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Light aluminium alloys are
          the most preferred metallic     (OFAJ) set up a 6,500 ton capacity           With this, the utilisation of
          materials (following steels)    extrusion press and a 1,500 ton           different grades of indigenised
for advanced defence systems. These       capacity stretching machine at            aluminium alloys in different product
alloys are engineered materials offering  Nagpur, and                               forms and tempers has increased
a combination of improved properties,     ”” Several small to medium                steadily during the past one decade as
with the property requirement often       scale aluminium industries located        more number of DRDO programmes
                                                                                    attained commercial production
varying from one part to another for across the country were encouraged status. The requirement of various
a particular application. Thorough        by DRDO to take up downstream             aluminium alloys has further been on
understanding,  modifications,            processing in producing extrusion,        the increase because of the continual
extension and development of the          forging, pipe, tube, rolled ring, wire,   modernisation of armed forces.
existing commercial alloys and            etc. using their existing infrastructure
processes are crucial in order to                                                      This special issue of Technology
come up with breakthrough alloys for         Defence Metallurgical Research         Fcooncutrsibutihonigshalnigdhtthse     the     major
critical defence applications.            Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad,                                                 dedicated  efforts
                                          one of the establishment under put in by DMRL for the development
Until recently, a majority of the Defence Research & Development of indigenous technologies for the
wrought aluminium alloy products Organisation (DRDO), having production of aluminium alloys in
required for the armed forces were decades of in-house research, design close collaboration with the Indian
being imported, resulting in issues and development experience, and aluminium industry for critical
of quality, time and cost overruns. close interactions with the users and defence applications which include
Although, India has the fifth largest the inspection and certifying agencies, missile, naval warship, military bridge,
bauxite (aluminium ore) reserves in made full use of the aforementioned ammunition, futuristic infantry
the world, the lack of technological- industrial infrastructure to develop combat vehicle and indigenously
know-how and the dedicated, state-of- and produce a variety of aluminium produced combat aircraft.
the-art infrastructure were the major alloys in desired semi-product forms
factors impeding the production of and heat treatment tempers for critical
speciality aluminium alloys required defence applications.
for strategic applications.

During the past one decade,

”” Hindustan                 Aluminium
Company (Hindalco) in collaboration
with Almex, USA set up the state-of-
the-art melting and casting unit for
billets and slabs at Aurangabad
”” Hindalco re-located a state-
of-the-art rolling mill from one of its
plants in UK to Hirakud
”” Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd
(BALCO), using the fund received
from ISRO, set up a Novelis melting
and casting unit for slabs, and heat
treatment facilities for plates at Korba
”” Ordnance Factory Ambajhari                              Potential users of aluminium alloys for the defence sector

Aluminium Alloy Technologies for Advanced Defence Systems   	 January-February 2018 3
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