Online Information Centre for Stainless Steel in Construction
Specification > Corrosion
This resource explains the causes of bimetallic corrosion in stainless steel which occurs when two dissimlar metals are in 'electrical' contact and are bridged by an electrically conductive liquid. The corrosion risks of metals often found in contact, such as stainless steel touching galvanised steel or aluminium, are considered for locations of various levels of corrosion. The discolouration (staining) effects on metals in contact are also discussed.
The resource is a report on corrosion of stainless steels in soils and concrete. Concerning soils, the classification and corrosivity of different soils, the corrosion resistance of stainless steels in soils and a basic guide for the correct selection of grade in inland and marine locations are given. Concerning concrete, a description describing how the elements within it lead to the corrosion of stainless steels and the corrosion resistance of each stainless steel family are given. In conclusion it is recommended that stainless steel structures in soil should be considered firstly in relation to the preserve of chloride ions and secondly according to their resistivity and pH. Stainless steels in concrete with a PRE > 19 should be satisfactory in most cases and in carbonate or chloride containing concrete, grade 1.4401 is suitable.
With their exposure to high levels of salt, coastal waterfront locations are notorious for corrosion problems. Whether the location is in close proximity to saltwater, exposed to sea spray and splashing, or subject to occasional tidal storm surges, rapid corrosion can be a substantial concern. Buildings, railings, light poles and sculptures adjoining saltwater are at risk for issues ranging from premature aesthetic problems to outright structural failure.
This resource is a guidance note from the Construction Fixings Association (CFA). Firstly, an introduction to the conditions that typically lead to corrosion in metallic fixings is presented and a brief guide to correct material selection given. Secondly the different types of corrosion that can occur and the methods to prevent them are described. Finally 6 metals are considered (zinc plated steel, HDG coated brackets, aluminum, unplated structural steel, cast steel and stainless steel) and the corrosion resistance according to the different available finishes is summarised.
Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials used in architecture, building and construction. With appropriate grade and finish selection, design, fabrication, and maintenance, the appearance and properties of stainless steel will remain unchanged over the life of a building. These properties make stainless steel a popular choice for buildings designed to last 50 or more years. Atmospheric corrosion, tarnishing, pitting, crevice corrosion, embedded iron, erosion/corrosion, galvanic corrosion, and stress corrosion cracking can all impact the performance and appearance of building materials. This paper discusses all of these issues and describes stainless steel's performance relative to other construction materials.
This resource is an article produced by Nancy Baddoo and Peter Cutler that explains how to select the most suitable stainless steel grade for indoor swimming pools. Firstly the article discusses the advantages of stainless steel in the highly corrosive environment of an indoor pool and describes some of the failures due to poor grade selection that have occurred in the last 10 years due to chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC). The indoor swimming pool environment is then explained and the causes and processes behind SCC given. Stainless steel as a material is described and a table of characteristic properties of typical grades used in indoor swimming pools is presented. Finally guidance for grade selection based on the level of concern for SCC and positioning of the element is given, summarizing the suitable grades in each case. It is concluded that stainless steels remain the most appropriate material for indoor swimming pools but careful grade selection and periodic inspection on safety-critical, load-bearing elements is essential.
This resource is a best practice guide for architects, designers, builders and pool managers on the successful use of stainless steel in swimming pool buildings. Stainless steels are well established as corrosion resistant materials for many items used in building and equipping swimming pools. For decades, stainless steels have had an excellent track record - typically specified for equipment in the pool water (ladders, wave machine grilles), and in environmental engineering plant control boxes, air handling equipment and fire dampers. Note that the guidance contained in this publication on grade selection is now superseded following further research.
This Health and Safety Executive Sector Information resource outlines the background to stress corrosion cracking failure hazards to stainless steel items used in indoor swimming poll buildings. This follows on from roof failures in Switzerland and the Netherlands and notes that the atmospheres of indoor swimming pool buildings are amongst the most aggressive ones found in building interiors. The resource discusses the background, noting the effects of chlorine based water disinfection systems and the chloramines generated by body fluid excretions on stainless steel components under applied or residual tensile stress. The stress corrosion process is outlined and the susceptibility of grades 1.4301 (304) and 1.4401 (316) to SCC in swimming pool environments noted. Preventative measures, inspection procedures and recommended actions for HSE inspectors are also covered.