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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.

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


Posted 1 July 2003

Vessel pictured is typical of those that use this type of fire damper.

A fire at sea is a traveller's worst nightmare. To guard against such a disaster there exist stringent safety standards, maintained through a process of testing and certification. The pre-eminent authority is Lloyd's Register of Shipping, an organization founded in 1760 to inform underwriters and merchants about the condition of the ships they insured and chartered.

Today, certification by Lloyd's Register is a significant commercial achievement. Earlier this year, Lloyd's issued a 'Certificate of Fire Approval' to a new stainless steel fire damper for use on merchant and passenger ships. Grade 316L stainless steel was used in the dampers because of its dual resistance to high temperatures and corrosion in a demanding marine environment.

In tests conducted by the Warrington Fire Research Group at CSIRO's North Ryde facility, the single-blade and multi-blade units made by ASSDA member Unique Metal Works were subjected to 900+¡C temperatures for an hour. They successfully prevented fire spreading across a nominal Class A-60 deck, in compliance with Lloyd's Register Rules and Regulations and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

The dampers were developed and fabricated by the Perth company, which utilises stainless steel to produce a variety of safety and environmental control equipment and other products. They are installed to isolate fire zones on a ship, for instance, where ventilation or air conditioning ducts pass from one zone to another. The controls can be electric or pneumatic depending on the ship's system. The blades are designed to remain open while the pneumatic power to the control actuators is maintained and to close down when there is a disruption to the supply. Under test conditions, this took 4 seconds for the 150mm x 150mm single-blade damper and 35 seconds for the 900mm x 900mm multi-blade type, well below the 90 seconds allowed.

UMW's certification is an example of Australian innovation being recognized internationally for high standards of materials, workmanship and construction.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 25, July 2003.

Photo courtesy of Austal Ships Pty Ltd. Vessel pictured is typical of those that use this type of fire damper.

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.

Pipes Run Half Marathon

That deserves a drink!

A joint venture between two ASSDA Members has seen 21km of stainless steel pipe work installed as part of the greenfields Bluetongue Brewery recently completed at Warnervale on the Central Coast of NSW.

Bluetongue Brewery 3Bluetongue Brewery 2The $120 million Pacific Beverages brewery, which officially opened in November 2010, contains more than 2000 tonnes of stainless steel, including more than 120 tonnes of tube sourced in Australia through ASSDA Sponsor Atlas Steels.

The brewery construction was overseen by German brewery manufacturer Ziemann, who contracted ASSDA Accredited Fabricators TFG Pty Ltd and TripleNine Stainless Pty Ltd as the sole installation partners for the stainless steel components.

TFG/TripleNine assembled and installed the pumps, heat exchangers, valves, brewing vessels and fermentation tanks, as well as fabricating and installing all the pipework.

TFG Manager Tom Moultrie said they used grade 304 and 316 tube ranging from 25mm to 100mm in diameter. To ensure accuracy, speed, efficiency and quality, specialist sanitary welders orbital welded the tube on site. The construction phase lasted 8 months and, at the height of the project, TFG/TripleNine had 60 fabricators on site.

Mr Moultrie said the scope and size of the project were the motivating factors behind the first-time joint venture.

“The joint venture made sense because both companies could continue to service our other clients during the construction phase, as well as meeting the tight deadline,” he said.

Ziemann project manager Sven Mauchnik said TFG/TripleNine were chosen due to their brewery experience and their ability to match the tight time schedule.

“We were able to build the complete brewery within 8 months and make the first brew on the original planned date,” Mr Mauchnik said. “The quality TFG/TripleNine delivered was beyond our expectation, which is obvious for everybody who visits the brewery.”

TFG/TripleNine installed 48 silos, including fermentation and storage vessels around 18m high. Two cranes were used to install four vessels a day.

The fermentation tanks and brewing vessels were manufactured abroad by Ziemann to assist in meeting the tight time frames.

The Bluetongue Brewery is unique in its design because it has twin-stream brew houses under one roof, which allow for brewing flexibility.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 48, Autumn 2011.

Grade 431

A versatile, high strength martensitic stainless steel

Martensitic stainless steels are a less well-known branch of the stainless family. Their special features – high strength and hardness – point to their main application area as shafts and fasteners for motors, pumps and valves in the food and process industries.

The name “martensitic” means that these steels can be thermally hardened. They have a ferritic microstructure if cooled very slowly, but a quenching heat treatment converts the structure to very hard martensite, the same as it would for a low alloy steel such as 4140. Neither the familiar austenitic grades (304, 316 etc) nor the duplex grades (2205 etc) can be hardened in this way.

Grade 431 (UNS 43100) is the most common and versatile of these martensitic stainless steels. It combines good strength and toughness with very useful corrosion resistance and in its usual supply condition can be readily machined.

Chemical Composition

The composition of 431 specified in ASTM A276 is given in Table 1 below.
Grade 431_Table 1

 

 

 

The inclusion of a small amount of nickel in grade 431 is different from most other martensitic grades. This small but important addition makes the steel microstructure austenitic at heat treatment temperatures, even with such a high (for a martensitic grade) chromium content. This high temperature austenite enables formation of hard martensite by quenching.

Corrosion Resistance

The relatively high chromium content gives grade 431 pitting, crevice and general corrosion resistance approaching that of grade 304, which is very useful in a wide range of environments including fresh water and many foods.

Grade 431 has the highest corrosion resistance of any of the martensitic grades. Corrosion resistance is best with a smooth surface finish in the hardened and tempered condition.

Grade 431 is sometimes used for boat shafting and works well in fresh water but is usually not adequate for sea water.

Heat Resistance

Grade 431 has good scaling resistance to about 700°C but, as martensitic steels are hardened by thermal treatment, any exposure at a temperature above their tempering temperature will permanently soften them. 600°C is a common limit.

Mechanical Properties

The application of grade 431 is all about strength and hardness. Table 2 below lists mechanical properties of the grade annealed and in hardened and tempered “Condition T”.

Grade 431_Table 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat Treatment

A feature of grade 431 is that it can, like other martensitic steels, be hardened and then tempered at various temperatures to generate properties within a wide spectrum, depending on whether the requirement is for highest possible hardness, or best ductility, or some balance between these. Hardening is by air or oil quenching, usually from 950-1000°C.

The tempering diagram in Figure 1 shows properties typically achieved when the hardened steel is tempered at the indicated temperature. A tempering temperature within the range 580 – 680°C is usual. Tempering between 370 and 570°C should be avoided because of resulting low impact toughness.

Tempering should follow quenching as quickly as possible to avoid cracking. Softening is usually by sub-critical annealing, by heating to 620 – 660°C and then air cooling.

Grade 431_Figure 1

Physical Properties

Density

7700kg/m3

Elastic Modulus

200GPa

Thermal Expansion (0-100°C)

10.2µm/m/°

Fabrication

Machining is readily carried out in the annealed condition, and also in the common Condition T. Modern machining equipment enables high speed machining at this hardness of about 30HRC.

Welding of 431 is rarely carried out — its high hardenability means that cracking is likely unless very careful pre-heat and post-weld heat treatments are carried out. If welding must be done this can be with 410 fillers to achieve high strength but austenitic 308L, 309L or 310 fillers give softer and more ductile welds.

Cold bending and forming of hardened 431 is very difficult because of the high strength and relatively low ductility.

Forms Available

Grade 431 is available in a wide range of bar sizes — virtually exclusively round but some hexagonal. Most other martensitic grades are only available in round bar, although the higher carbon 12% chromium “420” series of grades may also be available as hollow bar and as blocks and plates intended for tooling applications.

Alternatives

Another approach to high strength stainless steel bar is a precipitation hardening grade, such as 17-4PH. These grades have similar corrosion resistance and offer some advantages in producing long, straight, higher strength shafts.

Shafts to be used in more corrosive environments are likely to be a duplex or super duplex or nitrogen-strengthened austenitic grade. These, however, have lower achievable strengths than martensitic or precipitation hardening grades.

Specifications

Grade 431 is usually specified by ASTM A276, with composition as in Table 1. In the Australian market, however, there are usually two deviations from A276:

  1. It is most common to find this grade supplied in the hardened and tempered “Condition T” to AS 1444 or BS 970, with specified tensile strength of 850-1000MPa. Yield and elongation are typically in conformance with the limits listed above. ASTM A276 only lists a Condition A version of grade 431 — this is the annealed condition that would normally require hardening heat treatment after machining.

  2. The second deviation is that it is usual for cold finished stainless steel bars stocked in Australia to be with the all-minus ISO h9 or h10 diameter tolerances. Hot finished “black” bars with all-plus ISO k tolerances may also be available.

 

This article was prepared by ASSDA Technical Committee member Peter Moore from Atlas Steels. Further technical advice can be obtained via ASSDA’s technical inquiry line on +617 3220 0722.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 48, Autumn 2011.

Outstanding Design and Specification

Sunshine coast stainless shines 18 months later

An impressive span of stainless steel balustrade at Bulcock Beach, Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is demonstrating that good design and specification achieves stunning results that last the distance.

The $8.5 million Sunshine Coast Council Bulcock Beach redevelopment, which was opened in late 2009, incorporates over 300m of grade 316 stainless steel balustrade.

PLACE Design Group’s project landscape architect and lead consultant Ben Stevens said the balustrade was a collaborative design effort between PLACE Design Group and ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Bell Stainless.

“We wanted a clean, simple design that didn’t detract from the magnificent sweeping views of Pumicestone Passage, and one that stood up to the front-line marine location,” Mr Stevens said. “We worked closely with Bell Stainless to refine the design. They had some great ideas to maximise long term performance of the stainless steel, while reining in expenditure.”

The final design included 100mm x 50mm rectangular hollow sections (RHS) for the main balustrade stanchions. Because RHS and circular hollow sections (CHS) were available pre-polished from ASSDA Sponsor Fagersta Steels, it meant that significant cost savings could be achieved in the fabrication and finishing stages. The use of standard RHS sections instead of plate and flatbar significantly minimised the inclusion of crevices in the detailing.

“Because we managed to achieve the required balustrade budget allowance and satisfy Council about the long-term durability of a stainless steel balustrade system we think an outstanding outcome has been achieved,” Mr Stevens said.

Bell Stainless managing director David Vine said this was a landmark project for the company in many ways. “We saw an opportunity to raise the bar for coastal commercial installations,” he said.

“After exploring the project’s specified finish, we developed a hand-polishing technique that worked extremely well. We’re really pleased with how it’s performing.”

Bulcock Beach, Caloundra

Images courtesy of Chelmstone. Photography by Greg Gardner Photography.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 48, Autumn 2011.