King's college chapel in Cambridge

The Durability of Stainless Steel

Matjaž Matošec - 19 November 2015

Among the most attractive properties of stainless steel are its durability and resistance to corrosion, making this material a commodity without which our lives are difficult to imagine. Its benefits, however, extend beyond the utilitarian.

About the author

Mr Matjaž Matošec
Matjaž Matošec is Editor of Stainless Steel World News and Manager of the Stainless Steel World Conference.
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While on a business trip to Cambridge a few weeks ago, I couldn’t resist taking a tour of the city to admire its monumental medieval buildings, particularly the King’s College Chapel – an amazing feat of human endeavour. As I found myself inside this Gothic edifice, I wasn’t only awed by its beauty, but also reminded of the fact that centuries – and millennia – ago humans, without the assistance of advanced materials and modern technologies at our disposal, had been capable of constructing impressive superstructures which have managed to survive to the present day. What’s more, many of these buildings were intended to last for centuries, rather than being merely fortunate survivors of time.

Today we live in a world where things must and do change fast, constantly striving for novelty. While cherishing and preserving precious relics from the past, we struggle, and indeed not even care, to think decades, let alone centuries ahead. Some of the structures we build may be intended to stand long, but whether they will actually withstand the test of time and the temptation to demolish them so as to create new architectural masterpieces is something we shall never know, limited as we are by relatively short lifespans.

Stainless steel is durable, but is this quality used to its full potential? The Russian Pavilion built for the 2015 World Expo in Milan is a case in point. Making use of stainless steel only for aesthetic purposes, no doubt to a splendid effect, it had been constructed merely as a temporary building to last for the duration of the Expo which ended last month. By implication, however, this project actually highlights another wonderful characteristic of the material, namely its recyclability. The stainless steel for the Russian Pavilion will surely be recycled and then reused in another building or application benefiting from its many qualities, thus existing – in a variety of forms – as long, or even longer, as the glorious edifices of the past.

To learn more about the Russian Pavilion for the 2015 World Expo, read the article published in the October issue of Stainless Steel World News.

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