Plastic Quenching

dennis grace amazing at
Mon Oct 14 14:36:04 PDT 1996

Lyonel here.

>Point of discussion on plastic armor:
>I started out quenching my pieces after baking but have since heard that
>quenching degrades strength of plastic coz the molecules line up differently
>when the outside is cooled more suddenly than the inside.
>I now let my armor air cool after baking but I really haven't done any A/B
>strength comparisons between quenched & air-cooled armor.
>Any insight?

C'est vrai.  Sort of.  The resultant plastic is harder, but that means it's
also more brittle.  We (my friends in the armoring group in Artemisia)
allowed our armor to cool slowly when body forming or mold forming.  The
plastic keeps trying to relax, but you can smooth it back into shape with
welding gloves or oven mitts.  Also, for vacuum forming, the vacuum speeds
the cooling process slightly and holds the shape until you turn off the vacuum.

For dishing, however, you need to be able to quench the plastic.  Otherwise,
not only will you have to keep pounding for twenty minutes, but the plastic
will end up too thin. Sir Wulfstan in the East Kingdom uses the dish/quench
sequence for knees and elbows in part because it provides a deeper curve but
also for the added hardness on those critical joints.  Kutting Edge Armory
(they advertise through Chivalry sports) uses press molds on their knees and
elbows, and the resulting joints are not as deep or as solid. 

Yours in Plastic

Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace
Dennis G. Grace
Assistant Instructor
Postmodern Medievalist
Division of Rhetoric and Composition
University of Texas

Baro, metetz en guatge                    |  Lords, pawn your castles,
Chastels e vilas e ciutatz                |  your towns and cities.
Enanz qu'usquecs no'us guerreiatz         |  Before you're beat to the draw,
                                                    draw your swords.

                   -- Bertran de Born (a really fun Viscount)

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list