steel vs HDPE

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hedrum
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steel vs HDPE

Postby hedrum » Sat May 26, 2012 7:13 pm

Long shot question but anyone know the pros and cons of the two and what equivalent
Thickness hdpe would be needed to have the same impact resistance as 12 or 14 gauge steel?



Thanks

James



bjarkileach
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby bjarkileach » Sun May 27, 2012 7:58 am

I used HDPE from a big 40 gal (i think) blue barrel to make SCA armour, it stopped everything coming, blunt force wise.

However its resistance vs sharp force is very different than steel. Weight wise its no contest, HDPE is far far lighter.


hope this helps



Rich


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Chris T
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby Chris T » Sun May 27, 2012 11:15 pm

It all depends by what you mean by impact resistance.

Are we talking sharp weapons, blunt weapons, modern bullets, musket balls?

A material which is good against one thing will have minimal resistance to another type of force: for example ordinary glass is surprisingly resistant to modern bullets,(Before anybody says, yes it breaks, but will considerably depower and deflect even a high power round) but is easily broken by a tap from a hammer. Reputedly, bullet proof glass can be defeated by musket balls, and modern bullet proof /stab vests often mainly rely on cloth, which would do little against a mace.

To be honest, it is not really a question that can be answered except for a single, specific circumstance....and even then will be altered (sometimes greatly) by how the material is backed or supported, or even by how it is arranged. Thus a steel plate backed by wood may be penetrated, while an identical wood backed by a steel plate may not, or visa versa.



hedrum
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby hedrum » Mon May 28, 2012 7:40 am

It's to stop standard blunts in combat. I'm maligning a brig.

Ive heard quite a few cases where blue barrels have been used
How easy was it to cut and form. Any chance you have pictures of the armour you made?


Thanks for the input

James



Chris T
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby Chris T » Mon May 28, 2012 10:49 am

Many years ago I also used the blue plastic drum approach to making LRP armour.

The standard c 200kg capacity drum was, as I remember it, c4 mm thick: my impression was that this thickness would give at least as much protection against reenactment blunts as the standard cheap thin mild steel. as to working, it was fairly easy to cut with a handheld electric jigsaw, although you needed to do some experimenting to get the blade right, as it tended to melt and clog. Rough edges are easy to sand off, and not really very rough anyway, and it can be drilled easily, but again with melting /clogging.

The curved section of the drum was virtually inpossible to remove, although, of course, actually useful for some applications.

Having said all that, mild steel is also fairly easy to work, and has the huge advantage for re-enactment kit that it is not blue plastic. If you are going to put all that work in why not use something approaching the original material?



hedrum
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby hedrum » Mon May 28, 2012 8:39 pm

I'd love to use 14 gauge steel but it falls down
to cost sadly… unless someone out here has some scrap
mild steel kicking about?



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wulfenganck
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby wulfenganck » Wed May 30, 2012 10:52 am

hedrum wrote:I'd love to use 14 gauge steel but it falls down
to cost sadly… unless someone out here has some scrap
mild steel kicking about?

Okay, I hesitated, but I can't help it: don't you have any DIY supermarkets or other suppliers for steel plates in the UK? It shouldn't cost a fortune (it certainly doesn't in Germany) and before I march upon a reenactment battlefield or living history displayal with plastic - visible or not - I'd rather choose to do something different until I can afford metal.

I'm not trying to be patronising or anything, but seriously, plastic????
That is an absolute no-go - if we are talking about an appearance on something supposed to look "medieval"....



bjarkileach
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby bjarkileach » Wed May 30, 2012 4:53 pm

http://www.metals4u.co.uk/detail.asp?ca ... rd_id=2817

1mm mild steel sheet 2.5m * 1.25m. £45.


That is cheep.


Rich


---
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http://hampshirereenactment.com/
Herigeas Hundas - Migration Period Reenactment

Hobbitstomper
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby Hobbitstomper » Thu May 31, 2012 11:57 am

There are better plastics out there than HDPE but they are a lot more expensive than blue barrels. I doubt you need 4mm thick material. In terms of cost, steel will be cheaper. If you want really cheap steel then chop up a domestic appliance like a washing machine. You should be able to get a broken one for free if you are willing to take it away.



cloudy-cola-corp
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:57 am

for a brig 14gauge is a bit of over kill don't you think? 1.5mill is cheaper, easier to cut and work, lighter a piece 1000mm by 1000mm will do a full brig fairly easily if you are carefull which is about £30 http://www.metals4u.co.uk/detail.asp?ca ... rd_id=2499
and you can make them more resistant (but not immune) to rust if you shape the plates then bake them in an electric oven for 15 mins at 277celsius and then quench them in motor oil. it give them that blue colour and they absorb a bit of the oil as they cool (which helps slow down rust) and more importantly makes them have a more springy quality so the absorb impact better and dent less



hedrum
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby hedrum » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:41 pm

Wow that metal for you place is really good I'll use that. Regarding the tempering and anealing randomly enough I know a black smith :) rust resistance is a primary focus hence the plastic option as I was going to line it throughout so wouldn't be able to see the plates.



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nutmeg_bec
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby nutmeg_bec » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:04 pm

I've heard of "tin" can lids being pretty good... no idea in practice though.



hedrum
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby hedrum » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:26 pm

Please someone clarify this!!!



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wulfenganck
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby wulfenganck » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:10 pm

hedrum wrote:Please someone clarify this!!!
Clarify what? Tinning the plates? If that's the question, well then, yes. Historical and practical way for preventing the plates from rust. Not to easy, needs some practrice and is time-consuming. I tried it once for practising because I thought about making a brigandine myself (ceased the plan as there are practically no references for wearing brigandines in the HRE).
I used tin-paste, a blowtorch, pliers, lots of patience and a collection of nasty curses for burning my fingers on a regular basis.....



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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby The Iron Dwarf » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:04 pm

galvanised or even Zintec steel sheet is a little more expensive but wont rust.
also aluminium or stainless can be used.

if making something like a COP you can get the plates at least in one direction to be the same width or just a few widths you can get the steel cut into strips so you only need to cut it one way
EG get a sheet cut into a couple of bits 100mm and a couple of bits 125mm and a bit 150mm wide by what ever length the sheet is, can save you work.

I also have things galvanised or electroplated sometimes and this can be done after all the parts are cut and shaped


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Chris T
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby Chris T » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:44 am

Considerable rust protection can be gained by forge blackening / oil blueing / hot painted linseed -beeswax or similar....not hard to do, and well worth it IMO



SirRustbucket
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Re: steel vs HDPE

Postby SirRustbucket » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:32 pm

Ah, coat-of-plates, by now my favourite.

I've made about a dozen of these now. Hidden plastic works well in a re-enactment context if you cannot work steel but you have to be crafty to hide it, which in itself is not always possible.

First of all: those barrels are cheap and very sturdy. I can pick them up locally for just over a tenner. You have to go look for them, ask at recycling centres, etc. They will yield enough material for one coat of plates.
You have to use the curvature as much as you can as HDPE has a tendency to return to it's original shape even if formed under heat.
My favourite application is to make the plates and stitch them into the lining of home-made gambesons. Sandwiched between layers of padding they will take a thrust from a Bill and leave your ribs intact. It's great and not nearly as expensive as a purpose made plastic chest protector.

If you want a coat of plates you can show around I would stick to steel though. It's cheap enough on ebay (CR4 1.5mm).
Don't go heavier than 1.5mm. With smaller plates and plenty of overlap even 1.3mm is enough. 2mm is way to heavy for a coat of plates - you don't want 4mm overlap, that's almost shot proof. O..o

You will need to learn how to dish the lung plates though, otherwise you will struggle to make them fit right.

One way around this limitation is to assemble the armour from long, narrow horizontal bands, which contours easier to the human body without much shaping. Just remember that your torso is a rectangle in profile, not completely round. Shape your plates accordingly. In fact, go to the armourarchive and kindly ask Mr. MadMatt if he would sell you his blueprints. Very helpful.


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