In 1992, AISI partnered with the Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to develop new and improved steel alternatives for bridges. The team brought together a cadre of professionals in steel production, bridge design, bridge fabrication and welding, as well as specialists from the U.S. government and academia. The result was a new type of steel, known as high-performance steel (or HPS), which provided up to 18% cost savings and up to 28% weight savings when compared with traditional steel bridge design materials.
HPS went from concept to application in just five years, and is now being used in more than 400 bridges in 43 states. HPS 100W, HPS 70W and HPS 50W produce bridges that are more cost-effective, higher in strength, lighter in weight, and have greater atmospheric resistance than conventional steels. They also have improved fatigue and corrosion-resistance properties.
The development and implementation of HPS was considered so significant and innovative that the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) awarded the Charles Pankow Innovative Applications Award in 1997 to the AISI, U.S. Navy and FHWA partnership.