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. Studies conducted in recent years by both Battelle Laboratories and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) concur that in the United States alone, we spend $300 billion per year combating metallic corrosion.
The Battelle study estimates the $100 billion of this cost can be avoided with the proper material selection. This suggests that to a significant degree, we are penny wise and pound foolish with the metals we specify. In terms of architectural metal applications, we argue that life cycle costing should be taken into account when selecting materials. More about life cycle costing can be found in INFORMATION TOPICS – LIFE CYCLE COSTING.
Contrarian Micro Textures, by Rigidized® Metals Corporation, was founded on a philosophy of designing for performance, using corrosion resistant metals. We supply high-performance metals that, when properly specified and installed, will last the useful life of a building with little or no maintenance.
Determining the expected corrosion performance of a given metal in a given location can be difficult. Each application is unique and different metals will experience different corrosion rates, depending on the environment. There is no simple set of rules that apply in all cases. However, we can offer some insight into the relative corrosion resistance of different metals.
We offer general comments below concerning the life expectancy of different metal options. Tables I – IV are corrosion rate tables excerpted from The Nickel Development Institute (NiDI) Reference Book Series No. 11024 entitled Stainless Steels in Architecture, Building, and Construction; which provide information based on the performance of different metals in a variety of environments. More information, including free printed and downloadable publications, can be obtained at www.stainlessarchitecture.com.
> Click here to download this Technical Information Sheet which includes additional information by metal substrate, photos and charts.