Wednesday, October 15, 2008

News: Corus develops new low cost armour steel


Corus operations in Rotherham have played their part in the development of a new low cost armour steel. Corus has been working with the UK Ministry of Defence to develop a new high-strength armour plate steel at a lower cost. The new "Super Bainite" steel was originally developed by Cambridge University, QinetiQ and the UK’s MOD Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Corus took the project from academic research to final product using its experimental, pilot and full-scale production facilities. Corus Teesside Technology Centre’s pilot plant produced a 5-tonne cast that was subsequently rolled at Corus Engineering Steels Stocksbridge and CES Narrow Strip in Brinsworth. This was then heat treated at Bodycote in Rotherham to impart the final required properties. Corus’ Swinden Technology Centre, also in Rotherham determined the cooling rate window, slow enough to avoid cracking but sufficiently fast to avoid carbide. The new armour steel is created using new techniques that provide significant cost savings compared to conventional armour steels, due to the lower alloy content and the removal of the need for tempering during final heat treatment. The result is a new type of armour described by Peter Brown from the MOD's Dstl as "able to match the ballistic performance of the best off-shore armours at reduced cost." The next stage, full-scale production, is currently being evaluated. In 2004, CNES supplied the next generation of armoured engineer vehicles for use by the Royal Engineers.


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