Stainless steel in bridges
by Hans Diederichs
There are hundreds of thousands of bridges in the world, over 600,000 in the USA alone. More and more are being built. They provide essential links between regions and countries. The costs of maintenance or/and replacement amount to huge figures over time. At the moment many bridges are in a poor condition. A lot of them were built after World War II for a projected life of 60 years plus but have seen more and heavier traffic than planned; cutting maintenance costs has been a frequent practice.
Life Cycle Cost (LCC) evaluations consistently show the benefits of providing operation with as little maintenance as possible over a lifetime exceeding a century. Stainless steels, especially Duplex stainless steels, offer an extremely attractive way of providing structural integrity over unlimited time, thanks to their high strength and their corrosion resistance that meets all climates and weather conditions. The extra cost over a cheap short-term solution is less than 10% when used in the critical areas.
The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has published a brochure to illustrate the use of stainless steels for road, pedestrian, rail, mixed rail/road/cycles traffic. They are located in hot and cold climates, inland and on the seaside. Various product forms, tubes, tie rods, rebar, plates, fasteners, etc.. have been used, demonstrating the wide range of options available to the architects/civil engineers.
Source and photo: ISSF