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Tata shows its mettle by winning 200 armoured steel sample orders; PORT TALBOT PRODUCT TESTED BY MILITARY AROUND WORLD.

Byline: RUPERT HALL rupert.hall@walesonline.co.uk

STEEL giant Tata has received orders for more than 200 samples of armoured steel which protects military vehicles from heavy machine gun fire.

The Pavise steel product, which has been exported to a number of countries including Germany, France, the USA and India, is produced by Tata at its Port Talbot steel works.

It was shown to Prince Charles during a visit to the Port Talbot works last year during a royal visit to commemorate the PS185m project to rebuild a blast furnace at the site.

The armoured steel, which was formerly known as Super Bainite, will next be on show at the DSEI defence and security event which starts next Tuesday, September 10, and runs until Friday, September 13, at the ExCel London exhibition centre.

Pavise has now been tested up to Stanag Level 4 to create armour which is capable of resisting both small arms and heavy machine gun fire with armour-piercing projectiles.

The perforated design of the steel creates a large number of edges which disrupt the path of incoming projectiles, significantly reducing their potency.

Henrik Adam, Tata Steel's chief commercial officer in Europe, said: "Tata Steel has spent significant effort developing this unique product and we are delighted with its performance.

"As a company we are well positioned to support the market, both in the UK and the wider European markets, and we look forward to receiving the feedback of all the companies currently testing Pavise."

Pavise was launched in 2011 when the former production route involved drilling round holes into hard armour steel.

Tata has now developed a more cost effective process to mechanically punch the metal before the steel is hardened and make the holes smaller and narrower.

The process has reduced the cost of the perforation process ten-fold.

Paul Davies, product marketing manager for Pavise at Tata Steel, said: "Pavise offers increased design flexibility to achieve protection against a wide range of threats, without compromising weight or modular performance. "The number of samples that are already in the field being tested, and the customers that have taken an interest in using them, demonstrate the massive potential this product has for armoured-vehicle programmes."

Tata has also recorded its best ever week of production at Port Talbot with a new record set in August.

The blast furnaces returned the best ever average weekly output at 84,500 tonnes of iron per week, totalling more than 420,000 tonnes in the month. The previous record of 82,800 tonnes was set in 2007.

Outgoing hub director Jon Ferriman said: "The increase in productivity is, of course, very welcome.

"However, following extremely challenging times the business has much catching-up to do.

"We're operating in highly competitive markets.

"As we introduce new added-value products for diverse demanding applications, we are focused on turning productivity into sound profitability," he added.

Alan Coombs, chair of the Multi Unions at Port Talbot steelworks, said: "These production records pay credit to the capability of the workforce.

"We have gone the extra mile in so many ways - now the hard work is really beginning to bear fruit.

"The whole community in Port Talbot will benefit."

Tata's latest quarterly results revealed the firm's European operations suffered a 9.7% drop in turnover down to PS2.16bn for the three months to the end of June.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 5, 2013
Words:559
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