April 2017

Welcome to ‘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 issue provides examples of stainless steel use in “street furniture” and discusses site assessment during alloy specification.
Durable Stainless Street & Park Furniture

For those unfamiliar with “street furniture”, this originally British and Canadian English phrase describes all of the objects and equipment installed along roadways such as benches, planters, tree protection, traffic barriers, bollards, postal boxes, public phones and lighting. Other typical items include signage, traffic signals, shelters, public lavatories, memorials, public sculpture, waste receptacles, and fire hydrants. “Park furniture” is defined in the same way as street furniture but is specifically found installed in a garden or park and can include features such as bandstands.

Besides aesthetics, the most common reasons for selecting stainless steel are long-term maintenance cost reduction, safety, and security. Stainless steel is substantially more corrosion resistant than other architectural metals. Specification of an appropriate alloy and finish is necessary for optimal durability. It can absorb higher levels of impact energy than any other architectural metal, a difference that increases at lower temperatures.

The arches spanning Post Oak Road in Houston, Texas, and the accompanying lighting and signage were installed in 1992. Welded and then seamlessly mirror-polished Type 316L plate (0.375 inches/9.5 mm thick) was selected for its durability in this coastal industrial city.

Photo credit: Catherine Houska

Design & Specification Resources

The IMOA website contains a wealth of information for project design and material specification. After evaluating the application requirements and surrounding environment, visit the relevant IMOA website pages for additional guidance:

In 2009, sculptor Eileen McDonagh was commissioned to design the Medusa Tree sculpture, which is installed outside the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art & George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Carlow, Ireland. It is constructed from highly corrosion resistant 2205 duplex stainless steel with a bright peened finish. The alloy was selected for its strength and low maintenance. After eight years it still looks pristine.

Photo credit: Kent Stainless, Wexford, Ireland.

Application Information

Stainless steel is an ideal choice for durable, low maintenance street and park furniture in corrosive environments. The brochure Public spaces provides many examples. The links below direct you to topic-specific brochures and webpages.

Stainless Steel Library

Download a free Stainless Steel Library (zip file, 559 MB) with over 360 pdfs covering building and construction applications, selection, specification, fabrication, sustainability and other common questions.

Stainless Solutions e-newsletter archive

For previous issues or to subscibe to the e-newsletter, please visit the archive page.

Continuing Education – American Institute of Architects (AIA)

IMOA is an AIA continuing education system approved provider with eight 1-hour programs that are registered for both live face-to-face and distance learning credit.

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

For more information or to schedule a workshop contact Catherine Houska, 412-369-0377 or email chouska@tmr-inc.com.

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.

Forwarded by a colleague? To receive the next issue of Stainless Solutions automatically, please go to our archive and subscription page.


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. 

Copyright © 2023 IMOA International Molybdenum Association