Contributions of stainless steel to architecture

Contributions of stainless steel to architecture

Contributions of stainless steel to architecture,
Shortly before World War I, Harry Brierley (1871-1948), who had been working in the metal industry since he was 12 years old, developed the first stainless steel.
Seeking to solve the problem of corrosion of the inner walls of British Army weapons, he ended up obtaining a corrosion-resistant metal alloy and adding chromium to the cast iron.
The invention has found applications in almost all industrial sectors including the production of tableware, sanitary equipment, kitchens, automobile parts and more.
To replace traditional materials such as carbon steel, copper and even aluminum.
In civil construction, it was no different, and stainless steel was soon incorporated into buildings.
Contributions of stainless steel to architecture

The American economy during the 1930s

During the 1930s, the American economy was booming and there was fierce competition to build the largest skyscraper in the world.
The dispute between the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building was marked by huge financial contributions and changes to the project as it worked to reach the highest possible height.
They both use stainless steel and highlight this technological material, which was very new at the time.
In fact, until recently, stainless steel was reserved for very exclusive applications, due to its high cost.
Today, it is still considered an expensive material, but it is more accessible in architecture and construction, both for mechanical and aesthetic purposes.
Contributions of stainless steel to architecture

Steel forms

Stainless steel is available on the market in the form of sheets, coils, tubes and bars, and has a number of interesting features in civil construction.
In addition to its resistance to corrosion mentioned above, its appearance pleases many, and evokes a sense of modernity and sobriety.
It can have a matte or glossy finish, or gradations between both, and can be finished in different colours.
Contributions of stainless steel to architecture

Stainless steel features

Stainless steel also has low surface roughness, making it easy to clean and maintain.
In fact, the crown of the Chrysler Building has reportedly only been cleaned 3 times since its construction, therefore, stainless steel is highly recommended for use in controlled environments such as laboratories and industrial kitchens.
Because its surface is non-porous, bacteria and viruses do not penetrate the stainless steel and do not leave stains.
Simple cleaning, even with aggressive chemicals, sterilizes stainless steel materials without affecting their surface.
Another striking feature is that stainless steel structures are highly resistant, with high ductility and good strength against tensile and compressive stresses, with resistance similar to or even superior to common steel alloys.
Due to its high resistance, this allows the use of sheets of minimal thickness, reducing the overall weight of the structure without compromising its technical characteristics.