Swedish Steel Prize goes to South Africa

South African company Van Reenen Steel received 2010’s Swedish Steel Prize. The award’s purpose is to provide inspiration and to disseminate knowledge about high strength steel and the potential for developing lighter, safer, and environmentally sound products. Van Reenen’s award-worthy design features these promising qualities.

Dump trucks used in mining operations are exposed to exceptionally tough conditions. Therefore Van Reenen uses high strength abrasion-resistant steel in an innovative truck body design to create a more sustainable structure. In addition, the vehicle’s weight is reduced by eight tons, or 19 percent. As a consequence, operating and maintenance costs are lower, as is environmental impact due to lower emissions.

The new truck body design features a raised ridge dividing the floor of the truck body down the middle. This design modification allows less wear and simplified unloading. In addition to a stronger and more rigid construction, the reduced weight saves fuel and increases payload.

“Van Reenen’s solution is very interesting and shows the benefits of high-strength steels,” said Martin Lindqvist, chairman of the jury and Business Area Manager SSAB. “The emergence of innovative thinking for such a well-known and tested design as a dumper body is very inspiring.”?

Bertus Haasbroek, Technical Manager at Van Reenen Steel commented, “Just to be nominated was a great honour, but to be declared the final winner is certainly the highlight of my 25 years in design engineering, and also the most important technical achievement of Van Reenen Steel in the 20 years of its existence. This prize shows that our team of design engineers in South Africa can hold their own with the best in the world.”

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