Structural Steel In Indian Defence Sector

Structural steel for factories

Structural steel has numerous applications across a wide range of industries including construction, manufacturing, oil & gas, etc. The term ‘structural steel’ itself includes a wide range of steel products that can be used across all the industries. Being highly durable, resistant to corrosion, tensile, affordable and less in CO2 emission, it is the most preferred metal by engineers, architects, designers, contractors and fabricators. A major application of structural steel is in the manufacturing of equipments for Indian Defence Forces due to its utility in decreasing the cost and being a very strong and durable metal.

In its various alloys and forms, steel can be designed to meet the requirements of unique projects, which allow it to be incorporated into infrastructure in all types of environment. Depending on the conditions it would be exposed to, steel can be alloyed or surface treated for protection. Steel is used for the construction of bridge deck plates, piers and suspension cables, harbours, cladding and roofing, offices, tunnels, security fencing, coastal and flood defences.

For transportation equipments, steel is widely used in the defence sector for its non-magnetic and corrosion resistant properties. The material is favourable for its lifecycle costs and endurance due to its toughness. The commonly used grades are 304, 316, Duplex and AL-6XN. This steel is used for the manufacturing of aircrafts, marine vessels, land vehicles, missiles, anchor chains, tunnels and other engines and equipments.

Besides being used widely in the Defence sector, steel is also used in bulk in manufacturing of automobiles in general. Steel accounts for over 50% the weight of an average car. Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) are used in vehicles. It is a lightweight material that requires less energy to produce and reduces CO2 emissions. Different types of steel are used for the car body, doors, engine, gearbox, steering, suspension, wheel axles, and interiors.

All segments of the energy sector, including nuclear, wind power, electric and natural gas, demand steel for infrastructure. Steel is also used for resource extraction, such as in offshore platforms, earth-moving and quarrying equipment, cranes, and forklifts. Due to the extreme and demanding environmental conditions, carbon, micro-alloyed, high strength and stainless steels are all used in the production of offshore platforms and pipelines. In addition to these, many other energy projects rely heavily on steel like oil and gas well platforms, electricity pylons, electricity power turbine components, wind turbines, transmission towers, etc., require steel for their construction.

The Defence sector is witnessing exponential growth in our country in the recent years in terms of development of sustainable and robust infrastructure. Market estimates put the annual demand potential at approximately 2 lakh tonnes, of which 50% is in flat steel and the remaining in structural steel.

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