Stainless steel is a popular material for architectural applications. It has a multitude of properties that makes it an obvious choice for use in public spaces. Any structure that has exposure to the elements or is found in places with high foot traffic benefits from stainless steel.
Contour, a company that creates radiator casings and other metal products, uses stainless steels for a variety of applications. For example, they use the material for column casings. They wrap the steel around the posts that support a building as a form of cladding.
Stainless steel columns have a luminous finish that looks crisp and elegant. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also protects against damage. They provide additional support to the column and protects against fire. Stainless steel is non-combustible and can withstand high temperatures.
Resistance to Corrosion
Along with non-combustible properties, stainless steel is popular due to its resistance to corrosion. The metal, unlike pure iron, will not rust or tarnish. This makes it especially suited for outdoor applications, as it will not degrade over time.
Stainless steel mostly contains iron, mixed with at least 10 percent chromium. Chromium is what gives the metal its unique properties, making it highly resistant to corrosion. When the metal is exposed to the air, the chromium in the steel reacts with oxygen. This forms a protective film called chromium oxide which gives it its stainless qualities.
Durability and Sanitary Qualities
Another characteristic that makes it an ideal building material for structures in public spaces is its durability. Stainless steel is stronger than aluminium. It is harder and less malleable. As such, it supports structures well and is even used for support in bridges and buildings.
Stainless steel is also sanitary. Due to the smooth surface of the material, bacteria does not easily grow on it. It is easy to clean and to sanitise, which is why it is a popular choice for countertops and hand railings. It works for any surface that comes in contact with a lot of people.
Due to its versatility and strength, it is no wonder that stainless steel is one of the preferred building materials today.