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This section provides a Resource Centre for anyone involved in designing and using stainless steel in the Architecture Building and Construction Sector. This sector covers a diverse range of applications including:
Stainless steels are selected for architectural applications, as with most other applications, for their corrosion resistance. This is usually the prime consideration
Unlike carbon steel, there have not been listings of open section sizes for stainless steel structural sections, until the BSSA researched and published their Sections Directory in May 2004. This gives the full range of 'standard' stainless steel sections that are readily available and the companies who supply them. The directory distinguishes between producers and distributors as well as showing the main stainless steel grades available from each supplier across the complete size range.
The basic design strength, py, is usually taken as the minimum specified 0.2% proof strength, given in the relevant product standard. Values for 0.2% proof strength and ultimate tensile strength for stainless steel sheet/strip and plate for grades typically used in structural applications are given below.
The stress-strain behaviour of stainless steel differs from that of carbon steels in a number of respects. The most important difference is in the shape of the stress-strain curve. Whereas carbon steel typically exhibits linear elastic behaviour up to the yield stress and a plateau before strain hardening, stainless steel has a more rounded response with no well-defined yield stress (see Figure).
Stainless steel is a popular material for handrail and balustrade systems. Due to its corrosion resistance, stainless steel handrails and balustrades retain their appearance with only minimum maintenance and without the need for chemical coatings of any kind. A range of finishes is available, from grey matt to a polished mirror surface. Where additional grip is required, an embossed pattern is available.