Severe marine environments suggest that duplex stainless steel or titanium would be appropriate material choices for exterior building panel applications. These metals can be expected to last the life of the building with little or no maintenance. In most market conditions, stainless steel has an economic advantage compared to titanium. Additionally, titanium’s corrosion resistance in severe environments is unquestionable. 

In light of these facts, we offer our suggestion of ATI 2003 Lean Duplex Stainless Steel with InvariMatte® finish as a suitable stainless steel grade and finish combination for exterior building envelope applications in severe marine environments.

ATI 2003 is a corrosion resistant grade of stainless steel developed by ATI Flat Rolled Products. InvariMatte® is a specially-rolled, low glare stainless steel finish developed by Contrarian Micro Textures, by Rigidized® Metals Corporation that is available in a variety of grades, including ATI 2003.

More common metals like galvanized steel and aluminum are not recommended for severe marine environments for the simple reason that they are not sustainable. At some point in the future even painted versions of these metals will need to be replaced. While solid zinc alloy is sometimes installed in marine environments, it is not recommended in proximity to sever marine environments like the Persian Gulf. Zinc that is installed in this area will oxidize, producing an unsightly white residue that indicates accelerated corrosion. The presence of sulfur dioxide in the air will further increase the opportunity for zinc to corrode prematurely.

While we are certain that stainless steel involves a cost premium over painted aluminum or possibly other metals that might be considered in severe marine environments, there is little doubt that it is the low cost choice in the long term when maintenance and replacement costs are considered. For the reasons to follow, we suggest ATI 2003 Lean Duplex Stainless Steel with InvariMatte® finish be considered for building envelope applications, like roofing and wall panels in severe marine environments.

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