To cope with the elements and the constant strains put on bridges, structural materials have to be extremely strong and durable.
SSAB Weathering steels are available in yield strength levels from 355–960 MPa. This allows for sophisticated design of lighter and stronger structures, easier to erect and reducing transportation movements.
Regardless of the decision for a painted or unpainted bridge structure, SSAB Weathering steel offers either less maintenance repainting or minimal maintenance altogether.
The oxide layer that transforms into patina behaves as if it was a paint coating. It seals-off the steel surface from the atmosphere and prevents corrosion. This allows for applications in non-painted condition, leading to considerable maintenance cost savings. The oxide-to-patina process takes place under normal atmospheric conditions, with rainy, snowy and sunny days. No anti-corrosion treatment is needed, which lowers overall costs.
SSAB Weathering steel has a much smaller environmental footprint than non-weathering steels. Emissions and pollution to the structure’s surrounding, caused by painting and stripping before re-painting, can be avoided when used in unpainted condition. A steel bridge made of SSAB Weathering steel is 100% recyclable at the end of its service life. This is a key selling point for many large scale infrastructure projects today.
The appearance of a structure is an important consideration for any infrastructure project, particularly large-scale structures such as bridges or towers. The patina of SSAB Weathering steel is renowned for the way it blends in with its surroundings, particularly in the countryside. For example, a weathering steel bridge made from SSAB Weathering steel can provide a softening tone when used in conjunction with concrete or other structural materials that can be overbearing on their own.
Back in 1889, construction was completed on one of the world’s most iconic structures – the Eiffel Tower. At a total height of 324 meters and a weight of 7,300 tons, it was an architectural and engineering masterpiece. Gustave Eiffel’s material of choice was wrought steel. But what would have happened if the Eiffel Tower had been made of SSAB Weathering steel?
Well, if they hadn’t painted it, they would have saved 8.6 tons of paint a year and all the man-hours that it entails. That is a staggering 1,092 tons of paint, which is shocking when you consider that rust would work just as well with a similar look.