Stainless Steel - From Bridges to Blades

The "100 - Not Out!" campaign spearheaded by the British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA) continues to publish its absorbing series detailing the many ways stainless steel enriches everyday life. Launched to celebrate the 100th anniversary of stainless steel, the campaign has so far highlighted architectural, medical and environmental applications.

Recently highlighted in this exciting series was Bristol's fantastic and imposing bridge that links the city centre to Temple Quay harbour. The bridge spans over 200 ft and is formed entirely from 2205 duplex stainless steel that has been punctured with thousands of small holes. At night, artificial lights shine through these holes, giving the stainless steel an ethereal glow and creating a spectacular visual effect. Costing just £1.8 million and with significant savings made in maintenance costs, the bridge is guaranteed to last for many years as the tough duplex steel provides an extremely high load-bearing strength while strongly resisting the demanding environmental conditions.

Though dramatically different in size, razor blades have been subject to similar extensive engineering throughout their evolution. It was not until 1956, however, that the very first razor blades fabricated from stainless steel were made available to the public by manufacturer Wilkinson Sword. These blades represented a revolution in the shaving industry as, unlike the previously-used carbon steel blades, they did not rust easily in a wet environment. Today, high-carbon martensitic stainless steel is the preferred choice of metal for making razor blades due to its high hardness-level and ability to retain a sharp edge, along with the standard high resistance to corrosion exhibited by all stainless steels.

Capable of producing up to 150m litres of fresh drinking water every day, the Thames Gateway Water Treatment Works was opened in 2010 and is the first desalination plant in the United Kingdom. The plant is located to the East of London and draws salt water from the Thames before treating it and making it available to properties in the area during periods of low rainfall. As water enters the plant, it passes through huge filters that rest upon a total of 78 L-beams constructed from 2205 duplex stainless steel. This grade was chosen in order to comply with Drinking Water Inspectorate regulations. As it is so resistant to corrosion, the metal will perform well in the saline environment and has given the plant an estimated service life of more than 60 years.

It is clear that stainless steel is an essential metal in an infinite variety of ways. BS Stainless continue to supply materials of the highest quality to our diverse range of local, national and international clients.

For more information on our range of stainless steel products, including special grade duplexes, please contact our expert team on 01772 337555 or email to BS Stainless - your partner for stainless steel.

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