Developing Technology to Produce LOOK Containers Utilizing Nanostructured Ultra-Strength Steels


Heat Treatment of Nanostructured Ultra-Strength Steels


Nanobainitic Steel

Nanostructured bainitic steels are a relatively new construction material with a strength value up to 2.5 GPa, at the same time characterized by acceptable ductility for many applications. One of the main applications of nanobainitic steel materials is ultra-strength plates utilized in armor systems.

LOOK Containers – Utilizing Nanostructured Ultra-Strength Steels

Heatmasters, along with other partners, took part in a project funded by the POIR 04.01.04 programme, which aimed to develop the design and to manufacture an observation and protective container with a specified resistance to penetration by armor-piercing projectiles and with a lower mass of steel armoring in relation to currently produced solutions.

Light Observation-Protective Container (LOOK) is a rapidly deployable solution designed to create defensive systems around military bases, airfields, checkpoints, or outposts. The shielded container is used to secure and protect personnel during observation and defensive tasks in warfare and peacekeeping operation conditions.


The aim of the project was achieved by using armor plates made of nanostructured bainitic steel (nanobainitic), which are characterized by high resistance to high-energy impacts concentrated in a small area. The technological tests carried out in the project mainly concerned the development of a new container and industrial technology of armour plate production and their application in the armor of this container. Based on the results of the investigation of the material, the optimum chemical composition for industrial-scale smelting and casting was determined. Industrial technology for the production of plates of nano-structured bainitic steel was developed, which includes the following processes: smelting and casting, preliminary heat treatment and ingot hot processing, as well as hot rolling, final heat treatment, and surface treatment. A test batch of the material in the form of 1500×2470 mm armored plates were fabricated under industrial conditions. The result of the project is a container armored with bainitic nanostructured steel plates with implementation documentation and a technology for producing armored plates from this steel under the technical and technological conditions of domestic steel manufacturers.

Heat Treatment of Nanobainitic Steel Plates

Heat treatment of nanostructured bainitic steels is a key production stage. The process consists of several immediately consecutive stages: heating, austenitising, controlled cooling, and isothermal annealing, as well as cooling to ambient temperature. Thanks to our vast experience in the field of heat treatment, Heatmasters was responsible for the heat treatment process of the plates used for the container.

Make sure to check the video of the heating process below!

Use the link below to access the full article, published in the Journal of Metallic Materials. The article contains results of research and analyses concerning the application of nanostructured bainitic steel in the form of plates for the manufacturing of armour components. The presented results of the examination of microstructure and properties include a wide range of laboratory experiments and industrial tests, which resulted in the achievement of the assumed functional properties.
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Heatmasters looks forward to telling you more about current and future development projects utilizing our decades of experience and knowledge in the heat treatment industry.

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