Stainless steel has been proven to be a very durable material. This also gives a low lifetime cost, but also a lower environmental impact.
One example of a long lifetime is the roof of Chrysler Building in New York. The tower was built in between 1929 and 1932. The stainless steel roof has only been cleaned twice in 80 years! And no corrosion or discoloration! This means a low lifetime cost. When did you give your building new roofing? I believe most people should answer 25-30 years ago. No more comments…
The secret comes down to choosing the right material at the beginning. While aesthetical consideration is made with actual surface finish, its choice is also almost as important as the grade to ensure long lasting appearance.
For components where requirements are primarily functional, the choice of surface finish is minor. Unlike carbon steel, stainless steel seldom fails because of the so-called general corrosion. However, stainless steel can fail quickly under specific conditions. Particularly important to know is if there are salts in the environment, or more specifically chloride ions, which are a “Poison” for stainless steel. Standing water, even with low levels of chloride ions is very dangerous. Higher temperatures increase the risk of corrosion. What the purchaser often calls “just plain water” must always be verified by the people specifying the material!
Always select a material that’s suitable for the environment. It’s one of the reasons that there are over 200 different grades of stainless steel and a variety of surfaces to choose from!
Avesta Steel Design can give you advice on the choice of materials and surfaces for construction applications, but also for high temperature components.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: Advice and assistance is provided in good faith without any undertaking, representation or warranty and Avesta Steel Design will obtain no liability - neither compensatory or consequential - for advice or assistance given.