Building projects in highly corrosive environments, such as over bodies of water, can be challenging to complete. They have more stringent requirements than other programs, and the choice of materials is one of their primary concerns.
Bridges are a particularly important component of our economy, as they serve as vital avenues for land-based transportation. However, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association states that over 30% of bridges in the US need repair—this accounts for around 220,000 structures. Because of this pressing concern, construction firms have to think about the sustainability of their projects and the durability of the materials they use.
Stainless Steel in Bridge Construction
Building any type of infrastructure requires a substantial amount of money, so many construction firms opt for affordable materials to build bridges. While doing so can help them save up on costs, it can severely impact them in the long run.
When building bridges, structural stainless steel is the go-to material for many firms. Although it comes with a higher initial cost, it offers many advantages compared to other metals. Here are some of the many benefits of using stainless steel in bridge construction:
Benefit #1: Stainless Steel Is Durable and Sustainable
Stainless steel lasts much longer than other materials, with some alloys like duplex standing strong after hundreds of years without much maintenance. It’s durable, flexible, and can withstand a wide range of conditions and environmental events, such as storms and earthquakes. Moreover, stainless steel comes with its own protective film that safeguards against corrosive environments.
Stainless steel is also one of the most sustainable construction materials in the world. Almost 99% of structural steel from demolished or retired structures makes it back to the steel-making process. This recyclability helps the building industry minimize its adverse environmental impacts.
Because of stainless steel’s recyclability, construction firms can also easily relocate or repurpose steel bridges.
Benefit #2: Stainless Steel Is Lightweight
Despite its strength, stainless steel is a lightweight metal. With minimal weight, construction firms can save up on materials they’ll use to support the bridges. Having lightweight bridges is particularly vital when building on unstable grounds, such as canyons and river beds. Additionally, businesses can reduce the costs of handling and transporting materials.
Benefit #3: Stainless Steel Allows for Faster Bridge Construction
Stainless steel allows firms to construct components off-site, then ship the furbished materials to the building location to be assembled. Because of this technique, bridge construction becomes much faster, reducing project time frames from years or months to weeks or even days. Its flexibility also allows for greater customization that can make bridges appear elegant and well-designed.
Contact a Reputable Steel Service Center Near Birmingham, AL
Stainless steel is one of the most versatile and sustainable materials available, and it thrives in countless building applications. In bridge construction, it offers durability, sustainability, a high strength-to-weight ratio, and faster construction times. Bridges with this type of metal do not need as much attention, maintenance, and repairs as other types of infrastructure, making it worth the high initial costs.
If you’re looking for a reputable steel service center near Birmingham, AL, KGS Steel Birmingham has you covered. With over 100 years of experience, we’ll guarantee quality in our range of steel products and services. Contact us to request a quote today!