Mechanical properties and microstructures of steel panels for laminated composites in armoured vehicles


  • W.N.M. Jamil
  • M.A. Aripin
  • Z. Sajuri
  • S. Abdullah
  • M.Z. Omar
  • M.F. Abdullah
  • W.F.H. Zamri



High strength steel, tensile strength, ductility, hardness, martensitic


This paper present the study about the mechanical properties of two high strength low alloy steels for replacing the current rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) for ballistic application. High strength low alloy steel has been widely adapted as a ballistic plate in light armoured vehicle. However, the current used RHA plate is very heavy thus restricted the manoeuvrability of the armoured vehicle. The aim of this study is to find materials suitable to be used for production of composite protection panel which is lighter yet has similar mechanical properties to RHA. The tensile strength and hardness of AISI 4340 and AR500 steels were evaluated and compared to that of RHA and the results were analysed based on its chemical compositions and microstructural observation. Values of these properties are primarily reflected by its microstructures and chemical compositions. Therefore, microscopic observation of microstructural arrangement and phases are essential in understanding the hardness and stress-strain behaviour of these metals. Results indicate similar tensile properties were observed in RHA and AR500 but different properties obtained for AISI 4340. Tensile strength of RHA and AR500 were 1750 MPa and 1740 MPa respectively followed by AISI 4340 at 1020 MPa. AISI 4340 steel exhibited the highest elongation at 20.6% compared to RHA and AR500 at 13.3 and 12.5%, respectively. Higher degree of carbon content in fine martensitic structure of RHA and AR500 led to high hardness. Imperfections in RHA and AR500 were also removed by hot rolling process as indicated by white banding that cause higher in tensile strength. Retained austenite and coarse microstructure of AISI 4340 steel contributed to higher ductility compared to AR500 and RHA. Therefore the tensile properties of RHA and AR500 were found similar due to its microstructure behaviour. This similarity allows AR500 to be utilised as alternatives to RHA in armour plate application.




How to Cite

W. Jamil, “Mechanical properties and microstructures of steel panels for laminated composites in armoured vehicles”, Int. J. Automot. Mech. Eng., vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 3742–3753, Dec. 2022.




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