Shape Corp. Wins Swedish Steel Prize 2019

Shape Corp. Wins Swedish Steel Prize 2019

The prize was awarded for the groundbreaking use of martensitic steel in a 3-D formed tube for automotive roof rail applications.

The winner of the 20th international Swedish Steel Prize is Shape Corp. from the United States. The prize was awarded for the groundbreaking use of martensitic steel in a 3-D formed tube for automotive roof rail applications.

“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. This shows a major opportunity in challenging other lightweight materials with a steel solution that allows for circular material flows,” said Eva Petursson, chair of the Swedish Steel Prize jury and head of SSAB’s research and innovation.

Shape Corp.’s cost-effective and robust manufacturing process for 3-D 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. The components will soon be implemented in a number of Ford vehicles, including the 2020 Ford Explorer and 2020 Ford Escape.

Thanks to 3-D forming, instead of hydroforming, Shape Corp. has succeeded in creating smaller profiles than traditional solutions, allowing for better driver visibility, more interior space as well as better packaging of airbags. 

The 3-D formed A-pillars also have an improved strength to weight ratio of over 50 percent, which has led to an overall mass reduction of 2.8 to 4.5 kg per vehicle. 

Shape Corp.’s highly innovative technology and use of steel has been proven viable within the global automotive industry and represents a major leap forward in both car safety and automotive design, according to the judges.

The Swedish Steel Prize, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, 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 will make a SEK 100,000 (approximately $103,000 USD) donation to UNICEF in support of their efforts to provide quality education and learning opportunities to children and adolescents worldwide.

The other finalists, Austin Engineering from Australia, Kampag from Brazil and Roofit.solar from Estonia, were runners-up for the Swedish Steel Prize 2019.

Read more about the Swedish Steel Prize on steelprize.com.

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