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Kevin Frost




Location: Denver, Co.
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 12:08 am    Post subject: Heat treating armor?         Reply with quote

I have been wondering if there is any documentable evidence for heat treating plate armor after it had been shaped into it's various forms? I don't really see any reason why it couldn't have been done. Any information on the subject would be highly appreciated.

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Kevin Frost
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 1:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of higher-quality armor was heat treated. Find a copy of Alan Williams The Knight and The Blast Furnace
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Hugh
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David Evans




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 2:52 am    Post subject: Royal Greenwich Armouries         Reply with quote

There's a little book, published by the Royal Armouries with the snappy title of "The Royal Armoury at Greenwich 1515-1649: A History of Its Technology (Royal Armouries Monograph)" which tests the pieces of armour examined and discusses the state of play with regard to the hardening armour. It's differenty done, in vbarious ways, and not always with a great deal of success. The book does also mention some sources that cover the subject.
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They did the same testing as David mentioned on some of the Rhodes armour in "The Medieval Armour From Rhodes".
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
A lot of higher-quality armor was heat treated. Find a copy of Alan Williams The Knight and The Blast Furnace


That's a ~$300 dollar book by most listing services. Worried The Rhodes book isn't a lot cheaper these days. Besides the monograph Allan mentioned, are there more reasonably priced books that discuss armour heat treating?

Happy

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Justin King
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The History Channel had a show on not too long ago that showed a fellow heat treating a breastplate in an open coal forge. The breastplate was used for penetration tests with an approximation of an "English war bow". The show was interesting but as usual I take these things with a grain of salt...In any event I have run across a few references to hardened/heat treated armor in my modest readings. A process similar to case hardening is mentioned in some references, the armor being forged from more or less plain iron and then "steeled" by introducing carbon under heat.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 8:54 am    Post subject: Info         Reply with quote

Hi Chad

Not really as far as books. There are some articles. Most authors alluded to it being done but do not give any real detail.

Here is a link to an article I wrote before the Knight and the Blast Furnance and Rhodes books came out that deals with some of it.

Some Aspects of the Metallurgy and Production of European Armor

Best
Craig[/u]
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Kevin Frost




Location: Denver, Co.
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Chad Arnow"]
Hugh Knight wrote:
That's a ~$300 dollar book by most listing services. Worried The Rhodes book isn't a lot cheaper these days. Besides the monograph Allan mentioned, are there more reasonably priced books that discuss armour heat treating?



Do you happen to know what the titles of these more reasonably priced books are?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin Frost wrote:
Chad Arnow wrote:
That's a ~$300 dollar book by most listing services. Worried The Rhodes book isn't a lot cheaper these days. Besides the monograph Allan mentioned, are there more reasonably priced books that discuss armour heat treating?



Do you happen to know what the titles of these more reasonably priced books are?


That was my question. Happy The Royal Armouries monograph Allan talked about goes for about $25. The Rhodes book is often over a $100.

I intend to check out Craig's article, too.

Happy

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Kevin Frost




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
That was my question. Happy The Royal Armouries monograph Allan talked about goes for about $25. The Rhodes book is often over a $100.

I intend to check out Craig's article, too.



Ooops. I guess that is what I get for reading forums before I have had sufficient coffee. Laughing Out Loud I thought you were stating that there were books available that were not so cost prohibitive.

Kevin
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:
The History Channel had a show on not too long ago that showed a fellow heat treating a breastplate in an open coal forge. The breastplate was used for penetration tests with an approximation of an "English war bow". The show was interesting but as usual I take these things with a grain of salt...In any event I have run across a few references to hardened/heat treated armor in my modest readings. A process similar to case hardening is mentioned in some references, the armor being forged from more or less plain iron and then "steeled" by introducing carbon under heat.


The host from that show was an interpreter for Leeds Armory for many years; the show was the weapons that made Britain. Those tests and others from Leeds are the best I have yet to see but again none are perfect.

James Barker
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Jonathon G




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 4:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't KNOW if they did or not, but i would think that lots of plate armor of all types would split under heavy blows if it was just hardened, for it to last more than just one or two incursions I, personally, would think that most plate armor would have been tempered to some extent. It can flexable enough to take heavy blows and still hard enough to provide an effective defence.
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon G wrote:
I don't KNOW if they did or not, but i would think that lots of plate armor of all types would split under heavy blows if it was just hardened, for it to last more than just one or two incursions I, personally, would think that most plate armor would have been tempered to some extent. It can flexable enough to take heavy blows and still hard enough to provide an effective defence.


Tempering of some sort is usually inferred (at least in my mind) when a piece of steel is referred to as being heat treated, since it is usually, but not always, a necessary part of the heat treating process to avoid brittleness and internal stresses that the hardening quench creates. Blades that are hardened but un-tempered have been known to warp or even crack some time after quenching, hence the preference of most modern blademakers to temper immediately after hardening.
There are some exceptions, of course, and tecniques that blur the lines somewhat.
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Doug Strong




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PostPosted: Thu 01 Mar, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not only were they doing it. (see responses above) but many high end reproduction armourers are doing it today. Robert MacPherson was one of the modern pioneers in this.

I've done lots of it. It really makes a difference.

Dr. Douglas W. Strong
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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Thu 01 Mar, 2007 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a Neurosurgery Article co-authored by David Edge among others entitled Head Protection in England before the First World War that goes into reasonably deep detail of heat treatment of armour.

You have to pay to download a copy but the abstract is here

The guts of it is that until quite late in the 16th century, most stuff was barely, if at all, heat treated. From my reading of their analysis of carbon contents and metallic structures in period pieces, modern mild steel is quite a bit superior to what they were working with. Late in the 16th century in England, slightly but not much, earlier in continental Europe, you start to see successful but inconsistent heat treatment.

--
Al.
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