The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour in the Middle Ages & the Early Modern Period
The suit of armour distinguishes the European Middle Ages & Renaissance from all other periods and cultures. Unlike flexible defences, popular everywhere else in the world, the rigid, articulated, exoskeleton of a "suit of armour" was a more extravagant and less adaptable means of personal protection. It required greater metallurgical resources to make, but offered far better protection against available weapons. This book tells the story from its invention in 14th century Lombardy, which depended on the production of the necessary steel, until its eventual decline in the 17th century, principally because of the development of another military technology, the gun. The metallurgy of 600 armours has been analysed, and their probable effectiveness in battle is assessed by means of mechanical tests.
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16th century air-cooled after fabrication areas Augsburg backplate bainite Bavarian National Museum Board of Trustees Boccia breastplate breastplate was examined burgonet carbon content chapter Churburg close helmet consists of ferrite consists of uniform cooled after fabrication elongated slag inclusions etching and gilding examined in cross-section examined in section fcrrite ferrite and pearlite ferrite and slag Florence form of heat-treatment fully quenching garniture gauntlet Graz guns hardened by quenching hardness helmet was examined Hofjagd infantry armour Innsbruck inv.no Italian armour King Landshut left pauldron little ferrite mark master Maximilian medium-carbon steel perhaps metal metallurgy Metropolitan Museum microhardncss average microhardness average microhardness ranges microhardness varies microstructure consists Milan Missaglia Munich Museum of Art pauldron pearlite Photograph by courtesy Photograph courtesy Photograph reproduced plate quenching and tempering reproduced by permission Riistkammer Royal Armouries Rustkammer Scalini skull slag inclusions specimen steel perhaps 0.5%C Turin vambrace Vienna visor Wallace Collection workshop