ISSDA recommends stainless steel for India's future
During a recent seminar, the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) endorsed stainless steel as the ideal material for infrastructure projects within India, citing the success of stainless steel in several transit hubs around the world.
^ Domestic arrivals terminal in Mumbai India Airport, photo by René Seifert
Article by ISSDA
According to the ISSDA, stainless steel has proven to be a benchmark material for long-lasting and maintenance-free construction. A testament to this fact can be found in a new airport terminal in China, where a 0.5 mm thick stainless steel roof has been developed to withstand strong winds, torrential rain, and marine corrosion. Some other airports sporting stainless steel are Aeropeurta de Barajas in Spain, Dallas Fort Worth International airport in the United States, and Suvarnabhumi aiport in Thailand.
In the domain of rail travel hubs, stainless steel has been especially favored for its durability. Singapore’s Expocentre MRT station, Auckland’s Britomart train stations, and several other European stations in salinerich environments are protected by stainless steel’s inherent resistance to corrosion.
This bodes well for India’s climate, and according to Mr. S K Lohia, Managing Director & CEO of the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation, “more than 1000 stations have the potential to be redeveloped using stainless steel. Within the next 15-20 years and with a huge investment of nearly Rs 4 lakh crore, Indian Railways can be one of the biggest consumers of stainless steel, if the industry comes up with sustainable solutions.”
And as Mr. Ar Bimal Kachroo of Holistics Urban Innovations Pvt. Ltd. explains, the use of stainless steel is not limited to India’s railways: “90% of Indian buildings can be made in stainless steel, majorly because stainless steel is completely recyclable and has anti-microbial properties. Moreover, India is a four-season country with its own dynamics, enabling brown-field and green-field expansion at the same place. Hence, the buildings have to be energy-, water-, and material-efficient apart from being sustainable at the same time.”
Worlds’ second largest market
With a CAGR of 8-9% over the last decade, India is the second largest and the fastest growing market for stainless steel. At present, India’s total stainless steel melt production stands at ~3.6 million tonnes for both long and flat products. Government initiatives such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD), aiming towards the expansion and modernization of metros, railways, airports, and BRTs will further increase the demand for stainless steel.
The growth of stainless steel in India is expected to remain robust even in the future, considering its immense potential in the Indian economy. The per capita consumption of stainless steel in India is ~2 kg, compared to the world average of ~6 kg. As a metal, it outshines all its alternatives given its high strength-to-weight ratio, thermal fatigue endurance, superior crash resistance, lower life-cycle cost, nearly 100% recyclability, and exceptional aesthetics. Currently, ABC (Architecture, Building, and Construction) is the fastest growing segment in India with a stainless steel consumption of around 20% out of the total demand in India. Major players like Jindal Stainless Group and Salem (SAIL) are expected to play a crucial role in mobilizing stainless steel usage.
Commenting on the seminar and its spotlight on stainless steel, the president of ISSDA Mr. K K Pahuja said, “Its exceptional characteristics make stainless steel the best fit for constructing transit hubs in India. Its durability, minimal maintenance and sustainability make it stand out among other materials in such areas of high footfalls. With the booming pace of infrastructural development, incorporation of stainless steel is a must for efficient, safe and durable transit infrastructure. A shift from old structural buildings to reliable and sustainable stainless steel infrastructure is the need of the hour.”