The architectural possibilities for stainless steel were recognised within only a few years of its discovery early in the 20th century. Highly-visible proof can be found in such well-known structures as the roof of the Chrysler Building in New York and the canopy of the Savoy Hotel in London. For a while, the relative high cost and limited availability of the material restricted is application to “flagship” buildings of this type for which the cost was a secondary consideration.
However, in recent decades, that perspective has changed dramatically as the cost of stainless steel, in relation to that of competing materials, has become much lower, while many new grades and product forms are now widely available all over the world. No longer is it viewed purely as a “decorative” option for facades, shop fronts, lift and escalator panels and so on, but, in many instances, it is part of the unseen but vital fabric of a building or structure. Notable examples are fittings for interior plumbing, fixing components for the attachment of stone facades and the use of stainless steel reinforcing bars for concrete structures, for which a long design-life is specified.
In this part of the library, you will find many of the architectural and structural applications which have made this industrial sector the highest-growth market for many types of stainless steel.