Stainless Steel Evokes Korean War

Stainless Steel Evokes Korean War

Polished stainless steel poles represent a barren wartime landscape at the Korean War Memorial in Canberra. The history of the conflict is etched in curved stainless steel panels. 

ASSDA member MME Surface Finishing polished 1000 lineal metres of 25 nominal bore schedule 10, grade 316 pipe to make 260 poles standing 3.8m high. These were welded and gusseted to 12mm thick plates, chemically anchored to a concrete slab, by the fabricator, ACT Stainless Steel.

The other main components of the Memorial,also fabricated and installed by ACT and polished by MME, are the curved stainless steel panels inside a central viewing platform, which record the history of the war with maps and illustrations.

There are eight 3000 x 1200 x 3 mm sections and two 3000 x 3000 x 5 mm. The 5 mm sections were formed by TIG welding sheets together, then polishing, as joins were not desirable. The polished finish enabled the welded areas to be blended after joining. The sheets were coated with 80 micron polyethylene film to prevent damage to the polished surface during etching and fabrication.

MME also polished the stainless steel lettering provided by Waterjet Dynamics to a uniform roughness of 0.5 microns.

The whole project was completed under the $1.6million budget, which was raised by Korean War veterans and donations from the two countries.The construction time frame was 23 weeks, and practical completion was achieved 17 April 2000,the day before the dedication ceremony attended by then Governor-General Sir William Deane and Prime Minister John Howard.

The design was by ANKWM Design Group and documentation was completed in conjuction with architectural firm Daryl Jackson Pty Ltd. Manteena Pty Ltd was the project manager.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 20, February 2002.


Lissel Pilcher