All in Steel
All in Steel is a group of three competitions open to teams from colleges and universities:
- Cast in Steel – Teams design and produce an item using steel casting processes. This competition is organized by the Steel Founders’ Society of America
- Additive in Steel – Teams design and produce an item in steel, using additive manufacturing. SFSA is administering this competition for America Makes
- Forged in Steel – Teams design and produce an item using steel forging processes. SFSA is administering this competition for the Forging Industry Association
The challenge and rules are the same for all three competitions:
Project: Halligan Bar
Table of Contents
2024 competitions challenge university students to use modern manufacturing tools to creatively design and produce a functioning version of a Halligan bar – a multipurpose tool used by firefighters to gain access to building spaces, vehicles, and for a multitude of other emergency uses.
Designed by and named for New York City Fire Department First Deputy Chief Hugh Halligan in 1948, the Halligan consists of a bar with claw or fork, a blade (wedge or adze), and a tapered pick. Some feature a sliding weight for hammering the bar into a gap to facilitate prying.
This year, teams do not have to stick closely to the traditional design of the Halligan bar, but can modify or optimize the design to improve its utility while performing the functions that the Halligan bar is used for by firefighters.
Each bar will be put through a series of tests appropriate to the application. You can expect your bar to be tested in prying, punching, twisting and striking. All submissions should include your Halligan bar, a project video and technical report documenting the design and manufacturing process.
Teams will perform all aspects of creating a new Halligan bar exploiting the chosen manufacturing process (casting, forging, or additive) from design conception to performance. All four (4) components of the project should be submitted. All students must:
- Provide a preliminary plan (one page)
- Rough outline of steps
- Tentative timeframe
- Questions/issues they need to address
- Preliminary decisions they’ve made (type of steel, specific manufacturing process, etc.)
- Make their version of a Halligan bar
- Your bar should weigh no more than 6 kg (13.2 lbs.).
- Your bar should not be longer than 1m (40 in.) in overall length.
- Document their project with a professional Technical Report of less than 30 pages supporting their decisions.
- Produce a Project Video, not to exceed 5 minutes, that documents their project.
All project components submitted for the competitions become property of SFSA.
Teams must have:
- Student teams who will design, build, and test their Halligan bar. At least one member must be a current college student. Teams are limited to 8 members.
- A university faculty sponsor to help the team.
- An industrial partner familiar with steel production in the method appropriate to the competition you are entering – casting, additive, or forging.
- Including one high school student on the team is encouraged. If the team has a high school student, they should also submit an addition to their report from the student about what they learned, less than two pages.
Each Halligan Bar entry will be eligible for 5 awards and a Grand Prize:
- Best Design and Process
- Best Halligan bar design for the form, fit and functions but the team is able to use any materials they wish for their entry.
- Best Manufacturing Design – How the design is optimized to take advantage of the manufacturing method
- Best Project Video documenting the project
- Best Performance based on testing and expert evaluation
Grand Prize based on the top 5 rankings from 1-5 above. Weighting of the scores will be (1) Design and Process 25%, (2) Halligan bar Utility 15%, (3) Actual item 25%, (4) Video 10%, and (5) Performance 25%
Important Events and Submission Dates
|Monday, August 7, 2023
|Friday, December 1, 2023
|Proposed teams, and preliminary plan due.
|Friday, March 29, 2024
|Project video, technical report, and Halligan Bar due.
|Monday, April 22, 2024*
|Cast in Steel performance testing in Milwaukee, WI.
|Tuesday, April 23, 2024
|Awards Ceremony in Milwaukee, WI.
*For the testing on Monday, April 22, teams, and mentors are highly encouraged to attend and compete with their Halligan Bar. We also encourage you to stay for the Awards Ceremony.
All electronic submissions should be sent to Renee Mueller at email@example.com.
Send your Halligan Bar to:
780 McArdle Drive, Suite G
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Mark your shipping materials clearly as to which team the item belongs to, and as to which of the three competitions your entry is for – Cast in Steel, Additive in Steel, or Forged in Steel. Don’t make us guess.
Technical Report Must Contain:
Your technical report must not exceed 30 pages. (This will include your cover page and resources pages so clear and concise writing is necessary)
- Cover Page:
- Must use the outline of this cover page. An example cover page is included in the document.
- Address the following:
- State the reason for the competition: “SFSA has created this competition to encourage students to learn about making steel products using the casting process and applying the latest technology available”. This should be in the introduction of your Technical Report. – Note, this requirement is specific to Cast in Steel.
- *Explain any unique design features or strategies that improve the utility of your Halligan bar over any other.
- *Your design process and the steps you took to get to your final product.
- *Your final results should show that it meets contest requirements (state the final length, weight, and materials of your Halligan Bar).
*Present each in the one-page executive summary as part of your technical report.
- Other suggested topics that can be addressed in your technical report:
- What metallurgical decisions were made with respect to your Halligan Bar.
- What type of specific manufacturing process was selected, what led you to that decision, and the specific manufacturing process steps you used while creating your Halligan Bar.
- What kind of inspection and testing your Halligan Bar were subjected to before submission.
- View the 2023 Cast in Steel competition – African Spear Point
- View the 2022 Cast in Steel competition – Celtic Leaf Sword
- View the 2021 Cast in Steel competition – Thor’s Hammer
- View the 2020 Cast in Steel competition – Bowie Knife
- View the 2019 Cast in Steel competition – Viking Axe
- Wikipedia article – Halligan bar
- Fire Engineering – The Ins and Outs of the Halligan
- Canadian Firefighter – The indispensible halligan
- Department of Homeland Security – Breaching and Breaking Tools (BBTs)
- Irons and Ladders – Posts tagged “halligan”
- Not all Halligan Bars are Created Equal
- Mechanical Advantage of the Halligan Bar
- Halligan as a Striking Tool Quick Tip: Hand Placement
- Halligan Bar: Creating purchase point for your adz (solo firefighter, inward opening door)
- Axe Firefighter Hand Placement (Conventional Forcible Entry)
- Halligan Bar Physics
- Firefighter Forcible Entry: Pulling Hinges from a Metal Door and Jamb
- Inward Swinging Metal Door w/ Drop Bars – IRONS and LADDERS
- The Incredible Origin of the Firefighter’s Halligan Bar
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many teams can one school compete with?
As many as you like and you could have a team compete in casting, forging and additive this year
- In the following years of the competition, will having at least one high school student be mandatory?
- A student is interested in using titanium for the Halligan Bar, would that be allowed?
- Can the bar contain non-metal parts, specifically in the handle and its grip?
Yes, the design is up to you and the use of materials. It will be useful for you to watch the first and subsequent podcasts on the Halligan bar to see the prior experience with materials and design.
- With there being many uses for the Halligan bar, what materials should we expect this Halligan Bar to be used on?
Unexpectedly, the extreme circumstances confronting fire fighters and EMTs the gain access to people in distress leads to Halligan bar uses that are capable of bending or even breaking the bar. While the initial tests will be suitable to evaluate the utility and function of the bars, the finalists will face tests designed to evaluate the durability and limits on those bars. The YouTube podcasts will discuss some of the uses and reasons for failure.
- In Milwaukee, where is the conference specifically being held (so we can arrange hotel and travel plans)?
The 2024 CIS will be held in the area of the Grohmann Museum. Not sure what your budget is, but, The Drury Hotel downtown Milwaukee is walking distance and has free hot breakfast, free snacks and cold beverages at the 5:30 Kickback.
Does it have to be made in one continuous piece, or could it be made as two sections and welded together?
As in past competition, those are decisions for the team to make. The production method requirement is only that you explain in the technical report how you optimized the design and utility by using the (casting, forging, or additive) process and the judges evaluate the best use and application of the process which would include the design choices.