The Swedish Steel Prize, an international award that recognises the art of engineering and innovation in the steel industry, will be announced on 11 May 2017 in Stockholm.

One of the finalists, Wabash National from the USA, has developed the RIG-16, a lightweight Rear Underride Guard System for trucks that is claimed to ‘go beyond highway safety standards’.

Andrzej Wylezinski, manager of structural engineering at Wabash National, commented, “Three years ago, we recognised a big value in a new bumper solution to prevent passenger compartment intrusion or PCI. However, we could not add weight, inflate costs or make the trailer impractical in anyway.”

The RIG-16 is a safety component that extends below the rear bumper of highway trucks and stops lighter and smaller vehicles that impact the rear from under-riding the truck.

According to Wabash National, the design exploits important properties of advanced high-strength steel to allow for more complex formed parts that reduce component count in assembly by up to 50%.

Wylezinski said that RIG-16 would not have been developed without high-strength steel. “We really think that the characteristics and properties of the material were perfect for the application and this is part of the reason we are proud of what we have accomplished,” he said, adding that weight, formability and weldability played greatly into the development process.

The Swedish Steel Prize has existed for 20 years and rewards small and large companies, as well as institutions and individuals, who have developed a method or product that uses the full potential of high-strength steel.

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