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Brilliant History
Gun Barrels and Cannon Pipes

The “Chung Hsing Alloy Steel Factory, Tang Eng Iron Works” that was completed at the end of March 1972 was established to develop steel for making gun barrels, bullets and artillery, and cannon pipes. However, blanks of seamless steel tubes required forging and heat treatment, and had strict quality requirements. At the same time, to prevent the U.S. and other countries from becoming aware, the plan was to avoid establishing a new factory under Combined Logistics Command or as an arsenal; Tang Eng Iron Works, an important company other than TMMC, was thus entrusted to establish the factory in the form of a company.

Photo: 20 meter pit heat treatment furnacePhoto: 20 meter pit heat treatment furnace
Source: Photographed by Li Shu-Chun on 2005.8.11

On November 1st, 1978, right before the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations, the government implemented a number of measures for the successful development of the national defense industry; one measure was to coordinate with developments of the heavy industry. Chung Hsing Alloy Steel Factory was thus transferred to TMMC of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and formally became the alloy steel factory of TMMC; the Ministry of National Defense transferred its investment worth NT$1.8 billion to TMMC.

After TMMC acquired the alloy steel factory, it expanded a part of the factory in coordination with developments of the national defense industry. In 1980, TMMC signed contracts with the American company Consarc and French company Heurtey for purchasing electro slag re-melting equipment and vacuum degassing refining furnace.

Besides high-end steel, cannon pipes and gun barrels, the alloy steel factory also developed steel for artillery shells, tool steel, steel bar, shaft, special parts of Tien Kung SAM (sky bow 1) launch box, and propeller shaft for disembark. In 1983, the alloy steel factory manufactured the longest marine copper propeller shaft in Taiwan, and was able to export it to Singapore. The marine propeller shaft system must sustain drag of the entire ship and is linked to the engine and propeller, so it must be extremely symmetrical and precise when it is manufactured and installed, or else it will not only have poor efficiency, but might cause tremendous vibration and result in the structure being damaged or fractured. Therefore, this technology breakthrough was an important milestone.

With regards to military purpose steel, TMMC was able to produce 60~120 mortar steel, and developed the 155 extended range cannon pipe in 1985. As for parts, TMMC manufactured torsion bars for armored personnel carriers and idlers and caterpillar bands for tanks.

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0066/3601/6/001/001。 0066/3601/6/001/001。 File number:0066/3601/6/001/001
Date of production:February 17th, 1976
Archive name:Military experimental product order – M48 Tank caterpillar band assembly research
Description:Contents of the meeting on establishing the M48 Tank caterpillar band assembly research committee
0066/3601/6/002/004。 File number:0066/3601/6/002/004
Date of production:November 23rd, 1988
Archive name:Military experimental product order – M48 Tank caterpillar band assembly research
Description:TMMC requests that the military depot confirm the date of the coordination meeting on M48 Tank caterpillar band assembly as soon as possible
0059/3607/6/001/001。 File number:0059/3607/6/001/001
Date of production:June 1st, 1970
Archive name:Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology core pedestal and store rack
Description:Formal contract between Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology and TMMC for manufacturing core pedestal and store rack
0065/3902/5 File number:0059/3804/3/001/001
Date of production:June 25th, 1969
Archive name:U.S. Navy ship repair affairs
Description:Notification of ship repair affairs sent to TMMC by the U.S. Navy
0065/3902/5 File number:0059/3804/3/001/002
Date of production:January 2nd, 1970
Archive name:U.S. Navy ship repair affairs
Description:List of U.S. Navy ships that require repair
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