Many applications of stainless steel in buildings are unseen, but their function and performance are vital to the safety of the structure and its cladding.
Without maintenance, stainless steel is relied upon to provide a long lifespan – with no loss of strength – in a frequently hostile, corrosive environment.
A variety of proprietary components are used in buildings. These include: wall ties, brickwork support angles, corbels, dovetail channels, anchor bolts, indented foundation bolts, reinforcing bar, restraint straps, lintels, joist hangers, mesh reinforcement, high strength bolts, dowels and other fixings.
In the form of floorplate, either solid, grid or plank, stainless steel is increasingly being specified in the industrial building sector. Stairways, treads, and catwalks are also fabricated in stainless steel for its high resistance to abrasion.
Stainless steel in tubular form is the dominant material used in corrosive areas such as swimming pools, where hygiene is also a key factor. Pool accessories, ladders and handrails utilise the material’s excellent qualities and simple maintenance needs. In larger sizes, stainless steel is also used for structural members.
Stainless steel in all forms is an important and essential material to the building and construction industries. It provides a cost effective solution in many problem areas and its increasing use serves to demonstrate that the anathema to designers – corrosion, and its consequences – can be avoided.