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Old 11-16-2010, 10:01 AM
khanTD khanTD is offline
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Default Aluminum body armour? (stab proof)



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i have plenty of aluminum spare, sheets 4mm thick and 2mm thick, not sure what composition it is, but its withstood blows from my hardest tanto fixed blades etc so im pretty sure itl do the job. but i have no experiance in DIY armour, what would be the best way to use it,position it etc i was thinking panals of the 4mm thick in cloth pouch things and then fixed inot a coat jacket of other item.

thanks in advance

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Old 11-16-2010, 10:27 AM
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4mil aluminum for body armor ... Good luck with that.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:42 AM
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Oooh you should make a big shield, paint dragons on it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BlasphemousBill View Post
Oooh you should make a big shield, paint dragons on it.
LOL....now that's funny.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:45 AM
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try some DIY common sense.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:51 AM
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Dang, shot down so soon. He did say stab proof armor though, not BULLET. A solid 4mm thick sheet of aluminum could be potentially decent armor. Doesn't sound so great though to me since 4mm is nearly 1/4th of an inch. Is it flexible enough to work with? How heavy is it?
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:19 AM
khanTD khanTD is offline
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the 4mm thick plates are very solid and do not bend with out the use of a machine or big hammer and vice, and yes i did say stab proof, iv tested the plates with various fixed blade knives and they just wont penetrate, they most i got was a small dent from a larg tanto. in terms of weight its light enough to move quickly with, the 4mm i cant give you an exact weight, but it light enough to carry loads of it on you. and i relize youd think its only 4mm thick it cant be good, but there are different varitions of aluminum and its dam hard i can tell, im in very good shape and i could barly put a dent in it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlasphemousBill View Post
Oooh you should make a big shield, paint dragons on it.
aha yes that funny, if i couldent put a blade through it then im pretty sure the majority of other people cant, just a thought, also i dont arpreciat trolling i belive theres a section for that
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:41 AM
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Personally I would construct a shield first as this is simpler and you could continue to test and refine the idea.

I'd have two straps on the back to put your arm through it. You could have it high enough to stand on the floor i.e. similar to a riot shield. Or small enough to be moved quickly and accurately in defense. Or make multiple options if you have enough material.

Maybe a combination of armed sleeves and central chest area would suffice.
But where do you stop? Full suit of armour?

The difficulty comes when making this is to keep your mobility and not have it weigh you down. It would also be difficult to conceal the bulk of it, and some aggressors will simply stab around it.

Personally, if I was looking at armour, I would save up and buy some proper kit rather than taking chances through the DIY route. The products are there, fully tested and used by LE and I don't think any home build item will surpass them.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:44 AM
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The best armor is the one you can wear around and forget about it. I thought they would be flexible, but if they are as rigid as you say then maybe it's not so great an idea. Taking the blunt impact is gonna be rather uncomfortable. I once read about a design that used steel wire mesh in multiple layers. It flexed and was hardly noticible. Whereas plates would have gaps (unless you overlapped them, which I assume would be bulky) the mesh would easier be form fitted.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:45 AM
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thanks nitroboss youve got a good point, i do own a commercial satb proof vest, this was just a lil project to see how it would go =], iv also considered adding the aluminum plates to the vest a already own and the vest is compised of layes of kevelar fabric, and a small enough point could penatrate it. (excuse spelling) and the idea of a shield i hadnt considered, i think thats a very good idea if i can pull it off, i dont have to correct equipment on me but i can draft a freind into it lol, ill look inot that further, see if theres anymore info lying around, thanks again
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:46 AM
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Khan,

Food for thought:

- Are you protecting yourself from the masses or from those that know how to use a knife?
- Will you sew or otherwise mount these sheets into a jacket, vest, or shirt?
- Will the method used for modifying their shape do anything to impact the temper?

There are many reasons to think about the above before you go forward with this. I will give you a few examples.

Someone who is untrained will either by trying to stab you in the back or cut you across the belly, or do a prison yard stab to the midsection. Someone who has training will get very close and will try to sink the knife under your chin and into your brain pan, slice across the side of your throat and sink it into your heart from the shoulder, or cut you by the balls, stomach, or under your armpits to bleed you out.

Armor will not protect you from a trained knife weilder as he will be working to deliver a blow to places that can't be well protected. It could perhaps save you from someone who is just hacking and slashing though.

Plate mounting and getting them to stay where you want will be the toughest part. Study a diagram of the human body and learn where the major veins run and you will get a decent understanding of what I am trying to describe. The most vulnerable parts of the human body happen to be the easiest to cut if you know where to do it. You should focus your defense on those areas.

Keep in mind, changing the structure of metal can impact its temper, malleability, durability, and its overall ability to protect you. This is especially important to understand with Aluminum sheeting. Aluminum holds heat longer than most other metals and can withstand improper temper unless you overheat it. It is less likely to crumble if overheated but if not forged properly it is much more likely to seperate on impact and allow a knife to slip through.

You may have tried the tanto on a sheet, but have you tried it on a fully forged piece that you intend to use? You may experience very different results.

Before you start bending, I would study what you truly want to protect and determine what historically has been the most effective method of covering that part. Then focus on the material.

No education here, just food for thought.

Cool Hand
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlasphemousBill View Post
Oooh you should make a big shield, paint dragons on it.

Oh thanks, I got a big aluminum shield,gonna paint dragons on it now thanks again!
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:52 AM
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cool hand

yes agreed some very good points there, in answer to the 1st part i was aming at the untrained masses, i have training in knife combat and was going to place the plates on back and chest,iv got the pieces cut to specification already that wrap ever so slightly around my front, the pieces will overlap partly to prevent the knife slipping between plates. thanks for the info i wanted to get as much as i could before going ahead with this.

P.S as far as i can tell there has been no change in the durability in the metal before and after i cut it, but that has made me think about testing it further. ill post back some time about how it went.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:55 AM
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almost forgot, i have kevelar cloth that i was going to use on my limbs, just to keep it light weight, i want to have a full range of motion in a kife fight. nitroboss had a good point about constructing a shield which hadnt occured to me, i shall look into that also
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:09 PM
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Np mate.

I just had a quick look on google images for ideas. There's some ballistic shields that fold up and some that come out of a briefcase etc.

Maybe strengthening an ordinary bag or item so that it is concealed and not drawing any attention.
Should SHTF, people in numbers will probably come at the guy with the shield who looks prepared.
"If he's that prepared, he'll have food" etc
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:14 PM
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folding riot shelds? intresting stuff, and yer best to be subtle so's not to draw attention to yourself, oh just saw your location lol most people i talk with are from the usa etc good to see a fellow brit once in a while. just been looking myself, looks like it would be a good i dea to have a slit in the shield covered with something like carbon fibre? or something similer reinforced plastic, you wanna be able to see what the enemys doing after all. this could be good for defending a home, theres lots of small corridors and allys that would make this kind of shield usefull
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:40 PM
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Having played around with homemade armor as a kid something like the Roman lorica segmentatac comes to mind -



These are made of horizontal strips that overlap and connect together in the front.
Pretty good stuff, that.


Or the Lorica squamata -




Quote:
The individual scales (squamae) were either iron or bronze, or even alternating metals on the same shirt. They could be tinned as well, one surviving fragment showing bronze scales that were alternately tinned and plain. The metal was generally not very thick, 0.5 mm to 0.8 mm (0.02 to 0.032 in) perhaps being a common range. Since the scales overlapped in every direction, however, the multiple layers gave good protection. The size ranged from as small as 6 mm (0.25 in) wide by 1.2 cm tall up to about 5 cm (2 in) wide by 8 cm (3 in) tall, with the most common sizes being roughly 1.25 by 2.5 cm (1.5 to 1 in). Many have rounded bottoms, while others are pointed or have flat bottoms with the corners clipped off at an angle. The scales could be flat, or slightly domed, or have a raised midrib or edge. All the scales in a shirt would generally be of the same size; however, scales from different shirts may vary significantly.

The scales were wired together in horizontal rows that were then laced or sewn to the backing. Therefore, each scale had from four to 12 holes: two or more at each side for wiring to the next in the row, one or two at the top for fastening to the backing, and sometimes one or two at the bottom to secure the scales to the backing or to each other.

It is possible that the shirt could be opened either at the back or down one side so that it was easier to put on, the opening being closed by ties. Much has been written about scale armourís supposed vulnerability to an upward thrust, but this is probably greatly exaggerated.
I always wanted to make a pile of aluminum plates and rivet 'em to a leather welding jacket!

In my opinion 4 mm is way to thick!
I've got some 1/8th inch 5052 aluminum in my shop and no way is anyone gonna shove a blade through that! This is about 3 mm thick.
I'd go down to at least 2 mm aluminum for a scale jacket!
Note that the originals used iron or bronze less than 1 mm thick!

Of course, all bets are off if you are thinking of jousting in this stuff!
For that you need well tempered steel, not aluminum.

I still have my chain mail I made back in 1983 ( it still fits! ) It's constructed of 16 awg steel wire, weights 15 pounds and although the rings are just butted it seems a pretty solid garment.
I reckon my chain mail is proof against any slash or hack with sword or machete. An axe will rip and tear the mail but the blow might be deflected.

Heh, at a renaissance fair in 1983 I got into an argument with a blacksmith about how strong my mail was. I lost the argument, the smith easily cut right through it with a small tomahawk looking axe. It was an easy one hand blow....
Well, he did have arms thicker than my legs, and my mail shirt was put on a log for the test. If I had been wearing the armor I would have been knocked back by the blow and the mail would have rent, but I doubt I'd have been cut. Bruised yes...

Ah, but butted mail is easy to thrust a stout blade through, so I'd be dog meat if someone had a bow!
The very best chain mail with small welded rings will resist stabs and even arrows some. I've met some makers back in the day who told me their mail will resist .45 ACP but I never did believe them!

Apart from the very real concern about arrows another trouble with chain mail is it doesn't do much to distribute the force of the blow and prevent broken bones. Breast plates and to some extent scale armor can because it distributes the blow better, and they are much better against arrows.
The plates restrict movement to much ( IMO ) so I did always want to try scale.

Let us know what you come up with!

Of course, don't forget the Road Warrior tire armor! That stuff is probably pretty stout stuff!


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Old 11-16-2010, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khanTD View Post
i have plenty of aluminum spare, sheets 4mm thick and 2mm thick, not sure what composition it is, but its withstood blows from my hardest tanto fixed blades etc so im pretty sure itl do the job. but i have no experiance in DIY armour, what would be the best way to use it,position it etc i was thinking panals of the 4mm thick in cloth pouch things and then fixed inot a coat jacket of other item.

thanks in advance

regards-KhanTD
Check out Armourarchive. They have many patterns on file there:
http://www.armourarchive.org/patterns/

Another option is to make plates out of your aluminum to drill holes in and then lace together. This style is called Lamellar.





Honestly, the best thing you can do before attempting any project is to educate yourself about armor.

After that, ask yourself:

- what would fit your body best.

-What attacks are you expecting

-Do you want to have concealable armor or more stout armor

-what crafting tools you have

-what crafting skills you have.

If you're just looking for a plate or two of concealable armor, I would pass on even bothering. In a knife fight or against multiple opponents, a skilled fighter is more likely to bleed you dry than anything else.

However, if you decide to make some real armor, I applaud you. If you take guns out of the mix, a man in full armor and a decent melee weapon is hell on wheels against even a crowd. He's the medieval version of a tank.

People have jokingly said to make a shield, but that is not a bad idea either. A shield and a baseball bat would be awfully hard to get around for most people armed with hand weapons.

Either way, keep us posted on what you decide to do.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:02 PM
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sounds like a good idea. what would have to be done to upgrade it to stop hg bullets?
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