Specialty materials producer Allegheny Technologies today introduced the first 'high-hard' steel armour developed in America for the defence sector since the Vietnam war, which it will showcase at this week's defence exhibition Eurosatory 2008 in Paris.
Designated ATI 500-MIL, the armour steel is designed to protect medium- and heavy-weight tactical vehicles, armoured patrol cars, above-deck structures on ships, and aboard aircraft in perforated versions from armour-piercing rounds while also offering blast-resistance properties.
Allegheny says the new armour meets US MIL-DTL-46100E high-hard specifications for ballistic performance and is being qualified for NATO and other international standards.
It said ATI 500-MIL armour steel provides markedly improved flatness over other high-hard steel products, better hardness consistency, minimal distortion when cut, the ability to use hot or cold forming processes, and the capability to introduce bends in the material without weldments. In addition, the specialty steel is auto-tempered, which does not require the normal quench and temper treatment.
"ATI's new monolithic armour alloy is backed by the full development, melting, machining, milling and production resources of ATI - one of the world's largest and most diversified specialty metals companies," said Pat Hassey, ATI's chairman, president and CEO. "In addition, as ATI 500-MIL armour steel is melted and rolled in the US, the product is fully compliant with US government acquisition requirements, and meets the highest standards for use in America and by allied countries."
ATI 500-MIL steel is available in plate form, with sheet product currently in development by ATI. It can be installed on new vehicles and systems as well as retrofitted on legacy systems. The specialty armour plate is available in thickness gauges from 3/16 inch to 1 inch (0.5 to 2.5 cm), and in sizes as large as 96 X 300 inches (243-763 cm), with customised manufacturing solutions available to meet customers' specific needs.
"The market introduction of ATI 500-MIL armour steel comes at a time when demand for high-hard specialty metals is strong. Lead times are long for military contractors and fabricators. ATI has the capacity to meet immediate and near-term demand, with the production capacity for future demand that the product is expected to generate," Hassey said.
To reinforce its focus on the defense industry, ATI has created a market-sector team, ATI defence, which integrates the combined resources of ATI Allegheny Ludlum, ATI Allvac, ATI Wah Chang and ATI Engineered Products, and offers an increasingly broad array of military sector products, as well as engineering and fabrication services for customers.
According to Andy Nichols, director of ATI Defense, ATI supplies military grades of titanium, nickel-based alloys, specialty alloys, zirconium, tungsten, and other specialty metals suitable for structural, ballistic armoring and corrosive-environment applications. The company's capabilities extend to machining and milling tools for armoring alloys and ordnance.
Allegheny's services include metallurgical-application assessment, engineering, testing, melting, and mill products and near-net parts fabrication. ATI is bolstering its overall manufacturing capacity and capabilities in a $900+ million company-wide investment program, which offers reliability and stability of supply, along with a commitment to develop new technologies in aerospace, defense, chemical process industry, oil and gas, electrical energy, and medical markets.
ATI is a strategic supplier to a growing number of manufacturers and operators of land, naval and air defense systems.
With revenues of $5.5 billion during 2007, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated is among the largest and most diversified specialty metals producers in the world. Its major markets are aerospace and defence, chemical process industry / oil and gas, electrical energy, medical, automotive, food equipment and appliance, machine and cutting tools, and construction and mining. Allegheny's products include titanium and titanium alloys, nickel-based alloys and superalloys, stainless and specialty alloys, grain-oriented electrical steel, zirconium, hafnium, and niobium, tungsten materials, and forgings and castings.