts. That makes me wonder whether 'ballistic' polycarb necessarily means sword, spear or arrow proof. I'm inclined to think that it would be strong enough, however. Might give it a shot with one of my old sets of eyepro.
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Ian Hutchison




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward,

Your armor looks great. It is very neat to see how modern materials can stand up against historical weapons, especially considering their lightness, low cost, and relative ease of manufacture.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys Happy

I don't have a bow but I do have a 50lb hand crossbow. I shot it at a very close range because the law forbid me using it in the yard.The result was that the bolt bounced off and there was this little scratch made by the pointy end of the bolt. This is because I made this armor like a t shirt where I can just slide it on and off without tightening anything, so when these tests were conducted, the armor acts like if someone is wearing it instead of being placed on something hard as when it comes into contact with force it contract like a person would.

With other historical weapons I would imagine a very sharp sword would put some scratch over it but it will not cut through unless the individual lame is placed on something hard. If flexible as in worn by someone, it won't do much damage to the wearer. Apparently 4mm was only adequate, their website sells lames that are significantly thinner, and I doubt those can stand up to the tests that I've done to the 4mm lames.
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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think people confuse death in historical combat with death by blade entering the body and death by blade causing blunt force trauma.

Hence padding underneath..

Lammaller has some interesting properties though. The rest will be hard to explain:

Some time ago I was sparing full on full speed and hit my partner dead center of his body with the sweet spot of my weapon. I was in that sort of seeing faster than normal moment, and saw the 'ripples' as the Lammallar dispersed the force of my blow. It really was no different that seeing ripples on water from a stone thrown in. The blow landed just below the solar plexus and he did not even make that 'umph' sound. He did not have any padding as we would consider it, just a cotton shirt over underarmour shirt.

It was Very Cool.

David L Smith
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