“With great skill, Shape Corp has shown the way forward and has succeeded in efficiently utilizing a modern material with the highest possible strength level,” said Eva Petursson, chair of the Swedish Steel Prize jury and head of SSAB’s research and innovation. “This shows a major opportunity in challenging other lightweight materials with a steel solution that allows for circular material flows.”
Shape’s cost effective and robust manufacturing process for 3D-shaped tubes made it possible to utilize the cold forming martensitic steel Docol 1700M, from SSAB, for a unique lightweight solution for A-pillar and roof rail tubes, with a minimal profile size, SSAB said. The components soon will be implemented in a number of Ford vehicles, including the 2020 Ford Explorer and 2020 Ford Escape.
Thanks to 3D forming, instead of hydroforming, Shape succeeded in creating smaller profiles than traditional solutions, allowing for better driver visibility, more interior space as well as better packaging of airbags.
The 3D-formed A-pillars also have an improved strength-to-weight ratio of more than 50%, which led to an overall mass reduction of 2.8 to 4.5 kilograms (6.2-9.9 pounds) per vehicle, SSAB said.
The Swedish Steel Prize recognizes good engineering, cooperation and steel innovations that lead to a better and more sustainable world. The winner receives a diploma, a statuette by the sculptor Jörg Jeschke and intense media exposure. In conjunction with the Swedish Steel Prize 2019, SSAB says it will make a SEK 100,000 (US $10,385) donation to UNICEF in support of their efforts to provide quality education and learning opportunities to children and adolescents worldwide.
The other finalists were Austin Engineering from Australia, Kampag from Brazil and Roofit.solar from Estonia.
Read more about the Swedish Steel Prize on steelprize.com.