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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Jan, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Stainless welded maille purchase.         Reply with quote

A short review of the stainless maille shirt I just bought from " The Ring Lord " and the buying experience:
http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproduc...cat=Scales

Just bought this maille T-shirt haubergeon equivalent in stainless and welded rings:
http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproduc...l+Clothing Scroll down to the sleeved one.

The weight is around 7 pounds and is silky smooth to the touch ( Important if worn over only a regular t-shirt rather than a gambison ). Some period maille may have also been made of welded rings but I assume would have been VERY much more expensive that riveted in period.

Since reenactment or living history accuracy of materials is not a priority with me the fact that its stainless is a plus as I don't have to worry about rust or have the maille oiled and messy ! Welded maille should also be the strongest possible maille for any size of ring or gauge of wire.

Now I already had Indian made riveted galvanized maille, using larger and heavier wire, that is a full size longsleeved hauberk that works well on it's own for earlier maille only period or transitional maille/plate period, but is bulky and heavy if used with plate. This much lighter 22 gauge wire and very small rings makes for a dense but light weight maille haubergeon that works well as light standalone armour for a skirmisher, as a " secrète " maille shirt worn hidden under period clothing and as the foundation under plate.

I can see this shirt worn over a light shirt and under a gambison/aketon ( lets not fight over which is the proper terminology this time. Wink Laughing Out Loud ) . If worn over the gambison, the sleeves are quite wide so I see the arm harness could be worn with the maille sleeve over the upper arm protection and with spaulders worn overlapping and over the maille sleeve ( German style and/or early transitional period ).

Now for the buying experience from " The Ring Lord ":

Bottom line VERY GOOD buying experience and below the detailed story:

1) The web site is very detailed and complete and one need very little in extra information to make a purchase, pay for the product, track the package etc ......

2) I asked a question about sleeve size in an e-mail to be sure they would be wide enough to be used under my gambison as I need at least an 18" sleeve size and the site didn't give this information. My initial e-mail got an acknowledgement the very next day and was transferred to the person who could answer.
There was a delay of one week without an answer, but a follow up e-mail by me was answered immediately as it seems that my initial e-mail got lost somehow ( It happens ), and I got immediate answer to my question.
Note: That this was a few days before Christmas and delays at this time are sort of expected.

3) I ordered the maille the same day I got confirmation about the sleeve size and that I should put a note in my order to check up on it before shipping.

4) I wasn't expecting to receive the maille shirt until the mid January: I checked the web site and tracking Sunday night and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the package was due for delivery today on Monday.

5) So the service was as promised as to the estimated delivery time, and this during a holiday period ! GREAT SERVICE. Cool

Oh, I got the XXL and it fits perfectly, no problems with tightness under the armpit when lifting the arms over the head.

Also this maille seems to be the same that they use for " Sharksuit " and for leg protection for lumberjack competitions: This gauge of welded maille should give very good cut protection and decent protection from a thrust I think.

I'm not going to test it by shooting arrows at it or try to stab through it or cut it with a sword as it's mostly for costume use, but as with my swords that are sharps, I like my armour to be functional and be " real " armour.

Anyway, the product is well made and the buying process as painless as possible.

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Brandon Minton




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome chainmaille! The price is right too. I myself am looking for some titanium welded flat maille but the ringlord doesn't seem to carry flat rings or at least not that I've noticed while browsing his site. The armor I'd like needs to be strong enough to handle the rigors of SCA heavy suiting and live steel combat. Anyone know of an armor that makes this stuff in strips or even a complete hauberk itself, lend me some info.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing I am curious about is how comparatively strong is this maille compared to 16 gauge 8 mm riveted maille of reasonable quality ( Indian made but decent average quality ) ?

Since it is 22 gauge 5/32" inside diameter made of welded stainless steel it looks very small in comparison and the wire thickness is sort of mid range for the size of ring.

Cut resistance is probably very good but I'm curious about the yield strength of the wire.

Oh, I did go to many web sites and did some reading but couldn't find precise information about the strength of this machine made maille. I did find some information suggesting that it would be much stronger than it looks like.

My searches consisted of some Googling " welded maille " and also this site: http://www.armourarchive.org/
So far some interesting reading about maille in general but nothing giving comparative numbers or destructive testing.

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Corey D. Sullivan




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice Jean. I may have to get one of these myself.

Too bad they really don't show you a close up of the rings. What do they look like, if you don't mind me asking?

"He had scantly finyshed his saienge but the one armye espyed the other lord how hastely the souldioures buckled their healmes how quikly the archers bent ther bowes and frushed their feathers how redely the byllmen shoke their bylles and proved their staves redy to appioche and loyne when the terrible trotnpet should sound the blast to victorie or deathe."
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Corey D. Sullivan wrote:
Very nice Jean. I may have to get one of these myself.

Too bad they really don't show you a close up of the rings. What do they look like, if you don't mind me asking?


Looks great if smaller ring size than I'm used to, but the wire doesn't look thin unless one looks at a single ring at the edges.

Llike I said in my previous post: The ring size/wire thickness is proportional to what I see looking at my much larger riveted rings i.e. midrange aspect ratio: http://www.theringlord.com/aspectratio.shtml

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Shawn Henthorn




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a similar shirt (full sleeved knee length, aquiered from a beef plant) It is quite a bit stronger than the cheap Indian riveted stuff and impossible to cut. Its biggest drawback is that if it where stabbed while on your body the mass of the shirt around the impact would be driven into the wound. This would be negated to a large extent by padding of course. I should also mention that the deepest penetration through the mail with a dagger that I ever achieved was just around 1/4 of an inch as opposed to around 11" penetration (all the way to the hilt) agianst Indian riveted mail.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had considered getting some scales from TRL to make stuff for fashion statement. Nice buy, may have to get myself one of their tanktops in the future Big Grin

M.

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Eric Meulemans
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While I'm not sure of the origins of TRL's welded maille, nearly all welded stainless mesh out there comes from Whiting & Davis of Massachusetts (http://www.whitinganddavis.com). They started out making chain-mesh purses and bags in the 19th century and invented the machine they still use to turn out sheets of this stuff, which they patented in 1912. I have a sample swatch of their stuff somewhere, and it's quite nice. Aside from the protective gear - sharksuits and the like - their mesh is often used in fashion, decorating, and design as well. Some interesting uses include the lining of soft-top convertibles to provide cut and theft resistance.

They do provide technical data on their website for various meshes. 22 gauge would correspond to #9 wire, for which we can see:

Base metal: 304 L Stainless Steel
Tensile strength: 11,500 P.S.I. to 125,000 P.S.I.
Wire size/diameter: .031" / .787 mm
Inside ring diameter: .213" / 5.41 mm
Outside ring diameter: .275" / 6.99 mm
Weight per square foot: .63 lbs / .286 kg
Thickness (sheet): .125" / 3.18 mm
http://www.whitinganddavis.com/Ring_Mesh_Tech...tion07.pdf
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Meulemans wrote:
While I'm not sure of the origins of TRL's welded maille, nearly all welded stainless mesh out there comes from Whiting & Davis of Massachusetts (http://www.whitinganddavis.com). They started out making chain-mesh purses and bags in the 19th century and invented the machine they still use to turn out sheets of this stuff, which they patented in 1912. I have a sample swatch of their stuff somewhere, and it's quite nice. Aside from the protective gear - sharksuits and the like - their mesh is often used in fashion, decorating, and design as well. Some interesting uses include the lining of soft-top convertibles to provide cut and theft resistance.

They do provide technical data on their website for various meshes. 22 gauge would correspond to #9 wire, for which we can see:

Base metal: 304 L Stainless Steel
Tensile strength: 11,500 P.S.I. to 125,000 P.S.I.
Wire size/diameter: .031" / .787 mm
Inside ring diameter: .213" / 5.41 mm
Outside ring diameter: .275" / 6.99 mm
Weight per square foot: .63 lbs / .286 kg
Thickness (sheet): .125" / 3.18 mm
http://www.whitinganddavis.com/Ring_Mesh_Tech...tion07.pdf


Thanks, some solid numbers to work from. Cool I would guess the variation in tensile strength would depend on the wire being hardened and how hard ? best results would be the highest P.S.I. that isn't brittle:There may be a difference between tensile strength were force is progressively applied until yield strength is surpassed and sudden impact shock resistance that might be optimum at a lower maximum P.S.I. ? This might also be variable with different steels ?

My totally unsupported guess would be at 3/4 of the maximum P.S.I.

On " The Ring Lord " site they mention that they have 3 of these machines that make sheet maille working 24/7 .
They even have names for their machines: One of them is called " BIFF " Eek! Laughing Out Loud
http://theringlord.com/companyinfo.shtml

I'll have a look at the site you linked to later.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shawn Henthorn wrote:
I have a similar shirt (full sleeved knee length, aquiered from a beef plant) It is quite a bit stronger than the cheap Indian riveted stuff and impossible to cut. Its biggest drawback is that if it where stabbed while on your body the mass of the shirt around the impact would be driven into the wound. This would be negated to a large extent by padding of course. I should also mention that the deepest penetration through the mail with a dagger that I ever achieved was just around 1/4 of an inch as opposed to around 11" penetration (all the way to the hilt) agianst Indian riveted mail.


Sounds pretty good if my maille is as strong or stronger.

In any case I would depend on a gambison for the blunt trauma protection as well as this light shirt is perfect under plate armour.

Oh, I'm not going to try to make nasty holes in my shirt that cost me around $350 including shipping and that the larger sizes are more expensive by a bit. ( Still seems like a barging price for the quality compared to cheap India made maille ).

Cheap India made maille being at least one order of magnitude better than butted maille as long as the numbers of badly riveted links are few or none at all. ( Depends on the degree of quality control or luck ).

The Ring Lord does sell small sample pieces and large sheets of welded maille for those who might want to tailor their own. ( Although one would have to buy a welding set-up to connect stuff together in a consistent way: Butted links or even riveted links being less than a perfect way to assemble one's own shirt or coif )

One could buy a sample to do destructive testing to get an idea how resistant to cuts or thrust the welded maille is.

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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
I have a similar shirt from,Azon Mesh,I`d be interested ,in knowing, how it would rate as armor ,too.
Such as ,would it be as strong as, armor of the day?Would it stop an arrow?I`ve never tested mine,didn`t want to mess it up...it too purty Happy


Karl Knisley
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Ben Williams




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Such as ,would it be as strong as, armor of the day?Would it stop an arrow?


I make my own shirts from TRL's mesh (though I charge more than they do since I do custom fitting) and have tested them. Arrows, even ones that were low velocity were able to punch through most of the time. In contrast, I tested a small patch of 1.1mm x 6.5mm ID riveted maille I had made and the same arrows were bouncing off. I would prefer to wear a hand made maille shirt to a machine made mesh one.

If you look closely at the weld joints you will see that the welds don't penetrate fully and are brittle if you twist them. They stand up fairly well to horizontal and vertical forces but will open up fairly easily under any sort of twisting motion. My understanding is that TRL is purchasing new welders that will make welds as strong as the wire (the welders they use to weld the connecting ring make very high quality welds).

Quote:
The armor I'd like needs to be strong enough to handle the rigors of SCA heavy suiting and live steel combat. Anyone know of an armor that makes this stuff in strips or even a complete hauberk itself, lend me some info.


Unfortunately, TRL's mesh does not offer more than good looks for SCA combat. The maille is not dense enough to take some of the blows. You won't rip a shirt in combat but will will have more bruises than if you used denser maille.

The best in SCA quality maille is higher quality riveted maille (like Eric Schmid makes for $$$) or welded maille. To the best of my knowledge only Master Knuut and I offer welded maille in link sizes suited for SCA combat. Unfortunately, you have to wait for welded maille. Last time I checked Master Knuut had a one year waiting list and I'm changing my welding setup (which might take a month or so).

Here are some pictures of TRL's 5/32" ID welded mesh for those who asked:

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/go_cra...ntrast.jpg
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/go_cra...tAmpit.jpg
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/go_cra...ure015.jpg
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Ben Williams"]
Quote:
ill see that the welds don't penetrate fully and are brittle if you twist them. They stand up fairly well to horizontal and vertical forces but will open up fairly easily under any sort of twisting motion. My understanding is that TRL is purchasing new welders that will make welds as strong as the wire (the welders they use to weld the connecting ring make very high quality welds).

Unfortunately, TRL's mesh does not offer more than good looks for SCA combat. The maille is not dense enough to take some of the blows. You won't rip a shirt in combat but will will have more bruises than if you used denser maille.



Thanks for the information although the first part about the rings being brittle at the weld is a bit disappointing.
For costume/fantasy use I can always " imagine " them stronger. Wink Laughing Out Loud ( mithril ..... Razz )

As to SCA: Maille from what I've read is not very useful as it's not meant to be optimum protection against blunt trauma even when very heavy and strong. It's period use was for protection against sharp edges or points, and for obvious reasons it's only for show with a combat sport like SCA or vigourous reenactment fighting. For me personally this is not an issue but it's still useful information for those who participate in SCA fighting.

How about cut resistance ? Is it reasonably good ?

A heavier gauge of wire that was welded as strong as the wire itself would be better ( preferable for me ) even with rings of a small size if the option was available.

I'm sure that well made riveted maille of a denser aspect ratio using bigger rings would be better stand alone armour: For a secrète or maille used under plate a lighter type of shirt might be an acceptable compromise as long as it's performance takes full advantage of the potential strength of the material i.e. no weak welds.

Still, I guess I would have to get a sample patch of this maille just to do my own rough " non-scientific " testing to satisfy my curiosity and sort of quantify the limits of what this maille can protect from:

1) Little protection from a stab with a narrow and stout dagger point.
2) Stops light to medium stabs
3) Stops a heavy stabs
4) Stops any stab one can do with one hand on a soft surface simulating a body part covered by a gambison.
5) Stops same as #4 but when directly on a hard surface.
6) Same test as #5 but a destructive test hammering a center punch through a link or more if none of the above tests pierce the maille. ( No point doing more demanding tests if the shirt links fail at #1 - #2 or #3 ).

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: On the subject of cheap Indian maille...         Reply with quote

Sorry for the double post, having a bit of a lag issue.

I couldn't edit the above post; it said that there was a 14 day limit, despite I having posted it a minute ago. If a moderator could fix the poorly linked URL, that would be great.

M.

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Ben Williams




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maille can help absorb blows from it's weight if it is loose and heavy enough. The most effective areas are when it hangs and where it's very loose( i.e. skirts, aventails, sleeves, etc.). I have fought in maille and would say that it hleps with raps to the sides where it is a little looser and the lower chest (haveing been hit there a lot Big Grin ).

The mesh is able to stand up to just about any cut or slash and performs well against knife stabbings. The mesh can withstand around 75J of force (which is equivalent to a double overhead stab) with minimal damage.

Quote:
1) Little protection from a stab with a narrow and stout dagger point.
2) Stops light to medium stabs
3) Stops a heavy stabs
4) Stops any stab one can do with one hand on a soft surface simulating a body part covered by a gambison.
5) Stops same as #4 but when directly on a hard surface.
6) Same test as #5 but a destructive test hammering a center punch through a link or more if none of the above tests pierce the maille. ( No point doing more demanding tests if the shirt links fail at #1 - #2 or #3 ).


I'd say that it is (refering to the above list) 4, maybe 5 (the knife point will be stopped by the hard surface before the mesh has to stop it). I've also done 6 by hammering a spike into the ground (the mesh failed). It doesn't stand up very well to points like that of an ice pick or punch.
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Brandon Minton




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
As to SCA: Maille from what I've read is not very useful as it's not meant to be optimum protection against blunt trauma even when very heavy and strong. It's period use was for protection against sharp edges or points, and for obvious reasons it's only for show with a combat sport like SCA or vigourous reenactment fighting. For me personally this is not an issue but it's still useful information for those who participate in SCA fighting.

Jean, indeed.

Well, there's two ways of doing maille in the SCA, 1) being just for show because you're wearing some form of armor underneath (plastic barrel or rather) or 2) you wear something padded underneath and you get a thicker piece of maille as Ben was saying that would actually lend you some blunt trauma protection. In fact reason #2 can work quite well for most fighters as I'd say it does as almost as leather protection even though the SCA rules treat maille as reason #1. My experience from this comes from getting the opportunity to wear some of Master Knuut's awesome maille. I want my own though, and I'd like to purchase from him but he really doesn't seem to respond to emails so that's why I am hunting for someone else that'd be glad to trade a TI hauberk for my $1200 or so. Like I said, anyone that knows a seller of fine TI welded, armor grade maille, feel free to share!

If anyone wonders why in the world someone would wear plastic under their maille and/or use it as mere costuming, I do weird things like that to give the appearance of an early 12th C., bellicose Norman warrior and receive much less bruising.
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
I had considered getting some scales from TRL to make stuff for fashion statement. Nice buy, may have to get myself one of their tanktops in the future Big Grin

M.


I have seen the scales at the Texas RenFest this year and it looks fantastic . He gent said he put it all together himself and it took 6 months. Lots of work, but well worth it to my mind.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben Williams wrote:
The mesh is able to stand up to just about any cut or slash and performs well against knife stabbings. The mesh can withstand around 75J of force (which is equivalent to a double overhead stab) with minimal damage.

I'd say that it is (refering to the above list) 4, maybe 5 (the knife point will be stopped by the hard surface before the mesh has to stop it). I've also done 6 by hammering a spike into the ground (the mesh failed). It doesn't stand up very well to points like that of an ice pick or punch.


( NOTE:
Deleted some of the quote because one can just go up and read the whole thing and to not force people to read it all again or have to scroll down, " a lot ". All of the content is interesting to me. Wink Cool )

Thanks for the more precise technical details as your first post had me worrying that this maille was mostly for show and that it didn't have decent protective qualities. Again, I think I would like something like it in ring size but with heavier wire with the best quality welding possible, in theory at least.

I would interpret, now, your first comments about " relative " effectiveness as armour of this mesh that with perfect welds or with a good riveted maille of bigger rings and density of weave that this mesh is " LESS " protective: Is this a fair interpretation of your intent ? And I do appreciate very much your input as trying to find precise information about this standard machine made mesh has been difficult i.e. my MANY Google searches has taken me to a lot of " vague & general " information but little giving me an idea of protective qualities and the limits of what can expect from it realistically.

From " The Ring Lord " site there is a link of mesh fabric being used for sharksuits:
http://theringlord.com/Neptunic.shtml

Do you know if the mesh used for these the same as in the mesh T-Shirts made by TRL ? I do get that inference from the way the sharksuit are in the same section dealing with the information about the mesh fabric and the finished maille section: But they don't explicitly say that it's the same mesh at the same level of protection with equal quality control ?

And if the material qualities are identical, or even if not, I haven't found any " technical " specification giving the protective qualities of the sharksuit quantitatively: Oh, mostly it's just wanting to know more. Wink Laughing Out Loud

If I'm correct: I think that with sharks one has an animal with very sharp teeth but low bite pressures from the jaw, so cut resistance would be more than enough for mesh to be effective and that stab protection need not be extreme ?

Oh, the same mesh is used for these: http://theringlord.com/images/products/Finish...S22532.jpg
Lumberjack leg Protection: So if it protect against a glancing accidental axe blow it has to be fairly resistant stuff ?
Now a deliberate maximum effort axe blow would be something else, and the maille might be defeated and the leg beneath would be in bad shape even if the mesh resisted cutting ( blunt trauma ).

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Ben Williams




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Like I said, anyone that knows a seller of fine TI welded, armor grade maille, feel free to share!


If you mean fine as in ring size (5/32" and smaller) TRL makes shirts like this review is about on a custom basis. If you mean in general Master Knuut pretty much has a monopoly on it. I'm working on welding Ti but it might be a month or so before I start taking orders.
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Ben Williams




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jan, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

TRL's mesh is great for accidental or incidental blows like missed ax swings, knife cuts (like when cutting meat), etc. However, hand-made welded or riveted maille is more effective against intentional attacks. My 75 joule number is a lower end estimate for the blows that the mesh has survived during my tests. I based this on the estimate of the NIJ for what each kind of knife attack (single hand stab, backhand, double overhead) seen here: http://www.justnet.org/pdffiles/0115.00.pdf

The mesh would be rated to around a level II stab protection except that the tip of the knife will penetrate more than 7mm that is allowed regardless of striking force.

As for the questions on shark-suits TRL makes the suits for Neptunic. They use the 3/32" mesh rather than the 5/32" ring size shirt you got. It is of higher quality but is apprx. double the price. They also only sell the mesh in shirts on a custom basis.

Quote:
I would interpret, now, your first comments about " relative " effectiveness as armour of this mesh that with perfect welds or with a good riveted maille of bigger rings and density of weave that this mesh is " LESS " protective: Is this a fair interpretation of your intent ?


Yes. I would definately prefer to wear a riveted maille shirt to a welded mesh shirt if my life depended on it stopping pre-firearm weaponry. However, this mesh is adequate for today's dangers and is less expensive.

The mesh is able to stop a shark bite because the teeth are not meant fust a round point. It's more a matter of geometry rather than one of bite pressure (though a large biting force will defeat the mesh). The ring captures the tip of the tooth and the neoprene behind the mesh takes some of the force and the cutting affect of the teeth. If the teeth were round then I expect the the mesh would be more likely to fail.
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