Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) was carved out of the TDE (Metals) which was earlier called the Inspectorate of Metals and Steel situated at Ishapore (near Kolkata). DMRL remained as a composite unit along with the inspectorate at Ishapore till 1962, when a decision was taken to expand DMRL to bring it at par with modern metallurgical R&D institutions. The location was shifted to Hyderabad in 1963.
In 1973, a public sector company, Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI) was set up in the vicinity of DMRL for exploiting the special metals and superalloys technology developed by DMRL. Over the years, DMRL's activities covered friction materials, heavy alloys for armaments, steel projectiles and armour, ultra-high strength low alloy steel, titanium and titanium-based alloys, superalloys, investment casting of superalloys for aircraft applications, magnetic materials.
In 1978, Lab developed armour to protect kinetic energy ammunition (KEA) for the main battle tank under development at CVRDE. In 1979, DMRL started to develop composite armour similar in performance to the Chobham armour of UK. By mid-1980, encouraging results were obtained during the laboratory-scale firing of the composite armour, named Kanchan developed by DMRL. Another notable achievement in the field of armour was the development of ‘Jackal Armour Steel' for body armour and vehicles.