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Old 12-11-2019, 01:53 PM   #15
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [LT Armor Loadouts] Expensive Greaves

Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
Bronze is not easier to work with. Iron can be worked hot, bronze cannot. If iron tears, it can be forge-welded, if bronze tears, the entire jobs needs to be scrapped.
Like he said. Brass and bronze are "hot short," meaning that they are likely to crack when worked near the metal's melting point.

Furthermore, brass and bronze can only be hardened by cold-working - i.e., hammering the item while the material is cold to compress the material's atomic matrix.

By contrast, steel can be hardened by annealing - heating followed by controlled cooling often by quenching the item in water or some other liquid (e.g., oil). While the smith must spend extra money to buy fuel to anneal steel, it actually saves time as compared to work-hardening the steel.

That said, tin, arsenic, and copper have lower melt points than iron, making brass and bronze slightly easier to produce. Bronze and brass also have much greater fluidity than iron or steel when melted, so they lend themselves better to casting. (Cast iron is tricky to work with because it's notorious for being hot short.)

While I don't have any historical evidence at hand, it wouldn't surprise me if some bronze or brass armor pieces weren't cast - at least in rough form - and then hammered into final form. The drawback of such a process is that there is a limit as to how thin the brass or bronze can be, meaning that the armor might be heavier than it should be.

This is particularly critical for helmets (excessive weight can cause headaches and neck strain) and greaves and sollerets (any excess weight on the lower legs or feet has a disproportionately slowing effect on movement and can mess with a fighter's mobility if he's not used to the extra mass on his feet and legs).
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