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Structural Design

Stainless steels’ unique characteristics make them well suited to structural architectural applications. The worldwide portfolio of structural stainless steel projects is growing steadily, and many engineering and architectural design challenges have been overcome. To facilitate the use of stainless steel in structural design, the stainless steel community has assembled all resources available from around the world in this online information center: 


Designers can find information on specifications, codes and standards, design, fabrication and installation, case studies and research.

Stainless steel is being used to tie masonry and stone assemblies together and connect elaborate glass structures. Spectacular new designs are highlighting structural detail as part of the architectural form. Stainless steel is an increasingly popular choice for demanding conditions that could reduce other materials to dust. If an appropriate stainless steel is selected for the application, it can withstand the ravages of pollution, salt, wind, and water and provide hundreds of years of service. It resists corrosion. It is strong, and it is durable.

This article reviews the basic properties of stainless steels used in structures and compares stainless to carbon steels. It includes a variety of project case studies that illustrate a wide range of design possibilities. Large or small, these projects address aesthetic and structural challenges while providing long service life and a pleasing appearance.

Designers can find information on specifications, codes and standards, design, fabrication and installation, case studies and research. The following specification, guideline and resource lists should also be of assistance:

AISC Steel Design Guide 27: Structural Stainless Steel
Webinar for AISC Steel Design Guide 27
SEI/ASCE 8-02 Specification for the Design of Cold-Formed Stainless Steel Structural members
Steel structures - Eurocode 3 Part 1-4: General rules - Supplementary rules for stainless steels or Design Manual for Structural Stainless Steel
AWS D1.6D1.6M Structural Welding Code - Stainless Steel
SSINA North American Structural Manufacturers List
SSINA North American Structural Service Centers List

International Specifications, Guidelines & Industry Associations
International list of stainless steel product, material and welding specifications, structural design resources, basic specification rules and resource sites.
Stainless Steel Inspires Design Metamorphosis
Fondation Louis Vuitton
Canadian-born California architect Frank Gehry’s project for Fondation Louis Vuitton exhibits unprecedented aesthetic innovation and technological sophistication. The spectacular glass sails of the roof appear so light and airy, in large part, thanks to the delicate high-strength molybdenum-containing duplex stainless steel support structure.
Four Freedoms Park
Material longevity and its inherent impact on long-term project sustainability are changing the way buildings are designed. Memorials like the new Four Freedoms Park in New York have to last for hundreds of years. Corrosion resistant 2205 duplex stainless steel was necessary so that the sculptural handrails were as durable as the massive blocks of granite in this highly-acclaimed new monument.

MolyReview article »San Diego’s new harbor bridge sails onto the skyline«

MolyReview July 2012
Molybdenum challenges the seas * Mending the broken heart with a touch of moly * Molybdenum: the next semiconductor material? * Brakes with moly take the heat * San Diego’s new harbor bridge sails onto the skyline * Catalyst project completed – success! * IMOA News

MolyReview article »The Helix, a complex duplex bridge«

MolyReview July 2011
The Helix, a complex duplex bridge * Molybdenum markets – an end-use analysis * The discovery of molybdenum * Mo-alloy steels – metallurgy and properties * Moly drills through mountains in mega-moles * IMOA news

Additional Literature


Duplex Stainless Steels



Duplex to Shine in DNA Design



Design Manual for Structural Stainless Steel



Welding of Stainless Steels
A Fire Engineering Approach to the Design of Stainless Steel Structural Systems
Glass Walkway in the Basilica of Aquileia
Pedestrian Bridges in Stainless Steel
Footbridge in Ruffolo, Siena
The Pavilion, Regent's Place, London
Thames Gateway Water Treatment Works
Masonry Support, Big Wood School, Nottingham

Nickel Institute

The Great Bridge of China
The resistance of stainless steel, partly embedded in concrete, to corrosion by seawater (10022)
Stainless Steel Reinforcement