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Stainless Steel for Severe Marine Environments

Severe marine environments like the Persian Gulf 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.


Life Cycle Costing

Our philosophy regarding materials is to select a product that will last the useful life of the building with little or no maintenance. This usually results in the least long-term cost to the building owner. It also limits environmental impact (see Environmental Responsibility). The Federal Highway Administration issued a report in 2001 estimating that in the United States alone, we spend $550 billion per year combating metallic corrosion.

Of that cost, $113 billion per year is spent on construction related metal failures ranging from roof perforation to replacement of components that have become aesthetically unattractive. This suggests that to a significant degree, we are penny wise and pound foolish with the metals we specify.


Metallic 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. Studies conducted in recent years by both Batelle 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.


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