Wednesday, November 16, 2011

India's DMR 1700 special steel alloy ready for commercial use

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Nov 15: A special steel alloy, DMR 1700, with ultra high
strength, developed by the city-based Defence Metallurgical Research
Laboratory (DMRL) and Mishra Dhathu Nigam (Midhani), is all set for
commercial production. This steel alloy will bring down the cost of
missiles and rockets by as much as two-thirds.

Dr VK Saraswat, scientific advisor to the defence minister, said the
DMR 1700, developed a few years ago, is all set to replace the 250
grade maraging steel, which is now used in missiles and rockets. “Once
DMR 1700 is used in missiles and rockets, the cost will come down by
about 60 per cent,” he said. Dr Saraswat was in the city to
participate in the ongoing 65th annual technical meeting of the Indian
Institute of Metals (IIM).

DMR 1700 is an advanced material that could boost the country’s weapon
systems and military hardware. It is a low-alloy steel with ultrahigh
strength and high fracture toughness. The DRDO developed it as a cost
effective replacement of 250 grade maraging steel, now currently used
in aerospace applications in the country. It will also bring down the
cost of launch vehicles.

As a corrosion-proof alloy, DMR 1700 can also be used for ship hulls
in the Navy. “The production will begin shortly,” he told reporters,
adding that it is as strong as the maraging steel. Metallurgical
standard tests have been completed on this special steel alloy. Dr
Saraswat emphasized the need for a certification centre for metals in
the country.

Referring to production of rare earth elements like zircon and
monazite, Dr Saraswat said the Indian Rare Earths Limited would step
up its production to gain self-sufficiency in the field. “We have
earlier stepped down the production as production of rare earths was
uneconomical. However, China has now gained the world leadership in
production of rare earth metals using monazite sands. We are stepping
up the production in the area using beach sands,” he added.

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