In a wide range of applications, stainless steel offers specifiers multiple advantages, like corrosion resistance and sustainability, over carbon steel.
Once the life cycle cost of stainless steel is pulled into the discussion, stainless often gets the last word, particularly in the building and construction arena, according to
Poul-Erik Arnvig, Vice President Global Market Development for Outokumpu’s Specialty Stainless.
100 years of service
Coated carbon steel and aluminum roofing and curtain walls cannot achieve the expected service lives for longer life buildings and its repeated replacement is expensive and not sustainable. By comparison, properly specified stainless steel is capable of providing over a 100 years of service. For example, Outokumpu stainless steel has been used for high profile curtain wall and roofing on buildings like the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia and London’s Canary Wharf. Outokumpu has reintroduced its Deco linen and dull matt roofing finishes on austenitic Types 304 and 316 and duplex 2205. The new austenitic finishes are duller than competitive products to eliminate glare concerns.
“Outokumpu has been a leader in conducting atmospheric corrosion research in demanding environments with high salt or pollution exposure, including the Middle East,” explained Arnvig. “The Deco linen and matt finishes on 2205 give architects a much more corrosion resistant option for locations in the Middle East, developing nations, and high salt exposure environments around the world,” Arnvig added. “The much higher strength of duplexes can also make gauge reduction possible.”
Stainless Improves Life Cycle Costs in Construction
Stainless steel rebar also offers advantages over carbon steel. Although most concrete is reinforced with carbon steel, stainless steel has been used since the 1940s for applications where corrosion resistance or low magnetic permeability are required such as bridges, piers, road surfaces, sea and retaining walls, and buildings.
“There has been a significant increase in decision-maker awareness of the inherent cost effectiveness of stainless steel reinforcement for long term applications exposed to corrosive coastal and deicing salts,” Arnvig reported.
Advances made by Outokumpu in high-strength duplex grades—such as LDX 2101®—have made stainless steel concrete reinforcing bar and welded wire reinforcement even more cost effective. The high strength of duplexes (Grade 75) can decrease reinforcement density and cost. With corrosion resistance similar to 316L and with only one-fifth of the nickel content, LDX 2101 provides cost stability and savings for reinforced concrete projects in demanding corrosive environments.
“LDX 2101 stainless rebar is being used in Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge not only for its long life expectancy, but also for its strength,” highlighted Arnvig, referring to the project that specified a 300-year life span.