Super Bainite

Manufacturer: Tata Steel Europe  
Product type: Ballistic Protection  
Name: Ballistic protection  

Known as super bainite, the new armour steel has been developed to have outstanding ballistics properties and, in tests, it has performed better than ‘normal’ steel armour. The material was invented and developed in the UK, with production ear-marked to take place in Port Talbot, South Wales. Under the agreement the steel will be turned into seven different items, including perforated armour plates that could be used on future frontline armoured vehicles.

The biggest improvement Tata Steel has made since DSEi 2011 is the development of punch perforation plate, again in the half hard condition prior to heat treatment, using standard equipment with low cost customised tooling to maintain a flat plate with customised hole shapes including rounded slots with a width equal to the gauge. The punching process is computer numerical controlled and therefore can be programmed to produce any design, while maintaining a coverage of >80% and an open area typically up to 40%. For example we have successfully produced a 4mm by 12mm rounded slot in the 4mm gauge steel with 29% open area.

Recent ballistic tests have indicated that, as part of a spaced armour system design, the 4mm & 5mm perforated strike face provides protection up to NATO STANAG level 3 as a structural system, incorporating a light armour steel hull and spall liner at less than 90kg/m2 and a ballistic barrier at less than 60kg/m2. The heavy gauge steel at 10mm is know to provide good levels of protection, as a strike face for a spaced armour system, against STANAG Level 4 threats with a typical V50 result greater than 1000m/s for 14.5mm BZ32.

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Super Bainite