From Home to Hotel and Beyond - Stainless Steel in Construction and Architecture

In a recent article, we reported that the British Stainless Steel Association are highlighting the 100th anniversary of the metal throughout 2013 by presenting fifty ways in which it has revolutionised the world. The next two applications in this exciting series have now been published and we look at them in detail here.

The first focuses on architecture, highlighting the great potential of stainless steel as a construction material. One of the earliest examples of stainless steel being used in architecture still exists to this day, over 80 years after it was created and installed. Hanging prominently above the court of the world-famous Savoy, London's first luxury hotel which opened in 1889, the original stainless steel art-deco sign still has a striking effect on visitors.

Another iconic building that utilises stainless steel to create its exciting and dramatic appearance is the Wales Millennium Centre, located in Cardiff. A more up-to-date example than the Savoy, the Wales Milennium Centre has benefited from advances in technology and material science and is clad with 10,000m² of type 316 stainless steel sheet with a beautiful bronze tone, pressed to a tiny 0.8mm thickness in places. Large amounts of welding wire, stainless steel strip coil and stainless steel banding were also used in the construction of this unique building. Demonstrating the perfect combination of efficient building protection with great aesthetic beauty, this structure is a testament to the versatility of stainless steel.

The next application highlighted in the series, which is already proving both absorbing and informative, is the strength of stainless steel and how it is used in constructing more personal buildings than those previously mentioned: our homes. Not only made from bricks and mortar, most homes feature stainless steel wall ties, usually fabricated from grade 304 metal. These essential beams are built directly into the walls of a property during its construction or can be retrofitted, to tie the external and internal leaves together and give immense, lasting strength, also providing a solid mortar bond which helps to prevent moisture passing between the two. The powerful resistance that stainless steel shows to corrosion from rain and mortar-chemical attack is far superior to carbon steel and does not expand, a process that would cause cracks to brickwork and possibly the complete collapse of a wall. Proper­ly-in­stalled stainless steel wall ties are guaranteed to last the lifetime of a property and are now the standard choice for this application.

2013 is already an eventful year for BS Stainless Ltd as we are moving premises in order to provide a bigger and better service to our worldwide network of customers. We feel the year that also celebrates the 100th anniversary of stainless steel is the perfect time to begin such an exciting venture. Check back to this page regularly or sign up to receive our newsletter for more articles, updates and information about all aspects of the stainless steel and aluzinc industry.

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