The Contrarian PerspectiveA Column by Jim Halliday

Proper Cleaning Of Stainless Steel Finishes

Stainless steel is an incredibly durable material and while it resists the accumulation of dirt, it does become necessary to clean it from time to time. In the case of the Chrysler building in New York City, it has been cleaned only twice in its 80 year history. During its second cleaning in 1995 a few panels near heating exhausts showed some pitting and had to be replaced.

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Using Stainless Steel as a Building Envelope

Stainless steel is emerging as a material of choice in building construction. Its longevity is without question. Recycling statistics are impressive. Finishing methods offer substantial variety. While the majority of architectural applications of stainless steel have been for interior elements like elevators, the shift toward sustainable materials has propelled the use of stainless steel as a building envelope in recent years. In this column, we will endeavor to make designers, specifiers, fabricators and contractors more familiar with the application of stainless steel in architecture.

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Beating the High Cost of Corrosion

Aside from catastrophic damage, metallic corrosion is clearly the chief cause of metal building panel failure. When architectural metal panels corrode, there are undesirable consequences that go beyond cosmetics. Corroding panel systems will begin to leak, causing potentially significant damage to the interior of a building. Repair costs can be substantial, usually involving removal and replacement.

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Recycling Stainless Steel Does not Compromise Quality

Stainless steel is a completely appropriate building material given its durability and low maintenance cost. While the owner of a stainless-clad building benefits from these characteristics, society at large benefits from the sustainability of this versatile material. Beyond being remarkably durable, sustainability is realized from stainless steel's recycled content and recyclability.

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