August 2014

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Stainless Solutions’ from IMOA. Each month, we will cover a different stainless steel issue with tips on design and specification, and links to technical resources. This month’s topic is staining caused by deicing salt.
Spring Staining Problems?

If your project looked good when it was installed last year but staining began to appear over the Winter or Spring, the problem may be exposure to deicing salts. Salts from deicing are not just a problem at ground level – they have been detected as high as the 59th floor on city buildings and over 1 mile (1.6 km) away from busy roads.

The use of deicing products is increasing around the world and the chemicals used are changing, which is making the environment more corrosive for all construction materials.

Many road maintenance authorities are now using calcium or magnesium chloride, applied as a liquid. These chloride salts are more corrosive then traditional rock salt (sodium chloride).  Corrosive fertilizer by-products are also being used for deicing, with some marketed as “environmentally friendly”.

The addition of molybdenum to stainless steel increases its resistance to corrosion caused by deicing salts, coastal atmosphere and pollution. You can read more about the risk of corrosion and the specification and care of appropriate grades of stainless steels below:

Suggested reading:

This Type 316 bollard in Dusseldorf, Germany, illustrates the importance of surface finish. The much smoother finish on the top retains less salt and has much less corrosion then the rougher bottom finish.

Continuing Education – American Institute of Architects (AIA)

IMOA is an AIA continuing education provider with eight 1-hour programs that are registered for live distance learning credit within the US.

1. Stainless Steel Sustainable Design
2. Bioclimatic Design With Stainless Steel Weather Screens
3. Stainless Steel Structural Design
4. Stainless Steel Specification For Corrosive Applications
5. Deicing Salt: Stainless Steel Selection to Avoid Corrosion
6. Stainless Steel Finish Specification
7. Advanced Stainless Steel Specification and Problem Avoidance
8. Specification of Stainless Steel Finishes and Grades For Corrosive Applications

Live in-house workshops are also being scheduled for:
Chicago, November  3 - 6, 2014

For more information or to schedule a workshop contact Catherine Houska, 412-369-0377 or email

What is IMOA?

IMOA (International Molybdenum Association) is a non-profit industry association, which provides technical information to assist with successful specification of molybdenum-containing materials. Molybdenum is an element. When it is added to stainless steel, molybdenum increases its resistance to corrosion caused by deicing salts, coastal atmosphere and pollution.

If you have a topic suggestion for a future issue of Stainless Solutions or need additional technical advice on stainless steel specification and selection, please get in touch here.

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In providing consultation or other assistance with respect to technical issues, any consultation, assistance or material is provided for the general information of the recipient and should not be used or relied upon for any specific application without first securing competent advice. IMOA and their respective employees, consultants and members (i) make no representation or warranty, express or implied, of any kind with regard to such consultation, assistance or material including no representation or warranty of  suitability for any general or specific use; (ii) assume no liability or responsibility of any kind in connection  therewith; and (iii) disclaim any and all liability for any claim that arises therefrom. 

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