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DeliciousFart

From STS to HY-80 to the Iowa

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Well, given that STS is a pretty frequently-discussed item in this game, I figured that it would be good to write a brief little history of STS and how its lineage can be found even in steels that we see today.

Special Treatment Steel (STS) was originally developed by Carnegie Steel around 1910 as a homogeneous Krupp-type nickel-chrome-vanadium alloy-steel that would offer an improvement over the nickel steel armor at the time. Interestingly, vanadium was no longer used after 1914. Anyways, STS has excellent protection properties as homogeneous armor, while also being ductile enough to be used as structural steel. Furthermore, the 1910 STS formula was actually sold to Japan, which viewed the armor favorably. However, the armor fell out of use by the Japanese due to a shortage of nickel, which lead the Japanese to experiment with alloying copper with iron to create alternatives such as CNC (copper-included non-cemented), which had protective properties approaching STS. US Navy and Carnegie Steel revised and improved STS in the 1930s, and this improved STS was extensively used in warship structure to improve protection or reduce weight. For example, on the Iowa, the weather deck and the outer hull plating stakes by the belt are both 1.5" (38 mm) STS, while the backing plate of the belt armor is 0.875" (22 mm) STS.

Now, after WW2, there was an impetus for deeper diving submarines in order to avoid most sonar detection methods and take advantage of the endurance offered by nuclear propulsion. In general, due to hydrostatic pressure increasing with depth, a submarine hull's steel strength greatly determines how deep the submarine operates. In particular, because a submarine hull experience fatigue from cyclic loads (i.e. repeated dives), there would be a fatigue limit under the yield strength, which further reinforces the need for high strength steels. The first attempts at creating improved high yield (HY) steel for submarine construction involved modifying high tensile steel (HTS), such as HY-42, so named because the yield strength is 42,000 psi (or 42 ksi).

However, this wasn't enough, and during the research for better steel, Bureau of Ships found that STS, with modified nickel and carbon content and the addition of molybdenum, known as "Low-carbon STS", had the best combination of the desirable properties. Eventually, Low-carbon STS became the forerunner of HY-80 (yield strength of 80,000 psi), which became the standard steel for submarine construction starting with the Permit-class and was used up to the Los Angeles-class before being replaced by HY-100 in the Seawolf-class. Of course, Low-carbon STS/HY-80 was not without its difficulties at first. The steel was trialed in the USS Albacore (AGSS-569) and the USS Forrestal, but early welding resulted in numerous cracks, in particular, hydrogen-induced cracking in the heat affected zone. The Navy ended up spending a considerable amount of resources to finally develop the proper welding methods for HY-80, such as preheating, temperature control, and special filler, although the extensive welding process makes fabrication using HY steels very expensive. And it’s still not easy; even in the 1990s, the USS Seawolf suffered from months of delays and cost overruns due to difficulties in welding the newer HY-100 (yield strength of 100,000 psi). Today, HY steel is being replaced by high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels; the goal of this new alloy is to alleviate most of the fabrication costs associated with using HY steels while retaining the excellent strength and fatigue properties. HSLA-80 would replace HY-80, and HSLA-100 would replace HY-100, and so on.

Now, things would come full circle in the 1980s when the Iowas were reactivated. The reactivation involved the addition of Tomahawk and Harpoon cruise missiles and the Phalanx CIWS, as well as new fire control facilities outside of the armored citadel that would need to be armored and protected. It turns out, the armor material used for these new spaces is none other than HY-80/Low-carbon STS.

 

STS was among the best homogeneous armor steels of World War 2, owing to its excellent combination of strength, hardness, and ductility. The steel's characteristics are listed below, pulled from the one on the Wikipedia article I had added.

Note: 1 ksi (kilo-pounds per square inch) = 1,000 psi (pounds per square inch), for those who aren't familiar with units.

Tensile yield strength 75-85 ksi (520-590 MPa)
Tensile ultimate strength 110-125 ksi (760-860 MPa)
Yield/ultimate strength 0.68
Percent elongation 25
Percent reduction in area 68
Brinell Hardness 200-240

 

Edited by DeliciousFart
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Very nice bit of info. Thanks!

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Nice topic; thanks.

And armor of in-game Iowa is pretty good and don't need buff.

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One of the most outstanding things about the Standard-type ships was their STS internal structures. Unlike most warships that used mild steel for internal structure, the US was wealthy enough to splurge on STS internal structures for their battleships. This gave them an enormous advantage in terms of internal structural durability. Yet another of the Standard-type's advantages that's completely ignored ingame. 

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5 minutes ago, ramp4ge said:

Yet another of the Standard-type's advantages that's completely ignored ingame. 

Is for all nation, in WoWs (and WoT), all armor is in poor russian steel. French, english use german use similar process with their steel.  USA have industrial capability to build a ship entirely with STS normally just used for hull.

Edited by tugdual

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3 minutes ago, TheDreadnought said:

So the big question is why does WG ignore its existence?

 

Because it's inconvenient. 

 

They started doing the same thing in WoT. They had a variable they could change early in the game's development. It was datamined and seen as the homogenization stat. They could use this to make armor harder or softer. They basically got caught making German armor super soft and Stalinium super hard. After that they claimed to stop using the homogenization stat. 

 

They could do the same thing with WoWS to simulate steel qualities, but meh. I'd much rather see actual internal structures modeled instead of ships being just big empty voids.

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@DeliciousFart Did you ever see the classic 80's movie Weird Science? Your avatar reminds me of Chet when Kelly Lebrock turned him into a giant turd for being mean lol.

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2 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

Well, given that STS is a pretty frequently-discussed item in this game, I figured that it would be good to write a brief little history of STS and how its lineage can be found even in steels that we see today.

Special Treatment Steel (STS) was originally developed by Carnegie Steel around 1910 as a homogeneous Krupp-type nickel-chrome-vanadium alloy-steel that would offer an improvement over the nickel steel armor at the time. Interestingly, vanadium was no longer used after 1914. Anyways, STS has excellent protection properties as homogeneous armor, while also being ductile enough to be used as structural steel. Furthermore, the 1910 STS formula was actually sold to Japan, which I believe viewed the armor favorably. However, the armor fell out of use by the Japanese due to a shortage of nickel, which lead the Japanese to experiment with alloying copper with iron to create alternatives such as CNC (copper-included non-cemented), which had protective properties approaching STS. US Navy and Carnegie Steel revised and improved STS in the 1930s, and this improved STS was extensively used in warship structure to improve protection or reduce weight. For example, on the Iowa, the outer hull plating stakes by the belt and the weather deck are both 1.5" (38 mm) STS, while the backing plate of the belt is 0.875" (22 mm) STS.

Now, after WW2, there was an impetus for deeper diving submarines in order to avoid sonar and take advantage of nuclear propulsion. In general, due to hydrostatic pressure increasing with depth, a submarine hull's steel strength greatly determines how deep the submarine operates. In particular, the steel needs to have a high yield strength so that fatigue from cyclic loads (i.e. repeated dives) would be under the yield strength. The first attempts at creating improved high yield (HY) steel for submarine construction involved modifying high tensile steel (HTS), such as HY-42, so named because the yield strength is 42,000 ksi. However, this wasn't enough, and during the research for better steel, Bureau of Ships found that STS, with modified nickel and carbon content and the addition of molybdenum, known as "Low carbon STS", had the best combination of the desirable properties. Eventually, Low-carbon STS became the forerunner of HY-80 (yield strength of 80,000 ksi), which became the standard steel for submarine construction starting with the Permit-class and was used up to the Los Angeles-class before being replaced by HY-100 in the Seawolf-class. Of course, Low-carbon STS/HY-80 was not without its difficulties at first. The steel was trialed in the USS Albacore (AGSS-569) and the USS Forrestal, but early welding resulted in numerous cracks, in particular, hydrogen-induced cracking in the heat affected zone. The Navy ended up spending a considerable amount of resources to finally develop the proper welding methods for HY-80, such as preheating, temperature control, and special filler, although the extensive welding process makes fabrication using HY steels very expensive. Today, HY steel is being replaced by high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels such as HSLA-80 and HSLA-100, which hopefully can alleviate most of the fabrication costs associated with HY steels while retaining the excellent strength and fatigue properties.

Now, things would come full circle in the 1980s when the Iowas were reactivated. The reactivation involved the addition of Tomahawk and Harpoon cruiser missiles and the Phalanx CIWS, as well as new fire control facilities outside of the armored citadel that would need to be armored and protected. It turns out, the armor material used for these new spaces is none other than HY-80/Low-carbon STS.

So that is the difference between STS and Class A and B armor? Does the Iowa ger her 38mm plating in game or is she cheated?

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9 minutes ago, ramp4ge said:

Because it's inconvenient. 

They started doing the same thing in WoT. They had a variable they could change early in the game's development. It was datamined and seen as the homogenization stat. They could use this to make armor harder or softer. They basically got caught making German armor super soft and Stalinium super hard. After that they claimed to stop using the homogenization stat. 

They could do the same thing with WoWS to simulate steel qualities, but meh. I'd much rather see actual internal structures modeled instead of ships being just big empty voids.

Messing around with armor quality in WoWs would massively overcomplicate things. I'm not to familiar with tank armor, but with naval armor you create a whole host of issues when it comes to armor quality and type, especially because so many warships (pretty much any capital ship) uses a mix of FH/cemented and homogenous steels for armor. And all those armor's have their varying quirks. For example; Italian homogenous armors which were harder than almost any other type, but were less ductile at the same time, much less than other homogenous types. Or American Class A Cemented plates, and their overly thick chill layer drastically reducing quality against large-caliber shells. And of course you have scenarios like with the French and Russians; where very little is known about their armor quality except it was poor.

And that doesn't even get into the behavior of soft caps vs hard caps on shells versus different types of armor, etc, etc.

2 minutes ago, Belthorian said:

So that is the difference between STS and Class A and B armor? Does the Iowa ger her 38mm plating in game or is she cheated?

Iowa is actually cheated of her 38mm splinter plating, although she does have her weather deck. Missouri has both. That being said, the effect of this in-game is not very great.

Class A armor is a Cemented type, while Class B is homogenous armor. STS is a structural steel who's quality is essentially that of a homogenous armor.

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For french steel is not exactly that, french produce similar steel than US; but he use them to reduce weight of ship, for make them more fast. And reduce a cost.  And the result is tons of to low armored ship.

It same problem with tank after WWII, american were shocked by german heavy tank of late-war, and build lot of heavy tank after war.  The french trust in light german tank of 1940 blitzkrieg, and build their tank fast but low armored. For you laugh, german army/Wehrmacht build heavy tank because were traumatized by french and soviet heavy tank of early-war.

 

 

Edited by tugdual

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3 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Messing around with armor quality in WoWs would massively overcomplicate things. I'm not to familiar with tank armor, but with naval armor you create a whole host of issues when it comes to armor quality and type, especially because so many warships (pretty much any capital ship) uses a mix of FH/cemented and homogenous steels for armor. And all those armor's have their varying quirks. For example; Italian homogenous armors which were harder than almost any other type, but were less ductile at the same time, much less than other homogenous types. Or American Class A Cemented plates, and their overly thick chill layer drastically reducing quality against large-caliber shells. And of course you have scenarios like with the French and Russians; where very little is known about their armor quality except it was poor.

Class A is even more murky because the scaling effect from the thick chill layer meant that it was also among the best against cruiser caliber shells.

 

4 hours ago, TheDreadnought said:

So the big question is why does WG ignore its existence?

WG doesn’t ignore it, it simply is selective and sometimes inconsistent when it comes to taking it into account. Generally, the backing plate for deck armor is counted (though not for Montana for some strange reason), and the STS plating for secondary mounts are counted. Belt armor and turret armor backing plates are not counted however.

 

While it’s true that a backing plate like STS will do more than HTS or even D-steel, even these structural steels shouldn’t be outright ignored in my opinion, if only for consistency sake. As it is, American battleships are generally fine except for low and mid tiers.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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13 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

WG doesn’t ignore it, it simply is selective and sometimes inconsistent when it comes to taking it into account. Generally, the backing plate for deck armor is counted (though not for Montana for some strange reason), and the STS plating for secondary mounts are counted. Belt armor and turret armor backing plates are not counted however.

 

While it’s true that a backing plate like STS will do more than HTS or even D-steel, even these structural steels shouldn’t be outright ignored in my opinion, if only for consistency sake. As it is, American battleships are generally fine except for low and mid tiers.

So let me rephrase:

WG ignores STS on the main armor belt and turrets.... the most important armor on the ship.

But this is ok, because high tier American battleships do ok.  Just not the the other 2/3s of the line.

Gotcha.

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1 minute ago, DeliciousFart said:

Class A is even more murky because the scaling effect from the thick chill layer meant that it was also among the best against cruiser caliber shells.

Yeah, I should have clarified that. It basically made the plate do a 180 in performance relative to the different shell calibers.

 

2 hours ago, tugdual said:

For french steel is not exactly that, french produce similar steel than US; but he use them to reduce weight of ship, for make them more fast. And reduce a cost.  And the result is tons of to low armored ship.

It same problem with tank after WWII, american were shocked by german heavy tank of late-war, and build lot of heavy tank after war.  The french trust in light german tank of 1940 blitzkrieg, and build their tank fast but low armored. For you laugh, german army/Wehrmacht build heavy tank because were traumatized by french and soviet heavy tank of early-war.

I'm only going off what I've heard about their performance, and at least in regards to their cemented armor, the Germans did not find it very impressive when they tested it.

As for homogenous plates, there were issues. French metallurgy lagged behind that of other powers in the 1920s, and their use of inferior steel meant they had to use much more than other powers just on the hull itself in order to get the same strength. The result was that on their first cruisers, the Duquesne-class, the hull alone ended up being about half the standard displacement! The development of better steels allowed the last heavy cruiser, the Algérie, despite having much heavier armor (versus next to none on the first heavy cruisers), to have a hull of about 1000 tons lighter.

Just to give and example; French construction steel had an Ultimate Tensile Strength of 50 kg/mm2, or 32 tons/in2.

'D' steel used by the British, Italians, and Japanese, had a UTS of 37-44 tons/in2, and could use thinner plates for the same straight as French plates. This did not change until the De Grasse-class, where 60 kg (38 ton) steel was used as construction. This steel was around before, but was used as armor plating - yes, mild steel for armor plating.

80 kg (51 ton) steel was not used for armor until the Algérie and La Galissonniére-class

25 minutes ago, TheDreadnought said:

So let me rephrase:

WG ignores STS on the main armor belt and turrets.... the most important armor on the ship.

But this is ok, because high tier American battleships do ok.  Just not the the other 2/3s of the line.

Gotcha.

Yes, obviously a conspiracy against the Americans... don't worry about the fact it's done to other ships as well.

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50 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

Also, why would someone downvote me? If you think I made an error just tell me.

Because to a certain mind, it sounds as though you are advocating a buff to BB armor, meaning that, therefore, you are advocating a nerf to DDs. 

 

My Precious!  My Precious!  Nasty truth-mens, it is ours!

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1 minute ago, iDuckman said:

Because to a certain mind, it sounds as though you are advocating a buff to BB armor, meaning that, therefore, you are advocating a nerf to DDs. 

 

Holy crap I almost died.

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13 minutes ago, iDuckman said:

Because to a certain mind, it sounds as though you are advocating a buff to BB armor, meaning that, therefore, you are advocating a nerf to DDs. 

 

My Precious!  My Precious!  Nasty truth-mens, it is ours!

17E6AC85-58AE-4742-9858-3EACE4F91E7A.jpeg

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36 minutes ago, iDuckman said:

Because to a certain mind, it sounds as though you are advocating a buff to BB armor, meaning that, therefore, you are advocating a nerf to DDs. 

 

My Precious!  My Precious!  Nasty truth-mens, it is ours!

that or it is one of the few people who hate anything related to the  Iowa.  Some people just have this real hatred for the ship for whatever reason.(you can see this usually in the yammy vs iowa threads, where people ignore facts and just hate on a ship)

 

neat thread though.  one of the main reasons i read forums like these is for interesting facts or histories regarding naval stuff. 

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11 hours ago, TheDreadnought said:

So the big question is why does WG ignore its existence?

I don't understand why people continue to say this kind of thing when we have an ingame armor viewer where we can clearly see that the STS layers are included in the armor schemes of US ships.

Fact is rather than STS being some kind of Exceptional US only thing actually everyone else also used a similar alloy for similar purpose & those are similarly represented.

 

As previously mentioned early in WoT WG did try to model variations in armor quality but stopped, instead preferring to provide a consistent value for all armor, making it much more easy to understand wth is going on.

Its a very tricky thing to do to model the different variations in surface hardness, chill depth & ductility, particularly since it varied over time (particularly for Germany) & different nations used different testing standards so trying to actually model it in any consistent way is nearly impossible & will always bring up exception arguments.

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7 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

Also, why would someone downvote me? If you think I made an error just tell me.

Yeah I didn't understand that either. Have an extra +1

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7 hours ago, iDuckman said:

Because to a certain mind, it sounds as though you are advocating a buff to BB armor, meaning that, therefore, you are advocating a nerf to DDs. 

 

My Precious!  My Precious!  Nasty truth-mens, it is ours!

I didn't see one thing about a buff to BB Armor, just cool facts about Steel, and what the Navy has gone through.  I saw Subs talk in how the steel was for them, but nothing about a Buff.

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3 hours ago, hoom said:

I don't understand why people continue to say this kind of thing when we have an ingame armor viewer where we can clearly see that the STS layers are included in the armor schemes of US ships.

Fact is rather than STS being some kind of Exceptional US only thing actually everyone else also used a similar alloy for similar purpose & those are similarly represented.

Not quite. It’s true that other countries all have homogeneous armor steel like STS (and STS/Class B tend to be on the higher end of the quality spectrum for homogeneous armor), but the extensive use of such steel as structural material is largely an American thing, especially so extensively. For instance, belt backing plates on British, Japanese and (I believe) Italian ships are D-steel, an extra high-tensile structural steel but still considerably weaker than STS, with 25% less yield and ultimate strength. Germany used St.52, which I think is slightly weaker than D-steel but more weldable.

Furthermore, in many cases the STS backing plates are clearly not included in game. Belt and turret backing plates (and Montana main armor deck backing plate) are ignored. The Iowa is missing 2.5” (63.5 mm) of STS turret backing plate, while Montana is missing 4.5” (114 mm), not inconsiderable.

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5 hours ago, gcangel82 said:

I didn't see one thing about a buff to BB Armor, just cool facts about Steel, and what the Navy has gone through.  I saw Subs talk in how the steel was for them, but nothing about a Buff.

 

A common gripe is that WG, by not explicitly modeling STS, seems to be under-valuing the armor package of, most notably, USN BBs.  Therefore, in some tiny minds, focusing on STS == advocating a buff to BBs.  Does it make sense?  No, of course not.  But it does explain the downvote. 

 

Sorry for the hijack, DF.  Very interesting article.

 

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1 hour ago, iDuckman said:

 

A common gripe is that WG, by not explicitly modeling STS, seems to be under-valuing the armor package of, most notably, USN BBs.  Therefore, in some tiny minds, focusing on STS == advocating a buff to BBs.  Does it make sense?  No, of course not.  But it does explain the downvote. 

 

Sorry for the hijack, DF.  Very interesting article.

 

Ah, I see what you are saying.

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