With appropriate specification, stainless steel can last the life of a building. However, as with any other material, unsightly surface deposits can accumulate after many years of service. Accidents, vandalism, use of inappropriate cleaning procedures, and installation issues can make surfaces unsightly, cause damage, or even lead to rapid surface corrosion. Surface restoration is often possible with the right remediation approach.
Stainless steel is often used as a railing material, especially where corrosion resistance is a major concern. However, many design/construction professionals may be unaware of the finer nuances of selecting the right type of material. Having a better understanding of finishes is critical.
Specifying high-performance coatings for structural steel framing, decking, or curtain walls can be a tall order when the application surface is located hundreds of feet above ground level. The specified coatings must protect the structural integrity of these hard-to-reach steel exposures against corrosion, while increasing longevity, enhancing aesthetic appeal, reducing maintenance, and conforming to environmental regulations.
Architectural and engineering firms are increasingly exploring stainless steel’s possibilities as a structural material as new research, structural codes, and design guides become available. Most designs have used the familiar Types 304L or 316L alloys from the austenitic family of stainless steels, but for all but the lightest sections, the duplex stainless steel family presents a much greater potential for innovation.