Sandvik awards an innovation that reduces marine emissions

A close collaboration between Sandvik and one of the largest manufacturers of two-stroke marine diesel engines has led to a solution that reduces the emissions from large cargo vessels substantially. The solution is now awarded the Sandvik Innovation Prize. The innovators, Tomas Berglund, Martin Östlund and Rickard Sandberg at Sandvik Materials Technology received the prize at a ceremony at Sandvik R&D Day in Högbo on 16 March 2017.

– It’s a great honor and I hope that this award will increase the awareness of powder solutions, says Berglund. Östlund and Sandberg agree.

– The technical solution opens up for other applications as well. The manufacturing technology that we have developed provides a huge untapped potential for Sandvik, says Östlund.

The objective with the project was to replace diesel with direct injection of compressed natural gas (CNG). Natural gas exposes the engine with a higher level of corrosion, higher temperatures and more abrasive wear compared to diesel, which means that a number of components in the engine have to be replaced. One such component is the valve spindle; a relatively small component with a variety of different requirements. While the whole component must withstand high temperatures, only the bottom part is exposed to corrosion, and the upper part to wear.

To deal with these different requirements and develop a cost efficient product, the team designed a unique powder-based solution with four different materials. The foundation is made of inexpensive steel, while the most exposed parts of the valve are reinforced with more advanced material, exactly where it’s needed.

There were three strong candidates for the prize this year, and the team from Sandvik Materials Technology was far from sure to win.

– Profound material know-how combined with close customer collaboration and advanced powder technology made the innovation possible, says Sandberg.

The Sandvik Innovation Prize

Sandvik awards two prizes each year, designed to stimulate innovations, The Wilhelm Haglund Medal and the Sandvik Innovation Prize. To win the Wilhelm Haglund Medal, the innovation is required to show significant commercial value, while the innovation prize awards an innovative idea with exceptional potential.

Motivation for Sandvik Innovation Prize 2016

The team has developed a critical component for marine diesel engines combining four materials using a patented design and manufacturing method. It is in the fast growing area of metal powder and 3D printing and enables improved fuel efficiency with reduced emissions and hence reduced environmental impact.

For this innovative teamwork, which was done in cooperation with a customer and has resulted in several patent applications and a product that has properties that are unmet by competitors, and with great market potential, the jury decided to reward the team with the innovation prize for 2016.