Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has dispatched special steel plates rolled in its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) to be used in a satellite launch vehicle (SLV) for Gaganyaan, India's first human space mission program.
SAIL-BSP has contributed to India's satellite launch program through rolling MDN 250 slabs supplied by Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI) into 9.3 mm thick plates at Bhilai's Plate Mill, at regular intervals. The plates were used in the outer motor casing of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV and GSLV satellite launch vehicles, including Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) used for Chandrayaan launch.
The spokesperson for Bhilai Steel Plant said the latest batch of 40 tons of MIDHANI slabs was rolled in the presence of senior MIDHANI and Vikram Sarabhai Space Research Centre (VSRC) officials.
MIDHANI's first batch of slabs was rolled in October 2009 at Bhilai's Plate Mill, while it was second in February 2012. Recently, Bhilai Steel Plant regularly took up rolling of MDN 250 slabs. In January 2018, roughly 42 tons of slabs supplied by MIDHANI were reheated and successfully rolled into 9.3 mm thick plates.
Rolling of maraging steel MDN 250 was also taken up in 2019. In January 2019 Rolling was successfully done in the presence of senior MIDHANI and VSRC officials. The rolling was then conducted again on 19 July and 19 September.
While approximately 102 tonnes of MDN slabs were rolled into plates and delivered throughout the 2018-19 fiscal year, 148 tonnes of this plate grade has so far been rolled in the current fiscal year 2019-20, including the latest lot rolled in February 2020, for use in launching India's first Human Space Mission program, Gaganyaan.