Stainless Steel - A Century of Innovation

2013 is the year that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of stainless steel. Although several similar metals were in development, it is Harry Brearley from Sheffield who is credited with creating stainless steel as we know it today, a versatile metal that is a major part of modern life.

Formed originally as a stainless steel fabricators' association, the BSSA (British Stainless Steel Association) continues to increase its scope of activities. Primarily existing to develop and promote the fabrication and use of stainless steel in the UK, the Sheffield-based group provide comprehensive marketing and technical support, advice, education and training to a broad range of the UK stainless steel industry from independent businesses to international concerns. As members of the ISSF (International Stainless Steel Forum) and Euro Inox (the European Stainless Steel Development Association), the BSSA works closely with its members and partner organisations to share specialist knowledge and information. To celebrate 100 years of stainless steel, the BSSA will be selecting 50 applications during 2013 to demonstrate the remarkable influence this metal has had on the world.

After an introductory short history of the metal, the first application BSSA have chosen to highlight is the Thames River Barrier. This impressive structure is the second-largest movable flood barrier in existence and stretches 523 metres across the River Thames, protecting the vulnerable city, which suffers a rising high-water level, from a damaging tidal surge during a particularly severe storm. Operational since 1982, the River Thames Barrier has become an iconic symbol with its four wooden piers clad in a maintenance-free 0.3mm stainless steel sheet. The grade used to fabricate this stainless steel sheet has a 2% molybdenum content and offers impressive resistance to corrosion even in alkaline waters like the Thames where lower grades of stainless steel sheet and steel welding wire may be insufficient.

We look forward to seeing the developments in stainless steel during this important and significant year and will continue to bring the highest quality products to our worldwide client base. Our new, larger premises, operational from February 2013, will enable us to do this in our usual professional manner.

For more information on the BS Stainless range of quality products, please contact a member of our experienced customer service team on 01772 337555 or email

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