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Direct-quenched ballistic protection steel enables increasingly lighter structures

Rautaruukki Oyj (Ruukki) : 03 September, 2013  (New Product)
Ruukki is expanding its range of Ramor protection steels with a new Ramor 550 grade designed for ballistic protection. Ramor 550 is six times harder and stronger than mild steel. Designed for applications requiring protection against explosions or ballistic threats, Ramor protection steels combine excellent ballistic properties with hardness and high strength.
Direct-quenched ballistic protection steel enables increasingly lighter structures
“Tested and certified Ramor 550 steel is ideal for armoured vehicles, military vehicles and equipment, safe rooms and other applications where structural weight saving is required without compromising on protection properties,” explains Jani Kastell, Sales Manager, Ramor at Ruukki.
Ruukki uses its innovative direct-quenching technology to achieve high hardness and strength. Ramor steels have excellent surface quality, flatness and dimensional accuracy, together with good cutting, bending and welding properties. Ramor steels can be welded using all conventional welding methods. Ramor 550 has the best workshop properties in its hardness class and has as good workability as Ramor 500.
Besides new Ramor 550, Ruukki manufactures Ramor 400 and Ramor 500 protection steels. Ramor 400 protects against high pressures caused by explosions and blasts. Ramor 550 and 500 provide protection from kinetic energy projectiles. Ramor protection steels are available as strip and plate products.
Direct quenching
Direct quenching means quickly cooling red-hot steel strip or plate at around 900C with water to room temperature immediately after rolling. Fast cooling makes steel extremely hard and gives it an extremely strong microstructure which, in addition to composition, also impacts on the steel properties.
Strip rolling enables the production of ultra-thin steel strips between 2.5 and 8.0mm thick using the direct quenching method. Optim 1500 QC, the world’s strongest hot-rolled steel, is made by strip rolling and the direct quenching method.
Ruukki introduced direct quenching combined with tempering on the plate rolling line at its Raahe Steel Works a number of years ago. The rolling line makes thicker Optim steels, of which Optim 700 QL is currently the strongest, and the maximum thickness is 20mm. Intensive development of plate products continues and higher strength steels and new dimensional ranges will be added to the production programme in the near future.
High-strength steel means thinner material can be used in a structure. This brings about many benefits in the form of lighter, more durable end-products. For example, a vehicle with a lower dead weight can take a higher payload. On top of this, fuel consumption per unit transported decreases. Users of end-products benefit economically and there is an additional advantage of lower harmful environmental emissions. Similarly, the reach and lifting capacity of cranes can be increased if the weight of the boom itself is reduced.
Ruukki also upgrades its own steels and makes special and ultra-high-strength structural tubes from strip steel at its own tube mills. These tubes can have a square, rectangular or round cross section. The profiling line makes cold-formed sections that can have customised cross sections. This optimises structural performance and weight as required by the end-product.


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