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Building sustainably with stainless steel termimesh

Residential developers are encouraging new homebuyers to adopt more environmentally friendly materials when building - a trend that is growing in strength throughout many Australian capital cities and regional towns.

Termimesh works just like an insect screen. The mesh barrier is expertly installed across concealed potential termite entry points during the early stages of construction.The Old Broome Estate's Sustainable Home Award is offering $20,000 cash as a first prize incentive to a homeowner/builder who can best meet the sustainable design guidelines.

One sustainable element specified in the guidelines included using a non-toxic white ant deterrent such as Termimesh, a stainless mesh barrier manufactured by ASSDA member, TMA Corporation (formerly Termimesh Australia).

Termites nest in the ground underneath homes and if left unchecked can make a meal of timber floorboards and supporting frames. When a house has been identified as infested, immediate disruptive and expensive repairs, spraying and annual checks are required.

Termite damage is not commonly covered by normal household insurance, so land owners planning on building a new house should be proactive in specifying safe and effective termite protection.

The Termimesh System is produced from a proprietary, specialised grade of stainless steel that provides a highly effective and long life protective barrier against termites without the spraying of chemicals.

Termimesh works just like an insect screen. The mesh barrier is expertly installed across concealed potential termite entry points during the early stages of construction.

Termimesh is included in the Australian Standard - Protection of Buildings from Subterranean Termites, and has been assessed through the CSIRO product appraisal system.

With the backing of a 10 year warranty, many leading home builders throughout Australia include the Termimesh System as their standard specification for termite control. In addition, the Australian developed System has been exported overseas to South East Asia, Japan and the United States.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 36, Winter 2006.

Australian design wins international award

An Australian firm has won the kitchen design category of the prestigious Stainless Steel Awards conducted by the South African Stainless Steel Development Association.

Competing against entrants from all over the world, Queensland fabricator Bell Stainless won with its Crerar design, which was judged to be the most attractive and functional domestic kitchen installed during the past two years. The competition criteria were that the kitchen had to be designed using stainless steel appliances, kitchen accessories as well as stainless steel wash-up equipment, such as sinks and preparation bowls.

The objective of the Awards program is to encourage creativity, competitiveness and productivity in the stainless steel industry. Awards are made in fourteen categories covering all aspects of stainless steel design and manufacturing. Bell Stainless also achieved finalist status in the welding category.

Other 2002 finalists and winners came from South Africa, Finland, India, France and Canada.

Bell Stainless manufactures and installs both domestic and commercial kitchens, specialising in custom design and manufacture for clients' specific needs, including benchtops, rangehoods, custom designed furniture, water features and balustrading.

Bell Stainless has spent years refining designs and manufacturing techniques. Its winning design utilises stainless steel in several applications.

The rangehood and bench surfaces are made from 5WL Rimex textured stainless steel with curved mirror finished bullnose edging, providing both scratch resistance and visual interest. Other features have been constructed from stainless steel tube, round and flat bar in different finishes as well as satin finish sheet.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 23, December 2002.

A Step Up in Stainless Design

When a Melbourne design company decided to expand their business to a neighbouring space, a challenge was set: the adjoining office was on an upper level and a walkway was needed to connect the two.

The challenge was met by Carr Interior’s Daniel Stellini who envisioned a simple, strong and aesthetically refined stainless steel “hanging” staircase to allow for transit between the floor levels. 

“Considering the portal represents such a high traffic area, we required a material that was durable, strong and low maintenance: stainless steel met our brief on all three counts,” he said.

“It was our intent to express the raw edge detail of the 3mm stainless steel highlighting its fine yet strong characteristics,” Mr Stellini said.

ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Hi-Tech Stainless Fabrications used 620 kilograms of grade 304 stainless steel to construct the skeleton of the stairwell off-site. Due to the confined 900mm working space the pieces were assembled, TIG welded, screwed on from the inside and polished on-site.

Upon arrival at reception, the portal is seen as a crisp, polished insertion to the building’s brickwork, representing a refined sculptural element against the raw, distressed solid wall. Its fixing to only the upper level of the tenancy allows it to project and hover over the lower floor, whilst maintaining a weight capacity of 340 kilograms.

The stair’s profile has been left exposed, making it a feature of the space. Mr Stellini said challenging the conventional use of materials such as stainless steel is something he continues to do. Not a bad idea when you look at the possibilities!

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 44 - Spring 2008.

Train travel in stainless style

Benefits in the areas of cost, appearance and durability were the key factors in the NSW State Rail Authority's decision to specify stainless steel for the construction of a fleet of new passenger trains to be delivered over the next five years.

United Goninan, a leading designer and manufacturer of railway rolling stock based in Newcastle, has been chosen to design and manufacture 161 double deck electric multiple unit (EMU) passenger cars over three stages.

Stage 1, to be completed in 2006, comprises 41 cars, with 80 to be delivered the following year and a further 40 cars the year after. The total value of the contract comes to $450 million.

The new rail car builds on the knowledge United Goninan has amassed using stainless steel in over 800 cars to date. It combines the maintenance advantages and modern styling of its previous flagship model, Tangara, with new crashworthiness requirements.

Tangara has been acknowledged as a worldclass doubledeck electric multiple unit. When it was designed for the same client in the mid-80s, the 450 car contract was the largest ever let in Australia for rolling stock. The minimal maintenance requirements experienced during the service life of these vehicles have been due to durability of stainless steel.

The new cars will be deployed in Sydney and on outer suburban routes in Wyong and Penrith. They will be built according to new crashworthiness requirements which involve specialised construction techniques with stainless steel to create 'crumple zones' to maximise safety in the event of a head-on collision.

Each car body structure will utilise over 11 tonnes of grade 301LT/ST/MT stainless steel sheet, in thicknesses varying between 0.8 and 5mm depending on the component, with 2B and DULL surface finishes. Together the three stages will consume 1800 tonnes of stainless steel worth around $10 million.

The new car's design is sleek and modern. To this end, United Goninan has developed a patented system for spot welding to give the exposed sheeting superior aesthetic appearance.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 24, March 2003.

Stainless vision at Epping - Chatswood rail tunnel

The construction of the Epping to Chatswood rail line in Sydney is the largest publicly funded infrastructure project underway in New South Wales. The project, managed by the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation, will increase the capacity of the CityRail network and provide direct rail access for the first time to the growing North Ryde/Macquarie Park area. Due to be completed in 2008, the 12.5 kilometre underground passenger line will include four new underground stations at Epping, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park and North Ryde.

Following a tender process, Contractors AW Edwards appointed ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Townsend Group to design, engineer, manufacture and install, for all four stations, a cavern lining/ceiling system, louvre and glass smoke baffles - forming part of the ventilation system. Additionally, they designed, manufactured and installed vitreous enamel panels to public areas, general composite panel cladding to services buildings, 316 stainless steel cladding for lifts and escalators and 304 patterned stainless steel for ceiling features, station facilities cladding, services risers and column cladding.

For the cladding components, Townsend purpose designed and engineered all fixings in 316 stainless steel to meet the high performance requirements of the project. The system also incorporated 304 patterned stainless steel wall and ceiling panels for which Townsend developed a fabrication technique which optimised both the aesthetics and strength of the panel. Overall, the project used some 160 tonnes of stainless steel.

Townsend Group had up to 100 people working on the project at the one time, spread across the 4 rail stations and at their warehouse and manufacturing facility in Sydney. They began their involvement in the project in September 2005, and are expected to complete the contract by April 2007.

This article appeared in Australian Stainess Issue 39 - Autumn 2007.

Photographs by Josh Hill Photography.

Stainless upgrade on track for rail stations

When ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Bridgeman Stainless won a tender to supply stainless steel balustrades for Queensland Rail, supplying quality materials with excellent fabrication techniques was at the forefront of their mind.

The upgrade of Oxford Park and Grovely rail stations in Brisbane’s North West was a 12-month project, headed by Arup and Moggill Constructions, and included significant use of stainless steel for the hand rails and balustrades.

Director Len Webb says the job was an excellent opportunity to showcase stainless steel at its best, rather than reverting to cheaper, less reliable materials and fabrication techniques.

“The project manager, Allan Bolt, and I had a number of meetings with Arup and Moggill to discuss how best to use stainless steel to its advantage,” he says.

Bridgeman Stainless supplied a prototype of the balustrades before any work began, to ensure issues such as tea-staining were addressed.

“By doing ASSDA’s Stainless Steel Specialist Course, we were able to confidently discuss the importance of using certain finishes to help prevent issues such as tea-staining,” Len said.

The project used 54 square metres of plate, and almost 5400 metres of 1.6mm tube in diameters of 50.0mm, 38.1mm and 15.88mm. All stainless steel supplied by Bridgeman was in grade 304 and was polished to a #600 grit.  The tube materials were supplied by Tubesales in Yatala, Queensland and the plate was supplied by Atlas Specialty Metals in Wacol.  The plate was polished by an external contractor.

The balustrades were largely made offsite but then transported to the stations where they were welded together.  The joints were then passivated, re-polished back to the #600 finish and then, finally, cleaned.

A maintenance prevention schedule will be delivered on completion of the job, paying particular attention to those areas where the stainless steel is undercover and not regularly cleaned by rain.

Bridgeman Stainless Project Manager Allan Bolt says the company’s commitment to ongoing education about stainless steel and their dedication to quality workmanship had secured their reputation in the industry.

trainstation

Moggill Constructions Senior Project Manager Marc Kuypers says the emphasis Bridgeman Stainless took on quality showed in their results.
“We hadn’t worked with Bridgeman Stainless before and we are quite impressed with their work,” Marc says.

Arup Superintendent Representative John Rutherfoord said he was particularly impressed by the quality of the work Bridgeman carried out on site.

John, Marc, Len and Allan agreed that the success of the project was due largely to the excellent communication between all parties involved.

Len said, as one of the first ASSDA Accredited Fabricators, Bridgeman Stainless thoroughly endorses the ASSDA Accredition program as it distinguishes fabricators with quality practices within the industry.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 42 - Summer 2008

Stainless integral to bridge's 300 year design life

Queensland’s largest ever road and bridge project will rely, in part, on innovation within the stainless steel industry to meet its design life of 300 years.

The Gateway Upgrade Project in Brisbane, which includes construction of a second Gateway Bridge and is being delivered by Queensland Motorways with design, construction and maintenance by the Leighton Abigroup Joint Venture (LAJV), will use reinforcement bar made for the first time from Outokumpu Group’s LDX 2101® duplex stainless steel.

A total of 130 tonnes of duplex stainless steel will be used in the bridge’s most critical structures: the splash zones of the two main river piers (28 tonnes of LDX 2101® have already been supplied and some Duplex 2205 will be used due to availability of dimensions for certain components).

Gateway Bridge Alliance Manager Gerry van der Wal said LDX2101® was chosen due to its high level of corrosion resistance (close to 316L) and low nickel content, which made it more cost effective and less susceptible to rapidly escalating worldwide nickel prices.

Outokumpu’s Qld and NT Manager Ken Hayes said that in bridge construction, stainless steel should be specified for parts where it makes a positive contribution, such as splash zones and the bridge deck.bridgepillar

“If carbon steel rebar is used, the bridge deck needs a water-proof membrane and the concrete must be of high quality, whereas if stainless rebar is used, reduced concrete cover can be specified, and it is also possible to relax the design criteria with respect to maximum crack width,” he said.

“As a result, with stainless rebar, bridges can be built either with no extra cost or for a lower cost than by using carbon steel reinforcement.”

Mr Hayes said LDX2101® offered the most cost-effective alternative for durable reinforced concrete structures and, due to its good price stability, it offered construction projects vitally important predictability.

“The win-win outcome from the use of LDX2101® is much improved sustainability in our constructed environment,” he said.

Because LDX2101® had never been used for rebar before this project, Outokumpu’s metallurgists carried out extensive tests to ensure it would withstand a high corrosion environment if the concrete were permeated by seawater.

A trial rebar coil was also sent to Atlas Specialty Metals’ Durinox facility in Melbourne to ensure it could be easily straightened.

Durinox Manager Colin McGill said they had to decoil the material, cut it to length and bend it to the appropriate shape.

“This was the first time we had processed the material and there were some challenges we had to overcome because of its very high strength,” Mr McGill said.

Once Outokumpu’s quality system and external testing criteria were approved by LAJV, the initial 28 tonnes of the hot rolled, ribbed, 16mm LDX2101® were delivered to Atlas Specialty Metals in Melbourne in 750kg coils for processing between October and December 2007.

The $1.88 billion Gateway Upgrade Project will be completed in 2011. It includes duplication of the original Gateway Bridge (which was completed in 1986), upgrade to 12km of the Gateway Motorway and construction of a new 7km deviation providing better access to Brisbane Airport.

Just over 20 years after it was constructed, the original Gateway Bridge is now exceeding capacity, carrying more than 100,000 vehicles each day.

When the duplication project is complete, the original bridge will carry six lanes of traffic north and the new bridge will carry six lanes of traffic south.

The new bridge is a 1.6km long balanced cantilever motorway bridge with the main span measuring 260 metres.

This article featured in Australian Stainless Issue 42 - Summer 2008.

Photos courtesy of Leighton Abigroup Joint Venture.

Stainless frameless tankers make big Australian debut

McColl's Transport carts a variety of chemicals such as caustic soda and formaldehyde. The tanker barrel has been wrapped and not rolled, with full length stainless steel sheets used to eliminated circumferential welds. There’s a new breed of tanker being put through its paces along Australia’s east coast carrying aggressive chemicals and class three petroleum products for McColl’s Transport.

 

Dandenong based tanker manufacturer, Marshall Lethlean, has constructed FACT, a Frameless Aggressive Chemical Tanker with some unique operating attributes.

Marshall Lethlean constructed the 25,800 litre, 11.5m long stainless steel tanker with a chassis that’s up to 300 kilos lighter than conventional full frame designs.

Carting a variety of chemicals for McColls, such as caustic soda, formaldehyde and methanol, the barrel has been wrapped and not rolled, using full length stainless sheets to eliminate circumferential welds, a feature unique to Marshall Lethlean stainless steel tankers.

ASSDA Major Sponsor, Atlas Specialty Metals, supplied grade 316 stainless steel sheet to Marshall Lethlean for the fabrication of what is believed to be the industry’s first frameless chemical tanker.

Finally, to give the tanker a bright, durable corrosion resistant finish, the coaming, chassis rails and tank rings were all electropolished by ASSDA member, MME Surface Finishing.

Orlando Iluffi, Marshall Lethlean’s Business Development Manager, says the FACT product was one of many new developments which will be released onto the market to better improve running costs and operating safety.

“We have worked on this new tanker in partnership with McColl’s for nearly two years just to get it right.

“Along the way, we have been able to improve our engineering skills to the point that it has led us toward other new concepts which we are all equally excited about.”

In June 2005, the Frameless Aggressive Chemical Tanker prototype began a six month trial period to test for ‘accelerated durability’.

After three and half months of the trial, McColl’s Workshop Manager, Rob Harrison said the company intends to “buy the tanker after the period” has completed in late December 2005.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 33, Spring 2005.

Stainless by the bus load

Newcastle's public transport stocks are to be boosted by the addition of 30 new stainless steel buses, the first of which was delivered this month.

Their advanced design combines passenger comfort with environmental awareness. The Volvo B12BLE bus chassis meets the latest Euro III exhaust emission standards, making it the cleanest diesel bus on Australian roads.The buses are being built by Custom Coaches, the largest Australian bus manufacturer with plants in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

The buses are being built by Custom Coaches, the largest Australian bus manufacturer with plants in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Stainless steel supply is by ASSDA member Fagersta Steels.

The buses have features to make travel easier for visually impaired passengers and those with restricted mobility. They include air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes and graffiti-resistant seats.

In commissioning the buses, the State Transit Authority of NSW emphasized economical operating and maintenance costs, fuel efficiency and competitive whole of life costs. International experience shows stainless steel delivers on these criteria thanks to its corrosion resistance, durability and weight-saving qualities.

The outlook for stainless in bus construction is positive, as more Australian bus owners and operators are becoming aware of the merits of stainless steel bodies compared with traditionally used coated carbon steel. In response to anticipated demand, Custom Coaches is currently investigating a range of stainless steel grades for future contracts.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 24, March 2003.

Stainless bus carries industry savings

Significant petrol savings, longer service life, lighter tare weight and reduced maintenance costs are just a few features of Australia's first stainless steel bus.

Two prototype buses with grade 304 stainless steel body shells are being manufactured by Gold Coast-based company, Bus Tech Pty Ltd for Volvo Australia.

Stainless steel buses are used extensively in Europe and the United States of America to guard against corrosion caused by icy, salted roads. Corrosion of buses is also a problem in Australia with vehicles subject to regular frame inspections and refurbishment costs. Corrosion in buses results not only from exposure to marine environments, but also from humidity and condensation and recycled water used for cleaning.

Bus Tech Manager, Frank Reardon, said the stainless steel bus had many advantages including corrosion resistance, reduced maintenance and operating costs.

"What will be extremely advantageous for operators is tat they can keep the stainless steel buses on the road for 10 to 15 years without having to constantly address corrosion issues common with carbon steel buses," Mr Reardon said.

A 700 kilogram reduction in tare weight of the bus has been achieved by using stainless steel, resulting in a $2 per kilometre saving in petrol and the ability for each vehicle to carry an additional nine passengers.

"With the increasing price of fuel, we were pushed by our clients to find a way to reduce the tare weight of the bus," Mr Reardon said.

"Using stainless steel has allowed us to provide this extra benefit."

A 15% reduction in production time has also been a feature of the stainless steel bus project.

Each bus is being constructed from 200 metre of square hollow sections (SHS) and 600 kilograms of stainless steel sheet, all grade 304 with a 2B finish.

The exterior and interior of the buses are attached to the stainless steel shell with a polyurethane adhesive, providing a bond line to keep out water and dust.

The exterior and interior of the buses are attached to the stainless steel shell with a polyurethane adhesive, providing a bond line to keep out water and dust.Fabrication of the stainless steel components was undertaken by Brisbane fabricators Metal Tech Industries and BJR Metal Rolling & Pressing, then delivered to Bus Tech for assembly. Stainless steel for the buses was supplied by ASSDA member Austral Wright Metals.

ASSDA provided literature and an in-house stainless steel seminar during the planning stages of the project.

The buses will be delivered to companies in Liverpool, New South Wales and the Gold Coast.

Mr Reardon said Bus Tech was pleased with the project and hopes to adopt stainless steel as a standard for their buses.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 18, May 2001.

Showcasing Adelaide Airport Using Glass and Stainless Steel

First impressions count the most when marketing a state to the rest of the world and Adelaide Airport achieved this aim with the construction and opening of a new terminal that combines glass and stainless steel to stunning effect.

Officially opened by Prime Minister John Howard on 7 October 2005, the new terminal is one of South Australia's most significant privately-funded infrastructure projects.

With 14 glass-sided aerobridges, the new terminal will give air travellers all-weather access for the first time in Adelaide Airport's 50 year-history and provide spectacular views across the Adelaide CBD and Mt Lofty Ranges on departure and arrival.

Developers for the Adelaide Airport engaged ASSDA member, Handrail and Balustrade Fabrications to supply stainless steel glass mounted handrails, glazing channels, guardrails and trolley rails.

More than two kilometres of handrail, 1.5 kilometres of guard railing and 150 metres of glazing channel were used in the $260 million project. The stainless steel glazing channel was a key architectural feature that provided Handrail and Balustrade Fabrications with an opportunity to demonstrate their skill and expertise.

The Adelaide-based company developed a unique welded interlocking channel for the 19mm thick glass to rest in using auto-CAD programming. Due to a unique welding process the channel remains straight and distortion free during manufacture and installation.

ASSDA Major Sponsor, Sandvik Australia supplied grade 304 and 316 stainless steel pipe and plate to Handrail and Balustrade Fabrications for the project. ASSDA member, Stainless Tube Mills polished and buffed the welded stainless pipe to the architect's specification for a 320 grit finish.

Another ASSDA member, MME Surface Finishing polished the 6mm and 10mm plate. Advanced Cutting Technology cut the 2,000 brackets for the angles slots to create a specially designed wing shape effect.

Adelaide Airport Limited Managing Director, Mr Phil Baker, said “the new terminal will give an extremely positive impression of South Australia - something that we all recognise as important when positioning ourselves on the world stage.”

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 34, Summer 2005.

School Building Gets a Splash of Stainless Colour

Showcasing the use of long lasting powder coated architectural finishes


The materials used for the Assembly Hall and Music Department of the Sacred Heart School of Performing Arts have set a new benchmark of possibility for the fusion between decorative and functional design.

ASSDA member Stainless Sections provided the stainless steel cladding for the Adelaide school building, for its hard wearing and low maintenance properties.  However, keeping to the creative nature of the activities to be performed within the building, a strong focus on the aesthetics was adopted.

The face side of the stainless steel was powder coated and then polished to produce a warm and coloured background.

Roy Carter of Stainless Sections says the product gives users the best of both worlds.

“The material allows the colour to be added without compromising wearability of the metal surface,” he says.  Roy also says the material facilitates ease of cleaning and graffiti removal.

The custom produced cladding panels used a 0.6mm base material, which was rigidised to a 1.2mm finish.  The material was installed as interlocking panels, complementing the linear building components.



This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 40

Safeguarding Lives in Central Queensland with Stainless

Following the tragic death of 15 people in the Palace Backpackers fire in the Central Queensland town of Childers in 2000, there were calls for tighter fire safety regulations.

Central Queensland University Rockhampton recently upgraded facilities at its Capricornia Residential College to increase safety, enhance student well being and ensure compliance with legislative requirements, building codes and duty of care.

CQU's Division of Facilities Management made alterations to Capricornia College as part of a $6.4 million project to upgrade facilities at Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Mackay campuses.

The CQU division worked alongside Andrews and Girle Architects, Project Services and John Foster Projects to schedule refurbishments during the College's low season to avoid major disruption to students.

ASSDA Accredited Fabricator, Adnought Sheetmetal was contracted by John Foster Projects to fabricate 20 sets of stairs in grade 316 stainless steel mirror polish finish. Previous carbon steel handrails were replaced with stainless steel.

Adnought Sheetmetal also installed 30 radiation shields from 316 stainless steel perforated sheet supplied by ASSDA member Locker Group to minimise the risk of fire spreading to the stairwells.

According to Architect Russell Girle, the specification of stainless steel for the stairwells and radiation shields was essential to ensuring the safety of residents in the potential event of a fire.

“The upgrade uses a fire engineered model that is designed to keep the building tenable for a certain length of time to get people out”.

To enhance safety further hydrant mains were boosted and tactile surfaces and disabled access were upgraded.

CQU is committed to the safety of students, staff and members of the public on its campuses and the essential services upgrades ensure a high level of protection in the event of an emergency.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 35, Autumn 2006.

Reflecting Urban Renewal with Stainless Steel Cladding

Shining the way in major urban renewal precinct development is the Fujitsu Building, a speculative office building utilising stainless steel cladding to form a striking ‘gateway’ into Brisbane city.

Situated on Breakfast Creek Road, the five-storey Fujitsu Building is the first of three buildings in the ‘Portal Business Community’ to be developed by Ariadne Australia under a master plan by architects and planners, Cox Rayner.

‘Portal’ reflects an urban renewal of the former industrial site that has been used for petroleum storage and as a gasworks since the 1880’s including the preservation of Queensland’s oldest metal frame gasometer.

With this industrial setting in mind, the Fujitsu Building comprises economical materials and solar treatments to create intriguing textures in unconventional ways.

Whereas many speculative office buildings typically appear anonymous and soulless, the Fujitsu Building is an endeavour to demonstrate how speculative office buildings can be designed within meagre budgets to impart character reflective of place. This character was achieved by adopting an efficient floor plan and combining inexpensive materials such as stainless steel cladding.

The master plan concept turns the building through 90 degrees to north/south. This initiative optimises passive energy efficiency through screened and recessed glazing, ground level set-in, thermally insulated lightweight panel cladding and the concept of the roof as shade parasol.

Stramit Building Products selected uncoated stainless steel from their premium products range to create contrasted profilles and textures. ASSDA major sponsor, Austral Wright Metals provided technical assistance by recommending and supplying grade 445M2 stainless steel from ASSDA sponsor Nisshin Steel Company in Japan.

Grade 445M2 is a ferritic stainless steel that offers superior corrosion resistance compared to grade 316. A lower reflectivity matt finish was chosen for the site, next to one of the main roads into the Brisbane central business district. The matt finish doesn’t compromise the corrosion resistance of the grade, which is important as the Brisbane River is very close.

445M2 is suitable for roofing and cladding in marine environments and other areas where the environment is too severe for grade 304. Because it is ferritic, grade 445M2 has mechanical and physical properties more like carbon steel than the austenitic grades and is much easier to roll form into flat panels like those on the Fujitsu Building.

Thermal expansion is similar to carbon steel, so the grade can be designed with long roofing and cladding spans using well known practices.

The Fujitsu Building has received industry awards including the 2002 Queensland Metal Building Product Design award and the 2003 QMBA award for commercial projects over $10 million.

The final two buildings of the Portal Business Community will comprise a 42 apartment development with views of the Brisbane River and a four level office building modelled on the Fujitsu Building.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 29, September 2004.

Pryde Fabrication Celebrates 10 Years in Stainless Steel

Warren Pryde has good reason to be proud. His company, Pryde Fabrication, is celebrating a ten year anniversary as a fabricator in the stainless steel industry.

 

Pryde Fabrication began in 1995 in Capalaba, Queensland, when Warren saw an opportunity to install stainless steel commercial kitchens for fabricators followed by a venture into architectural balustrading installation.

“I started with just myself, a ute and a toolbox. There was just one offsider which was my father-in-law.

“Six to eight weeks into it, there wasn’t enough hours in the day. I think I was working probably eighteen hours out of twenty four. Within six months I had five people working for me.”

As the company expanded, other metals were introduced, but predominantly the focus was always stainless steel. After 20 months, it was clear that a factory of his own was needed to support the slowdown that Warren says is probably still coming.

Fast forward to 2005, and Warren has established factories in both Queensland and New South Wales. Warren reflects on what would be the company’s most significant stainless steel project achievements to date.

“Definitely the RiverWalk project balustrading ... it’s a job that we’re certainly proud of internally. That’s up there as ‘challenging’ and the finish we ended up supplying out there we were more than happy with.”

The company’s sustained focus on quality has seen Pryde Fabrication develop a strong leadership role in the stainless steel industry.

When the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association launched the ASSDA Accreditation Scheme in early 2004, Pryde Fabrication was one of Australia’s first companies to be industry-recognised as an ASSDA Accredited Fabricator.

“Unfortunately there are some people playing around on the stainless side that shouldn’t be there. The market is so price driven these days, the margins are tight.

“I thought [the Scheme] was good mainly from the point of view that there was an assurance there that the client was going to get what they actually expect from the stainless steel.

“When you come up against another Accredited Fabricator you don’t mind because they are pricing the right material, the right structure. We saw this [Scheme] as a way to market ourselves as a top quality fabricator in the stainless steel industry.

Warren says that he still hasn’t got a sales representative on the road, instead attributing the company’s success to return business and offers his plans for the next ten years.

“A realistic figure is trying to double our turnover ... we’re ready for another expansion right across our market, whether it be the street furniture, commercial kitchens or the architectural side.

“We’re looking at increasing that [marketshare] without needing too many sales reps on the ground. So we’re still looking at that return business basis”.

The gains from having an ASSDA Accredited Fabricator status has resulted in benefits for his clients, his company and the whole industry.

Warren describes how the Scheme has assisted his company in marketing his business to the specifying community.

“With a lot of the government departments getting our name put in front of the right people with the order books ... they know what can happen to stainless if it’s not done the right way”.

Finally, Warren has this advice for fabricators starting out in the stainless steel industry.

“Companies who haven’t got the experience, if they get in touch with ASSDA they have the opportunity to do it the right way.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who does the stainless work out there, if it’s done properly, it’s only going to be better for the industry and better for our company - because the majority of our work is stainless.”

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 33, Spring 2005.

National Gallery of Victoria

Showcasing Art with Stainless

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) houses one of Australia’s most important visual arts collections. However, with the passage of time, the collection had outgrown its facilities.

Since the existing building opened in 1968, the collection had doubled in size and only five percent of the Gallery’s collection was on display at any one time.

As part of a major upgrade and renovations to the existing Gallery, the Victorian State Government called on construction company Baulderstone Hornibrook to lead the project.

Architect Mario Bellini, from Milan, with Australian firm, Metier 3, used stainless steel to stunning effect in a design framework that seamlessly integrates the contemporary ‘metallic’ look of stainless whilst keeping much of the original heritage feature intact.

ASSDA Major Sponsor, Sandvik supplied 10 tonnes of 304 stainless steel including solid bar, hot rolled flat and heavy angles for the project. Most of the stainless steel was surface linished by Silverstone and some was electropolished by ASSDA member MME Surface Finishing.

Applied Manufacturing fabricated glazed ramps and walkways, solid staunchens, glass panel frames and door surrounds for the courtyard in addition to balustrading, external handrails, rigging systems and feature mesh screens.

Fractal Systems supplied an imported stainless steel mesh product for the ceilings in the foyer and feature walls in the Federation Court.

This type of mesh consists of stainless steel rods in one direction and has stainless steel ropes threaded/woven in the other. Mesh was used for three reasons. Firstly it is semi-transparent, secondly it reflects light and finally it has an appealing visual texture, all dramatically influencing the ultimate sense of place.

In the feature walls, the mesh was mounted in panels framed with stainless steel angle frames bolted to the substructure. In the ceilings, the mesh was stretched over a curved sub-structure and tensioned at both ends. Other than these two main elements, stainless steel was used as floor cladding in locations where visual transition was required between two types of flooring (eg. parquetry and glass floors), as cladding to ceiling bulkheads and for struts in the glass roof trusses and cast hold-down ‘spiders’.

Zorana Zankasar from Metier 3 Architects, Victoria said that “stainless steel is almost a necessary component of the contemporary design. It is hard to imagine a major contemporary building without stainless steel”.

“I believe that because stainless steel offers trouble-free maintenance combined with the look of metallic”, said Zankasar.

The project started in January 2001 and the gallery was re-opened to the public in December 2003.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 28, May 2004.

Mirror Mirror on the Water

Stainless Steel Fish Bar

Development of Melbourne's Docklands Precinct has inspired an exciting range of creative architecture, featuring a diverse selection of building materials.

Special finish stainless steel enhances the facades of the prestigious NewQuay follies on Victoria Harbour promenade. The Fish Bar folly, clad entirely in blue mirror stainless steel, brings life to the water's edge by combining public convenience with creativity to produce a unique example of urban art.

The design is the result of a successful collaboration between the developer MAB Corporation, SJB/FKA architects and students from the upper design pool of RMIT's School of Architecture, which ran a design competition.

The winning concept, by students Sherry-Ann Kwok and Jessica Liew, was deemed to successfully unify and integrate art and architecture into a commercial or retail environment. The underlying aim of the follies was to create sophisticated architectural forms that break up the hard edge against the water and create defined destinations as people move around NewQuay.

Blue mirror stainless steel from ASSDA member Rimex Metals was chosen as it evokes suggestions of frozen water and adds bold, bright colour to the building, which consists of an arrangement of raking, interlocking planes. The physical properties of stainless steel and its corrosion resistance in this salt-water environment make the material a logical selection.

The Colouring Process

As coloured mirror stainless steel is generally only produced in grade 304, a special mill run of 316 material was produced by Rimex UK to fulfill the architects' requirements for corrosion resistance and colour continuity.

Grade 316 stainless steel sheets were polished to a mirror finish before being coloured. In the colouring process, the stainless is immersed in a chemical bath to closely control the generation of the chromium-rich oxide film. This clear oxide film is present in all stainless steel and is the key to its excellent corrosion resistance.

By varying the film's thickness, a range of colours is produced, the same way that oil floating on the water's surface produces a rainbow effect. No dyes or pigments are used: the colour is due entirely to the physics of light distorting as it bounces off the stainless steel surface and back through the oxide layer.

Construction

Commercial builders, Icon Construction Management, were commissioned to construct the building. There were some challenging hurdles as the building is perched half on the pier and half over water supported by pylons.

Construction was performed from a barge with the use of booms and scissor lifts from the wharf.

Fabrication of the Rimex blue mirror sheet into cladding panels and their installation was performed by Alustain Fabrications, a Melbourne firm specialising in architectural stainless steel cladding.

The interlocking panels were pressed into individual pans and attached to a waterproof plywood substrate before fixing to a top hat section. The complex design called for almost every panel to be unique.

Together they form a weatherproof barrier capable of withstanding demanding coastal conditions. Unlike most faades, the stainless steel cladding was installed at the beginning of construction, enabling fixings to be concealed with only a 1-2mm margin between panels. ASSDA member, Fagersta Steels Pty Ltd, supplied the stainless steel for the project.

The Fish Bar folly contributes to the mix of open space experiences aimed at meeting the diverse needs of residents and visitors. The contemporary design and material selection demonstrate stainless steel's potential for integrating architecture and urban art.

Words: Neil Lyons, Photos: Anna Joske
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 24, March 2003.

Mirror Mirror on the Lake

A new Stockland housing development on the Gold Coast has incorporated the use of art to promote outdoor living and community engagement. And, with a public lake the intended destination, artists Lubi Thomas and Adrian Davis knew stainless steel would best fit the bill.

The Highland Reserve development in Upper Coomera, 40 minutes south of Brisbane, boasts a mountainous backdrop and sprawling native bushland.  The additional inclusion of a lake within the development prompted Stocklands to commission a public artwork for the area.  Following a process of concept pitches from various artists, Lubi Thomas and Adrian Davis of Davis-Thomas were successful in securing the project.

“They (Stockland) have always, until now, bought artwork off the shelf,” Lubi Thomas says.  “This time though, they wanted to do something site-specific.”

After spending time in the area the artists discovered the most evident thing about the lake was its mirror-like quality.  They were inspired by the lake’s rippling responses to wind changes and wanted to convey this relationship to the general public.

The result was a series of nine stainless steel floating wind ‘petals’, each with their own anchor point and dispersed across the lake.  The use of mirrored stainless steel meant the original concept delivery was met.

“We needed to find a material that was robust enough, as well as something that would reflect the lake itself,” says Lubi. “That is what inevitably drew us towards mirrored stainless.”

The pieces are made entirely of grade 316 in sheet, tube and flat bar to cater to the environment, and to ensure a life of 20-25 years. The added benefit is that ongoing maintenance is limited to removing the marks of nature.

ASSDA member and Accredited Fabricator Rocklea Pressed Metal supplied materials for the works, and was further engaged for part of the fabrication.

Troy Olive of Rocklea Pressed Metal said the CAD drawings were sent to them, enabling them to laser cut and roll the petals to the desired radius.  In total, 12-15 sheets of stainless steel was used.

The use of mirrored stainless  meant an additional relationship was explored between the lake and the sun.  In the right conditions, the pieces react to the sunshine hitting the water, beaming light between the pieces.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 40, Winter 2007.

Making Over the MCG with Stainless Steel Technology

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) or the ‘G’ as it has become affectionately known, has an important project deadline.

The national sports icon is currently undergoing a redevelopment in preparation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games to be held in March.

When complete, the ‘G’ will boast three impressive glazed entry structures over the Ponsford Gate, the Members Entrance and the Olympic Stand Entrance, each with its own network of high tensile stainless steel members.

The project is a collaboration between Ronstan’s architectural division and steel contractor, Materials Fabrication.

ASSDA member, and Australia’s own world leader in tension structures, Ronstan Architectural Rigging Systems, has been intimately involved in the supply of stainless steel tension rods on the project.

Ronstan looked at the loads required and selected the material grade for the specific tensile characteristics. This allows for the optimal efficiency of the tendon in transferring the load, a key requirement in lightweight tensile architecture.

In this case the ‘G’ structures included 600 tendons with adjustable fork ends manufactured from approximately two kilometres of 19mm grade 316L stainless steel bar.

These were polished to a No. 7 finish and passivated to achieve the required aesthetics and longevity.

“The challenge was to compliment a great product with the right mix of product support,” said Rowan Murray, General Manager of Ronstan Architectural Rigging Systems.

Images courtesy of John Gollings.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 32, Winter 2005.

Maintenance Critical to Stainless' Performance

The growth in the use of stainless steel over recent decades has been a real success story, predominantly due to its aesthetic appeal and, of course, its resistance to corrosion

 

However, the continuing performance of stainless steel, particularly in harsh coastal environments, relies not only on the intrinsic features of the material, but also on appropriate maintenance.

 

ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Bell Stainless from Kunda Park on the Sunshine Coast, Qld has had extraordinary success both nationally and internationally, being the only company in the world to have won multiple South Africa Stainless Steel Development Association Awards - one of only two Australian companies to win.

Bell Stainless general manager David Vine said they took the ongoing maintenance of their work very seriously and cited their installation several months ago of the balustrade for the HMAS Brisbane memorial at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast as a key example.

Mr Vine said they used two products from ASSDA member Cyndan Rapelle Pty Ltd - an Australian industrial chemical manufacturer - to keep this type of installation looking good:

- Cyndan Stainless Steel Cleaner, which uses a combination of phosphoric acid and ammonium biflouride, providing deep cleansing of grime, mineral salts, leaching, oxidation and other stains, particularly tea stains; and

- Cyndan Rapelle Stainless Steel Sentry - a protective treatment that fuses with the surface forming a water repellant film to reduce corrosive build up of salts.

He said they have used Cyndan products since 1999 and found them time effective, easy to manage and safe to use.

Cyndan Chemicals was founded in Australia in 1978 and has partnered with Rapelle Pty Ltd to market their products internationally.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 37, Spring 2006.