Highly Corrosion-Resistant Stainless Steel Façades

Jörn Teipel
Lead Technical Manager Architecture
Outokumpu, Dusseldorf

Stainless steel is highly sustainable, durable, noncombustible, easy to maintain and exquisitely aesthetically pleasing. It's therefore an approved and greatly appreciated façade material for sophisticated skyscraper architecture. Dubai has been investing heavily in extravagant high-rise projects in recent decades. Stainless steel has, to date, been under-represented as a façade material, because the coastal cities around the Persian Gulf generally suffer from an extremely corrosive climate. The lack of precipitation leads to salty and thus corrosive dirt deposits, which aren't washed off by rain and accumulate on the material surface. Every building material, not just stainless steel, suffers in this harsh environment.

In order to investigate how aggressive the climatic conditions are in this region, the author’s team set up testing facilities in two locations in Dubai. One test stand was located inland and the other one was placed directly on the coast. The main outcome of this investigation showed that in this region, it is advisable to utilize higher-alloyed, more corrosion-resistant stainless-steel grades than the typically-used 316L. Such higher-alloyed materials were previously not available in a façade-suitable homogeneous surface quality. The industry has now succeeded in producing the highly corrosion-resistant grade Forta DX 2205 with an aesthetic linen pattern that is highly homogeneous and has the highest flatness on bright-annealed base material. A stable manufacturing process, with reproducible product quality, even across multiple raw material batches, is essential for high-rise façade projects - a challenge that has now been mastered. A decision for this new product ensures the pristine aesthetic look of the stainless-steel façades for ages. Additionally, it saves cleaning cycles and pays off quickly in the long run.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation