Posted 17 May 1999

If a job requires greater corrosion resistance than grade 304 can provide, grade 316 is the 'next step up'. Grade 316 has virtually the same mechanical, physical and fabrication characteristics as 304 with better corrosion resistance, particularly to pitting corrosion in chloride environments.

Grade 316 (U NS S31600) is the second most popular grade accounting for about 20% of all stainless steel produced.

This article follows on from "304 -the place to start" in Issue 10 which is also available on ASSDA's website at www.assda.asn.au

Table 1 compares three related grades - 316, 316L and 31 6H.

Grade 316L is a low carbon 316 often used to avoid possible sensitisation corrosion in welded components.

Grade 316H has a higher carbon content than 316L, which increases the strength (particularly at temperatures above about 500°C), but should not be used for applications where sensitisation corrosion could be expected.

Both 316L and 316H are available in plate and pipe, but 316H is less readily available ex-stock. 316L and 316H are sometimes stocked as standard 316 (test certificates will confirm compliance with the 'L' or 'H' specification).

Grade 316 has excellent corrosion resistance in a wide range of media. Its main advantage over grade 304 is its increased ability to resist pitting and crevice corrosion in warm chloride environments. It resists common rusting in virtually all architectural applications, and is often chosen for more aggressive environments such as seafront buildings and fittings on wharves and piers. It is also resistant to most food processing environments, can be readily cleaned, and resists organic chemicals, dye stuffs and a wide variety of inorganic chemicals.

In hot chloride environments, grade 316 is subject to pitting and crevice corrosion and to stress corrosion cracking when subjected to tensile stresses beyond about 50°C. In these severe environments duplex grades such as 2205 (UNS S31803) or higher alloy austenitic grades including 6% molybdenum (UNS S31254) grades are more appropriate choices.

The corrosion resistances of the high and low carbon versions of 316 (316L and 316H) are the same as standard 316.

Like grade 304, 316 has good oxidation resistance in intermittent service to 870°C and in continuous service to 925°C. Continuous use of 316 in the 425-860°C range is not recommended if subsequent exposure to room temperature aqueous environments is anticipated, but it often performs well in temperatures fluctuating above and below this range.

Grade 316L is more resistant to carbide precipitation than standard 316 and 316H and can be used in the above temperature range. However, where high temperature strength is important, higher carbon values are required. For example, AS 1210 Pressure Vessels Code limits the
operating temperature of 316L to 450°C and restricts the use of 316 to carbon values of 0.04% or higher for temperatures above 550°C. 316H or the titanium-containing version 316Ti can be specified for higher temperature applications.

316 has excellent toughness down to temperatures of liquefied gases and has application at these temperatures, although lower cost grades such as 304 are more usually selected for cryogenic vessels.

Like other austenitic grades, 316 in the annealed condition is virtually nonmagnetic (ie. very low magnetic permeability). While 304 can become significantly attracted to a magnet after being cold worked, grade 316 is almost always virtually totally non-responsive. This may be a reason for selecting grade 316 in some applications.

Annealing (also referred to as solution treating) is the main heat treatment carried out on grade 316. This is done by heating to 1,010-1,120°C and rapidly cooling - usually by water quenching.

316 can be deep drawn without intermediate heat softening enabling it to be used in the manufacture of drawn stainless parts, such as sinks and saucepans. However, for normal domestic articles the extra corrosion resistance of grade 316 is not necessary. 316 is readily brake or roll formed into a variety of other parts for application in the industrial and architectural fields.

Grade 316 has outstanding weldability and all standards welding techniques can be used. Although post-weld annealing is often not required to restore 316's corrosion resistance (making it suitable for heavy gauge fabrication) appropriate post-weld clean-up is recommended.

Machinability of 316 is lower than most carbon steels. The standard austenitic grades like 316 can be readily machined if slower speeds and heavy feeds are used, tools are rigid and sharp, and cutting fluids are involved. An 'improved machinability' version of 316 also exists.

The guidelines in Table 4 are approximate 'first cost' comparisons for sheet material in a standard mill finish suitable for construction projects. The appeal of stainless over its first cost competitors dramatically increases
when lifecycle costs are considered.

Grade 31 6 is available in virtually all stainless product forms including coil, sheet, plate, strip, tube, pipe, fittings, bars, angles, wire, fasteners and castings. 316L is also widely available, particularly in heavier products such as plate, pipe and bar. Most stainless steel surface finishes, from standard to special finishes, are available.

Typical applications for 316 include boat fittings and structural members; architectural components particularly in marine, polluted or industrial
environments; food and beverage processing equipment; hot water systems; and plant for chemical, petrochemical, mineral processing, photographic and other industries.

Although 316 is often described as the 'marine grade', it is also seen as the first step up from the basic 304 grade.

Alternative grades to 316 should be considered in certain environments and applications including:

• strong reducing acids (alternatives might be 904L, 2205 or a super duplex grade),
• environments with temperatures above 50-60°C and with chlorides present (choose grades resistant to stress corrosion cracking and higher pitting resistance such as 2205 or a super duplex or super austenitic), and
• applications requiring heavy section welding (316L), substantial machining (an improved machinability version of 316), high strength or hardness (perhaps a martensitic or precipitation hardening grade).


This technical article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 13, May 1999.

Posted 17 May 1999

The devastation of the 1989 Newcastle earthquake resulted in a revision of standards specifying building materials and products to be used in differing environments.

One of the products that came under close scrutiny was wall ties (also known as brick ties).

Assessment of the damage after the earthquake found that many walls had 'peeled away' from building structures due to deteriorated wall ties.

A wall tie connects masonry to the structural backing which supports the wall. The most common wall ties are manufactured out of galvanised steel.

Australian Standard AS 3700 - 1998 revised the conditions under which wall ties are used and made recommendations about the types of material that should be used in different environments.

The Standard specifies that 316 or 316L stainless steel wall ties should be used in 'R4' category environments. These are severe marine environments, usually up to 1 00 metres from a nonsurf coast or one kilometre from a surf coast, where the highest airborne salinity level at the exterior of the masonry is 300 g/m2/day.

In such environments the chlorides in the air make it highly corrosive and not suitable for wall ties manufactured from materials that are susceptible to corrosion.

However this requirement is the subject of debate, with some specialists suggesting that corrosive environments stretch well beyond the distances specified in the Standard.

The use of stainless steel wall ties as suggested in the Standard will increase the safety and durability of buildings in corrosive environments for a very small increase in the overall cost. This again leads to the debate about what constitutes a corrosive environment, and whether the Standard should be more conservative.

The revised Standard has been incorporated into the Building Code of Australia and is mandatory for many provisions in the Code. The Australian Building Codes Board anticipates AS3700 - 1998 will become mandatory for the Housing Provisions in January 2000.

Thus, opportunities exist for the stainless industry to be proactive in its approach to such issues, as well as to investigate the use of stainless in other building applications, where durability and strength are principal concerns.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 13, May 1999.

Posted 1 March 1998

Stainless steels are now cheaper than ever, but there is still room to minimise costs (see Table 1), which will improve the bottom line for individual companies, projects and the industry as a whole.

Flat productsAustralia is a relatively 'small fish' in the global stainless industry and, without the benefit of local stainless steel production, loses some flexibility on product availability. Unless you're a very large consumer of stainless steel to a single specification or Standard, ordering to common specifications will reduce costs and increase availability of products.

Flat Products - Table 1Suppliers are likely to have products to common specifications. Ordering them reduces the need for slow moving stock, increases stock turns, raises the size of single orders, and can substantially reduce costs. A similar mechanism works for mill or mill indent orders.

Flat products

Until recently, stainless steel flat products manufactured to Australian Standard 1449 were the most widely available in Australia. However, since the closure of BHP Stainless in 1997, products manufactured to this Standard are no longer commonly produced. More common international specifications will need to be recognised in Australia if economies are to be achieved (see Table 2).

Fortunately, the transition may not be difficult, because AS1449 was closely aligned with the ASTM Standards from the USA, which are also similar to the Japanese JIS Standards. Steels identical to AS1449 in nomenclature, chemical composition, mechanical properties and surface finish are readily available internationally.

Today the most commonly available stainless flat product in Australia is manufactured abroad to ASTM A2401A240M Standard specification for heat resisting chromium and chromium-nickel stainless steel plate, sheet and strip for pressure vessels, which nominates ASTM A4801A480M for additional general requirements of the steel ('M' designates the metric version, which is more appropriate in Australia).

European specifications are also emerging and EN 10088 Stainless steels has the potential to become a common specification in the Australian market. EN 10088 makes use of the established German names and numbers for stainless steel grades, Many grades in EN 10088 have close equivalents in the ASTM based Standards, but the nomenclature for grades and finishes is very different and replacements should be examined carefully. For example, in AS1449, ASTM A240M and JIS G4305, grade 304 (the most common stainless) has a minimum of European specifications are also emerging and EN 10088 Stainless steels has the potential to become a common specification in the Australian market. EN 10088 makes use of the established German names and numbers for stainless steel grades. Many grades in EN 10088 have close equivalents in the ASTM based Standards, but the nomenclature for grades and finishes is very different and replacements should be examined carefully. For example, in AS1449, ASTM A240M and JIS G4305, grade 304 (the most common stainless) has a minimum of Ordering at standard width and thickness is the best way to keep steel costs down. Each mill has equipment capable of a certain maximum width and running narrower steel is less productive.

The standard width varies from mill to mill (see Table 3), with most European mills manufacturing at 1,200mm or 1,250mm wide, with a few capable of 1,500mm and, for some thicker coil products, 2,000mm. Mills in Asia tend to standardise on the imperial widths 3', 4' and 5' (914mm, 1,219mm, 1,524mm).


An understanding of commonly used specifications can lead to more efficient and cheaper practices. If questions arise, your supplier or fabricator may have information on alternative Standards that are more commonly available and more suited to your requirements.

Flat Products - Table 2


This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 11 - March 1998. More current information can be found in ASSDA's Australian Stainless Reference Manual.

Posted 1 March 1998

Stainless steel forms a significant part of a beef abattoir, including the conveyors, fixed and elevated platforms, sterilisers, chutes, hand wash basins and, of late, water supply and wastewater piping. The stainless component may now expand even further in new abattoirs with the recent development of cast stainless steel skids and forged hooks for use on dressing conveyors.

AbattoirDressing conveyors in beef abattoirs traditionally use rollers rather than a skid system or, in some cases, extruded aluminium skids and hooks are used. Both of these systems have limited service lives due to the weight of the beasts. They also result in downtime when cleaning and, in the case of rollers, lubrication is required. Hygiene is critical throughout the trimming process, as the carcass' meat is exposed to the environment.

G & B Stainless (Crestmead, Old) and Meateng (Melbourne, Vic) recognised the need to develop a dressing conveyor system which would allow a rapid turnaround of hooks while assuring a high level of hygiene.

Using stainless steel would provide sufficient strength to hold heavy carcasses (weighing up to 1,000kg), while allowing the skids and hooks to simply pass through a washbox for sterilisation on their return to the starting point of the conveyor.

The project has evolved over six months from a prototype fabricated skid, which did not provide enough strength, to the existing cast skid and forged hook. The cast skid also incorporates a high density polyethylene insert, which is the only component to experience wear during service. This insert can be replaced at low cost when required.

The skids are cast by Austcast Stainless (Northgate, Old) using a vertical joint automoulding sand casting system. Grade AS2074 H5A (equivalent to AISI 304) stainless is used and full traceability exists for the castings, The stainless hooks are forged by John Ure (Wacol, Qld). Production costs are comparable with extruded aluminium skids, but the low rate of replacement makes the lifecycle costs very attractive.

Over 1,000 stainless steel skids and hooks have been in service at Stockyard (Grantham, Qld) for six months and, according to site engineer, Roger Tocknell, they have been performing excellently.

The new skids are not interchangeable with existing mild steel rollers, but G & B Stainless' Director, John Van Koeverden, said the company's next goal is to develop stainless rollers which can be used on existing conveyors.

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 11 - March 1998.

Posted 1 March 1998

Kuala Lumpur's new international airport terminal will open within a month and travellers will be sheltered by a A$17 million stainless steel roof which has largely been developed by Australian expertise and innovation.

KL airportThe roof profile of the contact piers and air bridges (60,000m2 total area) had to satisfy a number of criteria, including rainwater runoff, resistance to wind uplift, and a smooth, painted appearance. The roof area comprises a composite system with an outer metal membrane of fully-welded stainless steel. Further complicating the design, the architect (MJAC) wanted to avoid valley gutters on the roof's curves.

Around 280 tonnes of 0.4mm grade 316 stainless were used for the roof and unique, tapered sheet, roll forming technology was developed to accommodate curvatures in the roof. While rollforming is normally used on parallel edge products, Chadwick Technology (Forestville, NSW) and Horton Engineering (New Zealand) developed a rollformer which was capable of rolling roof sheet in excess of 20 metres long, with the edges tapering to a pre-determined dimension. All of the taper, shear and rollforming equipment was computer controlled to obtain correct dimensions.

Similarly, a fully automated welding system was designed to weld at 5 metres/minute (resulting in a total of 125km of welding), with the generated heat being water cooled. Fixing clips, which were welded within the seam roof, had to allow for thermal movement of up to 20mm. To provide the unwelded surface appearance, a rib cap was designed to conceal all the welds, fixings and unpainted sections.

Bill Mansell, Chadwick's Engineering Director, said MJAC specified stainless steel to provide the client with a lifetime investment in maintenance free roofing. The stainless steel sheet, which was coil coated with a dark green fluorocarbon PVf2, was supplied by Avesta Sheffield (Castle Hill, NSW) and special end fascia and architectural trims were fabricated by the Townsend Group (Mortdale, NSW).

The airport is opening in February/March this year and it will be fully operational for the Commonwealth Games in September 1998. The roof, which is a finalist in the Gold Circle Award for Innovative Roofing from the USA's National Roofing Contractors Association, is certain to give international visitors to Kuala Lumpur a strong, visual impression of Australia's design and fabrication capabilities.

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 11 - March 1998.

Posted 1 March 1998

A pilot magnesium processing plant is currently under production in Gladstone, using unique technology developed in Australia and incorporating a significant stainless steel component.

MagnesiumThe Australian Magnesium (AM) process (now owned by the Australian Magnesium Corporation - Brisbane, Qld) was jointly developed by Queensland Metals Corporation (QMC - Brisbane, Qld) and CSIRO to process the type of magnesite ore discovered by QMC near Rockhampton into highly pure magnesium metal.

The process incorporates a number of patented features which will be demonstrated and refined at the pilot plant in Gladstone on its completion in mid-1998. The AM process involves the use of a variety of harsh acids, requiring the specification of stainless steel grades such as 2205, 2507, 2RK65, 904L, 316L and 316H to withstand a range of corrosion environments.

Approximately $1.5 million has been spent on stainless steel components for the magnesium pilot plant, including stainless piping, pumps, compressors, tanks and shell and tube heat exchangers.

Eight fabricators supplied the components, including D & R Stainless (Salisbury, Qld), who fabricated seven stainless steel vessels using material ranging from 3mm to 13mm in thickness.

If the project progresses to full production of 90,000 tonnes of  magnesium per year, the plant will be 60 times larger than the pilot plant and the cost will expand to around $800 million. Construction is currently planned to commence towards the end of 1999 and commercial operations should begin at the end of 2002.

Magnesium is commonly used for automotive parts, such as instrument support panels, seat frames, transmission casings and rocker covers. Other common uses for magnesium are in laptop computer frames, chainsaw bodies and sporting equipment such as tennis racquets.

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 11, March 1998.

Posted 1 March 1998

Sydney's recently redeveloped Chifley Square now pays tribute to its namesake in a dramatic, yet personable, manner - an 8m tall stainless steel sculpture of Ben Chifley towers over the square, forming part of City of Sydney's capital works program in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Chifley_3Sydney artist Simeon Nelson designed 'Ben Chifley' and a glass and stainless steel wall on the site while working as part of the multi-disciplinary design team involved in the site's $3 million redevelopment. Hassell architects (Sydney) were given open guidelines for the design of the site, but two of the objectives were to see Chifley appropriate recognised and to provide a windbreak on the Hunter Street side of the square.

Nelson specified 5 tonnes of 20mm grade 316 stainless plate for two cut-out images of the former war-time treasurer and the post-war Labor prime minister. The plates are positioned in parallel and bolted to a stainless frame, allowing 1mm tolerances.

Nelson designed the sculpture in stainless steel because of its long-term durability. He also felt the material was appropriate because it is often used as an industrial product and Chifley kick-started industrial growth after the war.

The sculpture was fabricated by CBD Prestige Metal Works (Sydney) from material supplied by Sandvik Australia (Smithfield, NSW). After shotblasting by IMP (Sydney), the final surface finishing and passivating was carried out by BHM Stainless Technology Group (Keon Park, Vic) using a specialised process developed by the company for unusual projects of this nature.

Chifley_wallSimilarly impressive is the 'Lightwall, Crucimatrilux' (also fabricated by CBD), which incorporates panes of transparent glass bolted together on nine stainless frames made of 74mm x 20mm bar with a mill finish. Because of the fine tolerances required, dowel and glue were used instead of welds to hold the frames together.

The 10.8m long and 3.2m tall wall serves a structural function as an extension of the back wall of the cafe and also acts as a wind shelter. visually, it provides a contrast with cafe's wall, which is made from white coated glass.

The redevelopment of the site, which is semi-circular in shape and divided in half by Philip Street, was aimed at unifying the two spaces to reflect the original intent of the site's 1937 design. Together, the Lightwall and Chifley sculpture form part of an impressive, contemporary response to historic town planning.

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 11, March 1998.

Posted 17 May 1999

A stainless steel mesh sculpture created by jeweller/designer, Barbara Heath is a focal point of the Neville Bonner Building in Brisbane.

Stainless steel was chosen for the sculpture for its durability and low maintenance properties. This was important because the sculpture is mounted on the building exterior, exposed to marine weather conditions.

The 'high tech', contemporary look that was achieved with stainless also compliments the other metals used on the building.

The themes of the seven metre artwork are office networks, family links and team work. It refers to the history of the area with the design reflecting fishing nets that were used by local aboriginals.

The work features stainless steel rings intertwined into a net structure, based on a traditional chain mail construction technique used in chain jewellery making.

Because it sits in front of a window, different perspectives and understandings of the work can be gained depending on the viewing angle. It can be viewed from the interior of the building, against the surrounding landscape, or through openings in the building which frame it against the sky.

The sculpture is constructed out of grade 316 stainless steel and was fabricated by Haylock Sheet Metal. Flat links of round bar were rolled and interlinked to form the mesh structure.

It is one of four artworks that were commissioned by the Department of Public Works for the Neville Bonner building. Architects Davenport Campbell and Donovan Hill worked closely with the artists to ensure that the artworks were an integral part of the building's design, yet remained equally impressive as stand alone pieces.

Although not typical for government public works, projects of this nature will become more prevalent in the future. It is expected that the Queensland government's art policy, which states that 2% of the budget for all public buildings must be spent on public art, will encourage building designers, architects and artists to work closely on integrating artworks into the design of all public buildings.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 13, May 1999.

Posted 17 May 1999

When the United States Navy required 35 lightweight transportable recompression chambers in the late 1980s, Cowan Manufacturing took up the challenge of developing the units.

Cowan Manufacturing developed a prototype out of a virtually unknown material. It was duplex 2205 (UNS 31803) stainless steel.

No other manufacturer in the world was producing chambers out of 2205 and, after six years of negotiations, Cowan was sourced as the sole supplier of the chambers.

Cowan chose 2205 for its high strength, light weight and corrosion resistant properties. This enabled them to meet the Navy's requirements without the weight and corrosion problems of other materials.

Traditionally, recompression chambers have been made out of carbon steel and required high maintenance because of the severe marine environment in which they are used (on ships at sea). Chamber walls had to be thick to combat the effects of corrosion and so were very heavy.

The strength and corrosion resistance of 2205 over other materials enabled the chamber shell thickness to be reduced to 3mm. The thinner chamber walls effectively halved the weight of the units and corrosion resistance lengthened their service life.

However, Cowan faced some difficulties with the material because it was new on the market at the time. Staff had to be specially trained in welding techniques for the 2205 which had to be approved by Navy certification teams. (2205 is now a common material that is used for many industrial applications.)

The 2205 material was supplied by Sandvik Australia. The 3mm x 2000mm wide coil material was sized on its cut to length line and plasma arc cut the conical sections and the end cap discs which were then formed by Dome Engineering.

The strict quality requirements specified by the US Navy resulted in all material being ultrasonically examined and charpy tested before processing.

The chambers were produced at the Cowan Manufacturing facility at Warners Bay in New South Wales. Cowan has since become a specialist
in its field, supplying recompression chambers to 12 countries including the United States and Australia.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 13, May 1999.

Posted 17 May 1999

Queensland Rail has achieved international recognition for its use of stainless steel in coal wagons by winning the ferritic stainless steel category in the Stainless Steel Awards in South Africa recently.

Entrants were judged on criteria including usage, application, substitution, growth, fitness for purpose, cost saving and effectiveness of solutions.

The award recognised Queensland Rail's use of weldable UNS S41 003 stainless steel as the preferred material for coal wagons. These wagons have performed successfully for 10 years.

According to Queensland Rail, the stainless has proven to be long lasting and low maintenance in comparison to aluminium and carbon steel wagons which were previously used. They intend to replace 55% of their fleet (3079 wagons) with stainless wagons by 2001.

The main advantage of using stainless steel over other materials is its resistance to corrosion.

All coal in Queensland is washed at the mine and transported wet. Wagons made out of materials susceptible to corrosion deteriorate very quickly under these conditions. For example, carbon steel wagons need to be coated with hot zinc every 1 0 years to protect against corrosion. Because this is not necessary with stainless, dramatic lifecycle cost savings can be achieved. Additional cost savings are made with stainless because improved design has resulted in reduced tare mass which reduces the number of wagons needed to carry the same amount of coal. This leads to lower operating costs per tonne of coal hauled and less demand on the infrastructure as fewer trains are running.

Until recently the application of stainless to coal wagons had been disregarded due to perceived high cost. However with the development of low cost, weldable ferritic grades of stainless, its use for coal wagons was reassessed and found to be effective.

The durability of stainless steel had previously been recognised in the railway industry in passenger trains (grade 301) and wagons carrying water to isolated regions (small amount of grade 304).

Stainless steel is now being considered for other freight wagons, with small numbers of wagons that haul aggressive material concentrates being built in grade 316.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 13, May 1999.

Posted 17 May 1999

The Regency Institute of TAFE (Elizabeth Campus) in Adelaide has developed an exciting new course that will 'bridge the gap' in knowledge about the welding and fabrication of stainless steel.

Until now there have been only three fabrication and welding training modules available in Australia and they have all applied to light sheet metal. The need for a practical course to teach skills for heavier gauge stainless steel was identified by the Regency Institute of TAFE.

After close consultation with industry, the Regency Institute developed new modules that will fill this need by teaching skills appropriate for upskilling of existing workers and training new ones. Unlike existing courses, which focus on teaching skills to new workers (apprentices) only, this course also targets existing workers.

Three stainless steel welding modules, TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding, MIG (metal inert gas) welding and MMA (manual metal arc) welding have been developed to assist to address the skill shortage.

The modules have been nationally accredited. This allows them to be taken up by learning institutions and organisations Australia-wide and to be accepted as training towards a recognised qualification.

John Coudraye of the Regency Institute of TAFE (Elizabeth Campus) explained the campus was fortunate to have received a capital grant from the South Australian government to purchase capital equipment for the course.

"The grant was given as part of the government's strategic development plan for training," John said.

"Ten of our staff were also sent to Cigweld in Victoria to train for four days in technology and consumables in stainless steel and welding."

The program commences on 3 May, with 12 workers from the Barossa Valley being upskilled. The participants will complete the three modules developed by the Regency Institute of TAFE as well as an additional three light fabrication modules with an emphasis on heavy gauge material.

In addition to its upskilling focus, the course will also be incorporated into apprenticeship training.

Although apprenticeship training is currently available in Melbourne, the Regency Institute of TAFE's course will make a significant contribution to the development of a skilled workforce of stainless steel specialists, particularly important to the growing wine industry in South Australia.

The need for apprentice training in stainless steel was confirmed in 1996 by research conducted by NIETL in conjunction with Melbourne based ASTEP (Alignment of Skills Training to Employment).

At that time, apprentice training focused on various materials (such as carbon steel) and was not meeting the skills needs of stainless steel employers, including the large conglomerate of stainless steel industry in the northern region of Melbourne.

ASTEP conducted a survey which identified a need for full skilling, semiskilling and upgrading of skills in the stainless steel industry.

They chose to focus on full-skilling (apprenticeship) as the underpinning issue. A stainless steel apprentice course was developed with the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE and launched in 1997.

Now in its third year, ongoing improvements to the course have seen it develop increased understanding between training providers and participants and their employers, especially through its mentor scheme.

Australia's stainless steel industry employs between 7,000 to 1 0,000 people nationally and adds more than $1.1 billion to the economy each year. These two courses pave the way for further developments in the challenge to provide adequate training to establish a skilled workforce of stainless steel specialists.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 13, May 1999.

Posted 28 February 2000

15 million dollars worth of stainless steel has been used to construct the largest rotary fermentation area in Australia.

The facility at Southcorp's Karadoc Winery in Victoria comprises 88 stainless steel red grade processing tanks, pipes and tubes, brine jackets and rotary fermenters.

Southcorp Wines Engineering Manager (Eastern Region) Geoff Leighton said stainless steel was preferred by the wine industry because it is "corrosion resistant, provides a stable environment for the wine, is easy to clean and maintain and has a long service life."

Grade 304 stainless steel was used for the tanks, with a thickness range of 2mm - 6mm, with the highest tank 1 5 metres tall. An extensive amount of 304 and 316 tube was also used.

ASSDA members Atlas Steel (SA), Alfa Laval, APV Valves and James Contract Supplies were all involved in the project.

The expansion brings the Karadoc site's total storage capacity to approximately 93 million litres.

The winery, which produces known brands Lindemans, Queen Adelaide, Kaiser Stuhl and Matthew Lang exports approximately 60% of its bottled wine production.

"The project has provided infrastructure to the district and significant employment opportunities in the areas of viticulture, transport and production facilities," Mr Leighton said.

Mr Leighton said while stainless steel met the needs of the wine industry, there was room for improvement.

"Stainless steel demand exceeds supply on occasions," he said. "It is not totally corrosion resistant and requires diligence in the specification and fabrication process."

The Karadoc project is one example of current growth in the Australian wine industry, which has brought with it exciting opportunities for the stainless steel industry.

Domestic wine production has increased five fold since 1966, from 156 million litres to over 800 million litres.

Vision 2025, a strategic plan by the Australian wine industry, aims to make the industry a global force by achieving $4.5 billion in annual sales of wine and 6.5% of the value of world production by 2025.

Results to date have been positive, with 1999 total sales estimated to be approximately $2.4 billion and 3.5% of the world export volume.

The number and size of fabrication firms in wine growing regions is expanding and as such, real opportunities to explore new applications and methods of design, fabrication and maintenance exist.

To assist the wine and stainless industries meet their objectives, ASSDA is conducting "Using Stainless Steels in the Food Industry" seminar in May and June which will cover fabrication, corrosion, welding, cleaning and sanitation issues for stainless steel use in the food industries as well as issues specific to the wine industry.

For more information on ASSDA's "Using Stainless Steels in the Food Industry" Seminars, please contact ASSDA on (07) 3220 0722.

1. Australian Wine Foundation (1996) Strategy 2025 - The Australian Wine Industry.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 15, February 2000.

Posted 28 February 2000

When the Gold Coast City Council was seeking a stable and visually stunning medium for use on their Kirra Point board walk project, they looked no further than stainless steel!

Geoff Clemence, Design Coordinator, said Council engineers chose stainless steel for the upright posts and moveable hand rail system for safety, corrosion resistance and aesthetic reasons.

"Stainless is far superior to wooden handrails in terms of safety and lasting life and will require far less maintenance," Mr Clemence said.

"From an aesthetic point of view, the stainless steel fits in beautifully with both the concrete pavement and the timber board walk that we will be installing in the near future," Mr Clemence said.

"Once the board walk is built, there will be a vertical drop to the beach below - an important safety issue met by using stainless steel handrailing.

"We had to choose what the best solution would be to the issue of safety that the steep drop off on the side of the walkway would cause," Mr Clemence said.

"Stainless steel was the safest option."

The board walk project is being undertaken in two stages, the first of which involved constructing a cement walkway and handrails along the Kirra Point foreshore.

The second stage will see the construction of a timber board walk out over the foreshore onto the beach.

ASSDA Sustaining Members Tom Stoddart Pty Ltd supplied 186 custom made upright posts and supplied and installed 326 metres of stainless steel tubular handrails.

Both were made from 316 grade stainless steel with a number 4 finish.

The upright posts were passivated in nitric acid after manufacture to ensure a clean surface and promote corrosion resistance.

During the installation, the welds in the posts were fully grounded and polished on site to stop sand and salt deposit build-up.

The hand railing is made up of 6 metre segments of tubular stainless steel welded on site.

Expansion joints are included every 7.2 metres.

The expansion joint allows for thermal movement and the inclusion of additional railings when a timber board walk is built in 2001.

The Gold Coast City Council engineers acknowledged the assistance provided by the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association in highlighting the possibilities and advantages of stainless applications, in meetings leading up to specification in the project.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 15, February 2000.

Posted 28 February 2000

75 tonnes of stainless steel has been used to replace the floor in an enormous tank at QNI Limited's Yabulu Refinery near Townsville in North Queensland.

The tank is one of a series of seven thickener tanks, each of which is 50 metres in diameter. The purpose of the tanks is to form a counter current decant wash circuit for leached ore. Solid tailings are separated from liquor streams in the tanks which act as large settling devices, separating leached ore from a leached solution for the recovery of nickel and cobalt.

When the floor plate of one of the tanks was due to be replaced in June this year, QNI chose stainless steel for the job.

According to QNI's Deputy General Manager lan Skepper, the deciding factors in the choice of stainless were that it was relatively inexpensive and offered increased service life.

"The tanks have been in service for 25 years and the floor plates require replacement on a rolling basis," Mr Skepper said.

"They operate in a harsh environment, holding a solution which consists of strong ammonium hydroxide with up to 15 grams of sulphate per litre heated to 50 degrees celsius. This harsh chemical composition means that the floor plates suffer from severe corrosion and need to be replaced every 10 to 12 years.

"Traditionally we have used mild steel, but chose to use stainless this time because the material cost was not substantially higher particularly when the life expectancy of the floor will double due to the corrosion resistant properties of stainless."

Stainless steel was chosen also for its mechanical robustness and because it can be repaired or modified by workers who possess relatively standard trade skills.

To replace the floor plate, the tank had to be taken offline for six weeks resulting in reduced washing efficiencies and reduced metal recoveries at the refinery during this period.

"Future disruptions to the refinery due to replacements of thickener tank floor plates will now be reduced, because we expect the floor of this tank to last for at least 25 years," Mr Skepper said.

The job involved insitu welding of 5mm sheets of grade 304 stainless laid onto a sand bed.

The stainless steel for the project was supplied by Atlas Steels (Australia) Pty Ltd, Australian Stainless Steel Development Association Levy-paying members.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 15, February 2000.

Posted 28 February 2000

As we pack up our Christmas decorations, vow to lose those extra kilos gained over the holidays and make plans for the new year, the festive season seems so long ago - not so far for travellers and pedestrians on St Kilda Road in Melbourne.

Perched in front of Central Equity's three new apartment buildings are 12 three metre tall stainless steel trees which, although not specifically designed as Christmas trees, have stylised conical shapes that have a distinctly Christmas 'feel' about them.

Central Equity commissioned Phillip Naughton of Design Inferno to design the trees to complement the prestigious $123 million complex.

"Trees were specifically chosen for the design to reflect the living trees on the boulevard in front of the building," Mr Naughton said.

"They also add a human element to the complex. Because the buildings are 24 stories high, the architects, the Span Group, paid close attention to the surrounding landscape to ensure that they would not be imposing.

"We worked closely with the Span Group when designing the trees so that they would add to the feel of the complex," Mr Naughton said "In fad, unless you look straight up, you don't realise the scale of the buildings because their surrounds are so comfortable."

Stainless steel was chosen for the design for its inherent qualities.

"The design brief specified that the trees had to be low maintenance. Stainless steel fitted this brief as well as adding other qualities such as simplicity and the sense of movement that could be achieved through different surface finishes," Mr Naughton said.

"As one side of each tree is mirror finished, with the other side satin finished, they reflect the seasonal colours of the living trees on the boulevard. They have changed from reflecting little colour through the winter months when the deciduous trees were without leaves, to reflecting the lush green growth of spring."

According to Joe Delacruz of DBM Industries, the trees' fabricator, welding was the most difficult aspect of the fabrication.

"The design of the trees made them susceptible to buckling during welding," Mr Delacruz said.

"To add to the difficulty, the welds had to be invisible."

As part of the careful planning for the job, DBM first built scale models of the trees from timber.

The trees were laser cut and mirror finished at DBM Industries' facility at Reservoir in Victoria. ASSDA members MME Surface Finishing of Seaford in Victoria did the satin finish.

Each tree is made from approximately 400 kilograms of grade 316 stainless steel sheet set into a concrete base which is covered with a 20mm base plate. They are capped with 10 x 30mm capping. ASSDA members Atlas Steels supplied the stainless for the job.

The trees are located on 150 metres of streetscape on St Kilda Road (near the intersection of Toorak Road).

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 15, February 2000.

Posted 29 August 2000

The common austenitic grades of stainless steel, 304 and 316, are also available with controlled low or high carbon contents, know as "L" and "H" variants, with particular applications.

Low carbon or "L" grades are used to prevent or delay sensitisation  of stainless steel at elevated temperatures and the resulting lower corrosion resistance. The problematic temperature zone is 450-850°C, encountered during welding or specific application environments. "L" grades are often available in thicker selection sizes, greater than about 5mm in flat products.

High carbon or "H" grades are used for higher strength.

Substitution between standard, "L" and "H" grades is often possible allowing many specifications to be met from existing stock.

The low carbon "L" grades are used where high temperature exposure will occur, including welding of medium or heavy sections. The low carbon is one way of delaying or preventing grain boundary carbide precipitation (often referred to as sensitisation) which can result in intergranular corrosion in corrosive service environments. As shown in the time-temperature-sensitisation curve (right), there is an incubation time before the precipitation of carbides at temperatures in the range of about 450-850°C. The time for precipitation to occur is highly dependent upon the amount of carbon present in the steel, so low carbon content increases resistance to this problem. Because of their application area the "L" grades are most readily available in plate and pipe, but often also in round bar. In the absence of heavy section welding, or of high temperature exposure, the corrosion resistances of the standard and "L" grades are usually identical.

"H" grades are higher carbon versions of standard grades and have increased strength, particularly at elevated temperatures (generally above 500°C). Long term creep strength is also higher. "H" grades are primarily available in plate and pipe. Applicable grades are most commonly 304H and 316H, but high carbon versions of 309, 310, 321, 347 and 348 are specified in ASTM A240/A240M. These grades are susceptible to sensitisation if held in the temperature range of 450-850°C. Once sensitised, impaired aqueous corrosion resistance and some reduction in ambient temperature ductility and toughness will result (usually irrelevant in high temperature applications).


  1. Composition limits for 304 and 304L are identical except for carbon content (304L does permit up to 12.0%Ni, compared to 10.5% max for 304 -but given the cost of nickel it is usual for both grades to have close to the minimum of 8.5%, so there is no practical difference). Neither grade has a minimum carbon content specified. A carbon content of 0.02% for example complies with both 304 and 304L specifications.
  2. 304H has the same composition specification as 304 except for the carbon range of 0.04-0.1 0% (note the minimum limit for carbon) and that the 304H does not have the 0.10% nitrogen maximum limit which applies to both standard and "L" grades. Also, all austenitic "H" grades must have a grain size of ASTM No. 7 or coarser.
  3. The relationship between 316, 316L and 316H is the same as that between the 304 series of stainless steels. Only the carbon contents differentiate 316, 316L and 316H grades (and the nitrogen and grain size limits mentioned above). Carbon contents are listed in Table 1 (from ASTM A240/A240M). Specifications for some other products, particularly tube and pipe, have a carbon limit of 0.035% or 0.040% maximum for 304L and 316L, but are otherwise the same.

    TABLE 1:
    Grade UNS Number Specified Carbon Content (%)
    304 S30400 0.08 max
    304L S30403 0.030 max
    304H S30409 0.04 - 0.10
    316 S31600 0.08 max
    316L S31603 0.030 max
    316H S31609 0.04 - 0.10

  4. Mechanical property specification differences are illustrated in Table 2 (from ASTM A240/A240M). In practice, steel mills generally ensure that the "L" grade heats meet the strength requirements of standard grades, ie all 304L will have yield/tensile properties above 205/515MPa, so will meet both standard and "L" grade requirements.

    TABLE 2:
    Grade UNS Strength (MPa) min Tensile Strength (MPa) min Yield (%) min Elongation Hardness (HB) max Brinell Hardness (HRB) max Rockwell
    304 S30400 515 205 40 201 92
    304L S30403 485 170 40 201 92
    304H S30409 515 205 40 201 92
    316 S31600 515 205 40 217 95
    316L S31603 485 170 40 217 95
    316H S31609 515 205 40 217 95
  5. Dimensional and other requirements are the same for standard, "L" and "H" grades.
  6. Pressure vessel codes (eg AS 121 O) and pressure piping codes (eg AS4041) give allowable working pressures for each of the grades at nominated elevated temperatures. These codes allow higher pressure ratings for standard grades than for "L" grades. The codes do not permit the use of "L" grades above 525"C (AS4041) or 425"C (AS1210). Both codes include a clause stating that for use above 550"C the standard grades must contain at least 0.04% carbon. 304 or 316 material with 0.02% carbon are therefore not permitted for these elevated  temperatures, whether called "L" or not. At temperatures from ambient up to this high temperature cut-off "L" grade heats with the standard grade pressure ratings would be permitted, so long as the material was in full compliance with the standard grade composition and mechanical property specifications. As discussed above, it is normal practice for this condition to be met.

    The pressure vessel codes give the same allowable pressure rating for "H" grades as for standard grades -this is logical as the "H" grades are simply the standard grades with their carbon contents controlled to the top half of the range, or slightly above.

Because of availability issues it is sometimes desirable to use a product labelled as a standard grade when an "L" or "H" grade has been specified, or vice versa. Substitution can be made under the following conditions:

  1. "L" grades can be used as standard grades so long as the mechanical properties (tensile and yield) conform to the standard grade requirements and high temperature strength is not a requirement. "L" grades usually comply with standard grade requirements, but Mills' test certificates need to be checked on a case by case basis. It is common for steel mills to supply "L" heats when standard grades have been ordered. The practice is legitimate and should  not present problems to fabricators or end users.
  2. Standard grades can be used as "L" grades as long as their carbon content meets the "L" grade maximum limits.
  3. It is increasingly common for "dual certified" products to be stocked - particularly in plate, pipe and bar. These materials fully comply with both 304 and 304L or 316/316L. Dual certified product is deliberately intended to fulfill requirements for both standard and "L" grades, but cannot be used in applications for "H" grade. If an application requires an "H" grade, this must be specified at time of order. Standard grades can often be used in place of "H" grades so long as their carbon contents meet the "H" limits (generally 0.04-0.1 0%). Grain size requirements may have to be satisfied by extra testing. The product and its test certificate may describe it as a standard 304 or 316 unless it was originally manufactured as an "H" grade. Details of the test certificate will confirm grade compliance.
  4. "H" grades can be used as standard grades so long as their carbon contents are 0.08% maximum, and nitrogen 0.10% maximum. This is likely, but would need to be checked.

AS 1210
Pressure Vessels

AS 4041
Standard Specification for Pressure Piping

ASTM A240/A240M
Heat-resisting Chromium and Chromium-Nickel
Stainless Steel Plate, Sheet and Strip for Pressure Vessels

This technical article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 16, August 2000.

Posted 29 August 2000

New (and extended) life has been injected into a Brisbane landmark courtesy of a stainless make over worth about $1.2 million.

In an application believed to be the first of its kind in Queensland, engineers have used grade 316 stainless steel to replace the bearings on Brisbane's Victoria Bridge.

The transition from original carbon steel to stainless has increased the service life of the bearings to at least 50 years from 30 years, giving the Brisbane City Council at least 20 years before the enormous labour and logistical costs of servicing bearings is required.

he bridge, opened in 1969, spans the Brisbane River between the Central Business District and South Bank and is a major arterial link in the city's transport system. Any interruption to traffic flow is disruptive and costly.

Corrosion of the bridge bearings has always been an issue due to its proximity to tidal water and also from the corrosive influence of droppings by pigeons that nest around the bearings.

The Brisbane City Council hired an independent consultant, Dr Nick Stevens, to design the bearings and advise on technical issues associated with their replacement. After consultation with Hercules Engineering the use of stainless steel was recommended.

Principal Asset Officer, Structures, Brisbane City Council. Dr Peter Shaw said although the stainless steel bearings were marginally more expensive than carbon steel, the extended service life offered by stainless negated the Council's initial concerns.

"The initial outlay is completely negligible compared with the extended service life that stainless steel provides and the cost of installation," Dr Shaw said.

"We (the Council) can now wait at least an extra 20, hopefully 50 years before we need to plan such a major operation."

In future the bearings should suffer wear only and hence should require only replacement of the pot This operation should be far cheaper than complete bearing replacement.

Examination of the 30 year old carbon steel bearings showed severe overall corrosion, deep gouge marks and pitting corrosion where the PTFE (teflon) between some of the bearing plates had completely worn away.

Twin pot sliding bearings, and single pot fixed bearings were custom made for the project and installed on site. Grade 316 stainless steel was used for all steel components of the bearings, separated from the mild steel bolts and nuts by synthetic washers. The surfaces on the sliding components of the bearings were polished to a mirror finish to minimise friction.

Grade 304 stainless steel woven mesh was installed around the bearings to keep the pigeons out and further protect against corrosion.

The bearings were fabricated by Hercules Engineering in Sydney with stainless steel supplied by ASSDA member Sandvik Australia.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 16, August 2000.

Stainless Blurs the Boundaries

Posted 29 August 2000

A Melbourne artist and designer is using stainless steel to blur the lines between form and functionality.

Colin Kirkpatrick from Modifie Designs adapts geometric shapes inspired by sculpture to create works that can transform from conversation pieces to coffee tables in seconds.

Cubes and three dimensional rectangular shapes are fabricated from grade 304 stainless steel sheeting welded to a timber subframe, then attached to castors for mobility and versatility.

The custom-sized shapes can be used as either furniture or sculpture and as a single unit or separated into individual pieces.

The Modifie range also includes coffee tables with stainless steel frames contrasted by glass, marble, sandstone or bluestone tops.

As versatile as the cubes, the coffee tables can also be stacked to form shelves and storage units.

Of crucial importance to Kirkpatrick is that as well as being aesthetically pleasing, his work be functional, a criteria met through design and the use of stainless steel.

'I love the cleanliness and exclusive look of stainless," Mr Kirkpatrick said.

"The material complements perfectly the angles, smooth surfaces and form of the furniture."

Each piece is designed and fabricated by Kirkpatrick in his Highett workshop using primarily grade 304 stainless steel, TlG welded top and bottom and polished with a No. 4 finish.

Kirkpatrick's work is available from a number of furniture stores in Sydney and Melbourne, including Orsson & Blake in Sydney, Blend Furniture in Collingwood, Urban Attitude in St Kilda, Crowded House Design in Malvern, Cochrane & Galloway in Hawthorn and Outhouse in Fitzroy.

He plans to extend the range to include multi-fundional, adaptable entertainment units and storage units, all made from stainless steel.

"In my opinion, not many other materials have the exclusivity of appearance and style that stainless steel has," Mr Kirkpatrick said.

Stainless steel used for the furniture is supplied by ASSDA member Dalsteel Stainless.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 16, August 2000.

Posted 29 August 2000

When millions around the world watch the Sydney Olympic Games this September, they will also be experiencing the best of Australian architecture, with particular emphasis on stainless steel.

Stadium Australia, located at Homebush Bay in Sydney's inner city in the centrepiece of the Olympic site. Here, events such as the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field program will be played out. Closer examination of the sit reveals the use of stainless steel in a myriad of applications, both aesthetic and functional. Perhaps more importantly, the use of stainless steel helps meet the organiser's "green" commitment: to use materials with minimal impact on the environment and designs that reduce waste and conserve resources.

Seating 110,000, Stadium Australia is the largest stadium in the history of the Olympic Games. To give an idea of its size, the two main curved trusses span 296 metres and four Boeing 747s would fit side by side under the span of the main arch.

The roofing material was supplied by ASSDA member Atlas Steels (Australia) Pty Ltd, the handrails by ASSDA member Sandvik Australia.

Nineteen lighting towers, representing the number of cities in which the Olympic Games have been held to date, stand like sentinels guarding the entrance to Stadium Australia.

The towers consist mostly of concrete and painted steel, but grade 316 stainless steel rods, 25 millimetres in diameter, provide tension in each corner, while 316 doors and infill panels, with a No. 4 finish, exist at ground level.

The names of each of the cities where the Games have been held are glass-bead blasted on to grade 316 sheet with a No. 4 finish.

These towers each carry solar panels that contribute to the public elecricity grid an amount of power equal to that consumed by the towers at night.

At the bottom of one of the towers is a Munich Memorial to honour the athletes who died at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The memorial consists of three plaques fabricated from grade 316 stainless steel and glass, the names being engraved and paint filled in a surface with a No. 4 finish. Stainless steel channel sections, glass bead blasted on the inside and mirror polished were used around some of the edges.

Spread over six levels, the kitchens at Stadium Australia will see almost as much action as the field! Anticipated to feed about 110,000 people every day during competition, the kitchens have been fitted out with stainless steel equipment including benches, exhaust hoods, 200 deep-fat fryers and 300 upright refrigerators. ASSDA members Curtin Foodservice Equipment Pty Ltd supplied a bulk of the equipment, including over four and a half kilometres of stainless steel benches, 145 stainless steel hi-velocity extraction hoods, 200 deep-fat fryers, bain maries, refrigeration equipment, bulk and plated hot food holding carts and more than 200 mobile trolleys. Grade 304 stainless steel for the equipment was provided by ASSDA member Fagersta Steel.

Home to 15,000 athletes, officials and coaches during competition, the Olympic Village reflects stainless steel's contribution to the "Green Games". 6,000 kilograms (10,500 square metres) of grade 316 stainless steel mesh were installed to provide a chemical-free termite barrier to over 500 houses in the Village.

Fabricated and installed by Termi-Mesh Sydney Pty Ltd, the stainless steel mesh provides a physical barrier around the building perimeter and is collar clamped to pipes and other entry points. The result is a permanent obstruction to termites that eliminates the use of potentially dangerous chemicals.

Olympic Boulevard, which passes key venues such as Stadium Australia and the Aquatic Centre, features spectacular fountains with stainless steel components.

Water jets, each covered by a grade 316 stainless steel cowl, provide a cascading arch at Fig Grove.

Fabricated grade 316 stainless steel gratings, black chrome plated so they are almost invisible under water, are used as safety screens. Grade 316 sections are also used to ensure the water cascades evenly along the length of the feature and as structural supports.

At the far end of the Boulevard is a fountain featuring lines of tubular water jets. Each jet comprises an inner structure of grade 316 stainless steel tubes clad with 3 millimetre thick 316 sheet, formed into a tapered cylindrical section with a No. 4 finish.

The underground pump house receives fresh air through spiral, welded ducting consisting of 250 millimetre diameter grade 316 stainless steel. A nearby wooden viewing pier has 316 handrails on galvanised steel uprights.

Perhaps the most evocative symbol of the Games is the Olympic Torch, which carries the flame from Olympia in Greece to Stadium Australia, via the Olympic Torch Relay.

he design of the approximately 1 kilogram, 72 centimetre tall torch includes three layers representing earth, fire and water. The inner layer is polished stainless steel, the middle layer anodized aluminium and the outer layer specially coated aluminium.

Thin grade 316 stainless steel strip was used to form a skin inside the grade 430 stainless steel tube inner layer, acting as a shield against heat, wind and rain. Also, very fine (25 micron opening) 316 stainless steel gauze was installed as a final filter to clean the liquid propane/butane gas mixture that fuels the torch, thereby preventing contaminants from extinguishing the flame.

The torch was fabricated by Sydney firm GA & L Harrington, who produced over 14,000 torches available for purchase by the 10,000 runners participating in the Torch Relay.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 16, August 2000.

Posted 5 January 2001

Sports fans trekking to Melbourne's Colonial Stadium will enter the ground via a 200 metre long, 20 metre wide bridge shrouded in stainless.

The Bourke Street Pedestrian Bridge, which connects Spencer Street Station to the eastern entrance of the $460 million sporting arena, opened in March 2000, makes extensive use of stainless steel to stunning effect.

A 200 metre long canopy comprising 14 rolled cascading stainless steel sheets divided in sections by red coated curved steel antlers protects pedestrians queuing on the south side of the bridge. The antlers, made from carbon steel, provide lighting and primary support to the stainless steel canopy.

400 metres of stainless steel handrailing with balustrades run the length of each side of the bridge.

he bridge connects the Gateway to the east and adjacent Spencer Street Station and extends across the station to the West End Connection above North-South Road.

Pedestrians entering the 30 000 person capacity bridge on the station side are greeted by two red glass towers, large staircases and a crushed wall of stainless steel through which a ramp connects disabled access from street level to the bridge.

Wood Marsh, the firm commissioned to design the bridge, said stainless steel was chosen because of its appearance, low maintenance and longevity.

"With thousands of people expected to cross the bridge every time an event is on, we needed a material that would not only withstand this level of traffic, but would make an eye-catching entrance to the stadium."

"Stainless steel was the obvious material choice -it is durable, needs limited upkeep and achieved the look we were after."

The roof cladding consists of 20 tonnes of 1.6mm grade 316 stainless steel sheets rolled to a radius of approximately 325mm butt joined, with a No. 4 finish to both faces.

400 metres of 6 inch, Sched 40 grade 316 stainless steel pipe was used for the handrails, polished to a No. 4 finish.

The handrails were constructed at Shearform Industries' workshop and installed, invisibly fixed, on site. The roof cladding was fabricated and polished in the workshop and installed on site.

The roofing material was supplied by ASSDA member Atlas Steels (Australia) Pty Ltd, the handrails by ASSDA member Sandvik Australia.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 17, January 2001.