Innovative design concepts that push use of high-strength steels to the limits characterize this year’s four finalists for the Swedish Steel Prize, presented by Swedish steelmaker SSAB. The winner will be announced at an event in Stockholm on May 11.

This year some 102 applications were sent in from 32 different countries around the world. "The high overall quality of the applications shows that this prize has an important role in promoting and even encouraging the industry to find new and innovative ways to use high-strength steels for higher performance,” says Eva Petursson, Chairman of the Swedish Steel Prize jury and head of SSAB’s strategic R&D.

The Swedish Steel Prize is for engineers in the steel industry and attracts competitors from all over the world. Founded in 1999, the Swedish Steel Prize has recognized and rewarded innovative products, methods and processes using high-strength steel that have changed the industry in one way or another.

The prize organizers say the four finalists for 2017 are:

Fermel, mining vehicle, South Africa. Fermel has developed a range of multi-purpose vehicles for safe transportation in mines. The vehicles meet new, more stringent safety legislation and are intended to replace the rebuilt standard vehicles currently used. Design optimization of the entire vehicle, including the car body, has given superior performance regarding personal safety, higher payload, agility, damage resistance, reliability, and service life. All these benefits are achieved by extensive use of advanced high-strength structural and wear-resistant steels.

JMG Cranes, electrical pick and carry crane, Italy. JMG Cranes has developed a highly compact crane with an extended field of application. The design combined with electric drive train and excellent maneuverability allows it to be used both indoors and outdoors. This pick-and-carry crane has great lifting capacity. Its high performance-to-weight ratio has been obtained by optimized boom design utilizing ultra-high-strength steels. Additionally, efficient road transportation is made easy by removable support legs and counter weights.

Kiruna Wagon, dumper wagon, Sweden. Kiruna Wagon has developed an innovative dumper wagon system for long-haul rail transport and efficient unloading of minerals. Use of advanced high-strength structural and wear-resistant steels made it possible to design lightweight wagons combined with a stationary Helix terminal for on-the-fly rotary unloading. With its nearly doubled unloading rate, the Helix system solves many problems related to sticky aggregates. The terminal system is cost effective, in terms of both investment and operation.

Wabash National, rear impact guard, USA. Wabash National’s new rear impact guard for trucks and semi-trailers exceeds North American standards for offset impact. The optimized design using high-strength structural steel has been verified through full-scale testing that shows superior performance in protecting the people in the colliding car. The patented system gives excellent energy absorption, minimum damage to the heavy vehicle as well as highly cost-effective manufacturing and assembly.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com