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Stainless Solutions

IMOA’s »Stainless Solutions« e-newsletter covers a different stainless steel issue each month, with tips on design and specification, and links to technical resources.

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Stainless steel in Architecture, Building & Construction

Stainless steel is used in all aspects of architecture, building and construction. While it has been used in this industry since the 1920’s and is not a new material, stainless steel’s use and range of applications has been growing. Some applications are highly visible and stainless steel is both aesthetic and functional, such as curtain wall and roofing. Others are practical, safety related and sometimes hidden, like masonry and stone anchors, bollards and safety railings.

The number of different stainless steel alloys used in building and construction has expanded.  The more highly alloyed molybdenum containing stainless steels are preferred by leading architectural and landscape design and structural engineering firms for more corrosive locations because of their enhanced corrosion resistance.

Pedestrian bridge at Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong

Pedestrian bridge at Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong, Type 316 stainless steel, Cambric.
Photo courtesy of Nickel Institute.
Photographer: Catherine Houska

Marina Bay, Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands

Helix Bridge, Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Art and Science Museum, Singapore

High strength and corrosion resistant 2205 duplex stainless steel Helix Bridge and Type 316 stainless steel panels on Marina Bay Sands Art and Science Museum, Marina Bay Singapore. Photos: Nicole Kinsman

Air pollution, salt exposure, weather patterns, design and cleaning frequency must be considered when selecting stainless steel and other construction materials if good long term performance is desired. IMOA has created a library of resources on this website to provide industry professionals with the information needed to make good stainless steel selection decisions.

In applications with coastal or deicing salt, industrial pollution, volcanic or other corrosive environment exposure, a molybdenum-containing stainless steel with a smooth surface finish is needed unless frequent cleaning is acceptable. Molybdenum improves pitting and crevice corrosion resistance, which is particularly helpful in preventing staining due to salt and corrosive pollution damage.

International Gem Tower, New York

Type 316, International Gem Tower, New York
Photo: Nicole Kinsman

Federal Center South, Seattle

Colored 444 shingles, Federal Center South, Seattle. Photo: Kovach

Type 316 coastal residential swimming pool

Type 316 coastal residential swimming pool, railings and other details
Photo: Bradford Products