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Derek Estabrook




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jun, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Maille If a Rich Knight Lived Today? Forget Social / Culture         Reply with quote

This is a just for fun post started off a statement that caught my curiousity. Before I get chastized for being impractical, or the ungodly money that would have to be spent, or other reasons, it is not taking those factors into consideration. A maille or plate armor suit back in the day was not too far unequal to the cost of a quality car today so a knight could afford and probably would spend an exorborate amount of money on his armour. You can bet it wouldn't be made of mild steel if he had access to the resources today.

Someone mentioned something recently about someone (probably some bored metallurgist or such) making a suit of vanadium steel maille that is supposedly proof against crossbow bolts. Thats believable. The thing is I'm not really very much of a metal science type guy. Past spring steel and Grade 5 Titanium I'm pretty much unsure of modern metals. Surely in this age of super metals where they make a wire form of everything, there are some materials that are steels and alloys superior to even high quality tempered steel. I'm not talking about conjectural nanotech stuff like carbon nanotubes and such. What would a wealthy knight have his hauberk made out of aside from titanium if he lived today? Forget about cost..lets fiqure unlimited funds without getting far off and getting into theoretical research stuff.

I have heard (by heard I mean read the breakthrough science article) of super hard steel coatings that rank a 9 on Mohs scale. I wonder if that would be practical for maille or even as a plate coating over a good tempered steel that would have flex underneath it.

So I guess lets answer a simple question, with unlimited funds what specific material would the knight have his maille made of? Maille is flexible by nature in its pattern so the material could probably be stiffer than when dealing with plate armour which has to have flex in the steel itself. What would yours be made of if you had unlimited funds?

Looking for educated responses, no mithril or admantium or steel. The more specific the better.
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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Maille If a Rich Knight Lived Today? Forget Social / Cul         Reply with quote

Derek Estabrook wrote:
]....
So I guess lets answer a simple question, with unlimited funds what specific material would the knight have his maille made of? Maille is flexible by nature in its pattern so the material could probably be stiffer than when dealing with plate armour which has to have flex in the steel itself. What would yours be made of if you had unlimited funds?

Looking for educated responses, no mithril or admantium or steel. The more specific the better.


I'm not sure what these "knights" are trying to protect themselves from. Armor has developed throughout history as a specifc respose to weapons, so to guess at armor construction, I think that we need to first know what the weapons are like. I assume you don't mean guns...

Gordon
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a sidenote, mail is actually being used for reeinforcing ballistic armour these days. I do not know what the mail is made of though.

Johan Schubert Moen
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Derek Estabrook




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Did I not say forget social / culture? I'm not starting an RPG here. Its just a post about modern metals twisted for fun. Sorry I brought it up, I"m just doing a little research and thought it would be fun to talk about.
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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Derek Estabrook wrote:
Did I not say forget social / culture? I'm not starting an RPG here. Its just a post about modern metals twisted for fun. Sorry I brought it up, I"m just doing a little research and thought it would be fun to talk about.


I was not asking about either your social or cultural assumptions, only asking you to clarify assumptions about the weapons the armor was supposed to "deal" with.
You need a different kind of body armor to protect against an automatic gunfire than to protect against a sword.
I'm trying to participate in your fun, not spoil it - but I just can't think about armor without some context.

If the knight gets to use modern materials, he has to defend against weapons made of modern materials as well - right?
We might postulate hand held weapons and bows/crossbows made with anything actually available today?
Perhaps high carbon "super" steel arrowheads with a very high hardness and teflon type coating for better penetration?
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Sat 24 Jun, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting thought that is actually not so strange. Any armed force is troubled by this question. THE base question is against what it should protect as there are several non-compatible issues. Slowing a bullet down, resisting cutting, resisting meltdown, all to stop penetration of the body.
Armour to protect against all three would have to be multi-layer.
The hun did get the correct idea quite early, about 1500 yeas ago. They wore hard leather (sometimes partly covered by metal strips) over a thick layer of silk.
The modern day variant would be carbon body panels covered with vanadium strips over a kevlar vest.

I do have a question though. About maile. Why was that so popular for so long when it actually is not al that effective unless it is extremely well made.
The oriental horse-warriors got it quite right it seems. I guess the Numidian (NW-african) horse warriors got it best however. They avoided getting hit altogether Laughing Out Loud
These warriors presented me with the question I had posted earlier about the apparent effectiveness of javelin. The answer is in the penetration power of the far heavier javelin as opposed to the faster arrow of bolt.

Peter
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 29 Jun, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Bosman wrote:
About maile. Why was that so popular for so long when it actually is not al that effective unless it is extremely well made.


You've answered your own question. Mail would not have been utilised for so long unless it was extremely effective. People who claim that mail isn't effective usually base their conclusions on home-made butted mail or the cheap riveted mail coming out of India/Pakistan - neither of which are representative of historical mail. They also ignore the important fact that mail is a composite defense consisting of the mail links and the padded defense worn either on top or underneath (sometimes both). The combination of which offers very good resistance to all forms of physical attack.
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Derek Estabrook




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jul, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All right. Sorry for the brash response Gordon, but I probably should have been more specific in my first post. My fault and I apologize. There are a lot of Rockwell Hardness RC 50+ wires out there and I was curious what kinds you think would be used. I'd put my bank for the most part on Titanium Alloys as the best ones (Grade 5 and the other one thats superior to Grade 5) for the purpose. Even though its probably not as hard as some of the fancy chromium vanadium etc. ones out there, its lightness and the fact that it can be hardenable to good spring steel strength or harder in the case of the AL? 6 instead of 4 alloy. There are super hard steel coatings out there with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, but from the study I read it doesn't make the object brittle and it still retains the flex of the undermaterial with the hardness of the coating on the outside. That could probably make some pretty damn tough maille. Rivetted titanium maille with a coating of super hard steel. Light and incredibly strong. The price would be incredible today, but proportionally not more than the coat of mild steel was for the warrior of yore. Just a flight of fancy mind you, but its still enough to make me wish I won the lottery and had a good $10,000 to spend on armour.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jul, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to mix things up a little....

Mail could have modern application as protection from land mine and hand grenade fragments. (Actually does already in some Army corps civil engineering land mine screening technqiue.)

Very large and heavy woven wire mats actually are sometimes utilized by road construction crews to stop fragments when explosive blasting must be done close to traffic routes (widening of roads cut into rock gaps..). Obviously, this is not preferred if blasting technique can avoid the risk, but does work surprisingly well.

An effective and protective modern equivalent of mail might not have to be that expensive. Mass production of woven wire products is achieved at little above material costs. Hence, if there really were large demands, it is not impossible to think in terms of producing a modern equivalent to mail that might cost something more like the price of a good set of tires, rather than costing the price of a whole new car.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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