How Is Stainless Steel Used In The Construction Industry As A Building Material?

How Is Stainless Steel Used In The Construction Industry As A Building Material?

Steel is a very simple metal that is commonly used in the modern construction industry because it has proven time and again it is durable.

Although carbon steels that are used for commercial buildings do not show any signs of corrosion when they are exposed to air that is dry and warm, these carbon steels do show signs of corrosion when they are exposed to contaminated and moist surroundings. Whenever steel corrosion occurs, it almost always creates structural failures that can pose safety hazards.

On the other hand, this metal contains a large percentage of chromium and other alloy elements. Rust is not able to form on the surface of the metal. This is one of the reasons why the use of stainless steel in the construction and civil engineering industries has expanded at such a rapid pace. In fact, it has been estimated that in 2005, 14% of all of the products in the world that contained the metal were used exclusively in the construction sector.

 

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What Are The Chemical Properties?

This metal has been defined as being an iron alloy that consists of approximately 10% chromium. It is this percentage of chromium that prevents the material from corroding when it is in an unpolluted environment. This is also the reason why this material is referred to as ‘stainless steel.’

The name itself alludes to the fact the metal has the ability to remain resistant to corrosion. This is a key feature and advantage.

What Are The Physical Properties?

There are not many physical properties that are important to this material when it is used in the construction industry. However, the ones that are considered essential are:

– Specific gravity
– Thermal conductivity
– Electrical conductivity
– Magnetic susceptibility

It is these properties that make the metal more resistant to heat than carbon steel. Even though the above mentioned physical properties are not very important, these physical properties may be another reason why it is a preferred construction material.

What Are The Mechanical Properties?

When a metal undergoes constant stress that is at a level that is less than tensile stress, the result is metal fatigue. Metal fatigue is quite often ignored or overlooked by architects although there have been recent incidents of metal failure by fatigue that has occurred in modern history.

For example, in 1980 the offshore platform Alexander Kielland collapsed. Over 120 people loss their lives in this incident. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that metal fatigue failure of one of the platform’s legs caused the collapse.

What Are The Different Applications In the Construction Industry?

Stainless steel is a metal that is often used in roofing. In the United Kingdom, the metal was one of the first materials used in roofing for churches because it was a more cost-effective solution.

Initially, it was not a metal that was used as part of building materials because there were cheaper materials available. However, over the past few decades, technology has helped to make the metal a lot more accessible and this has helped to reduce its costs.

The metal is also used in the construction of window walls. Perhaps the most recognised building that utilises this type of application is the cover strip that is on the ‘Daily Express’ building in London.

Stainless steel is now considered to be one of the best building materials available. It is not only used for its functional properties, but it is also used for its aesthetical properties. By using reinforced metal bars with concrete, buildings are now more structurally sound and resistant to corrosion. They are also less likely to undergo metal fatigue failure.