Steel in architecture

Stainless steel is used in all aspects of architecture, building and construction. While it has been used in this industry since the 1920’s and is not a new material, stainless steel’s use and range of applications has been growing. Some applications are highly visible and stainless steel is both aesthetic and functional, such as curtain wall and roofing. Others are practical, safety related and sometimes hidden, like masonry and stone anchors, bollards and safety railings.

The number of different stainless steel alloys used in building and construction has expanded.  The more highly alloyed molybdenum containing stainless steels are preferred by leading architectural and landscape design and structural engineering firms for more corrosive locations because of their enhanced corrosion resistance.

Stainless steel is a very durable architectural material. When an appropriate stainless steel, surface finish, and design are selected and it is properly maintained, stainless steel’s appearance will remain virtually unchanged over the life of the building or structure. IMOA has developed selection guidelines based on the assumption that corrosion staining is aesthetically unacceptable even if there is no structural deterioration. The Stainless Steel Evaluation System is designed for use by architects, contractors, and others involved in stainless steel selection.

The system explains the factors that must be considered when selecting stainless steel for exterior applications using a simple scoring system. It consists of a software program and brochure outlining the system, case studies from around the world, and links to the data that you need to evaluate a site (pollution, corrosion maps, climate).

The score should be viewed as a guideline that generates an initial evaluation of stainless steel requirements. The effectiveness of the Stainless Steel Evaluation System is dependant on the user’s correct assessment of the design and site conditions. It is not a precise scientific determination. If your final score is above "3", or if you are not sure whether you have evaluated an application correctly, obtain assistance from a Stalcor representative.

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