Steel is known for being one of the most common materials used in construction. Steel beams and columns are used as framing to build support for future building. But steel and iron have also been increasingly popular in architectural applications such as signage and cladding. When it comes to architectural applications, it is essential to choose metals that are the least prone to rusting or look for ways to minimize this process.
While there are a few types of corrosion-resistant metals (which we will touch upon further below), stainless steel is considered the most cost-effective. There are numerous variations of stainless steel, but the most rust-resistant are grade 304, 316 and 430.
Grade 304 stainless steel is known for its extreme durability thanks to its 18% contents of chromium and 8% nickel. It is one of the most expensive grades of stainless steel.
In addition to chromium and nickel, grade 316 steel also contains 2-3% of molybdenum. It is molybdenum that makes grade 316 steel resistant to salt, making this type of steel perfect for use in environments in close proximity to oceans and seas.
Grade 430 is the cheapest of all and is mostly used for indoor applications or where exterior conditions are mild. For instance, you can see grade 430 steel used in escalators in shopping malls. As to the contents, 17% chromium and 0.12% carbon are common in grade 430 stainless steel.
Aluminum is another corrosion-resistant option, but don’t expect it to last for decades, especially outdoors. The great thing about it is that it develops protective coating through self-passivation. Manufacturers may sometimes force this process through anodizing, which makes aluminum and aluminum products stronger and ready to be sold to the end consumer.
Aluminum is used for stair railings, exterior framing or storefront doors. But if you are looking to use aluminum outdoors, consider other, more corrosion-resistant options.
Copper, brass and bronze are considered luxurious metals compared to aluminum or stainless steel. They are also very durable thanks to the oxidation process, forming a layer of protection against corrosion and making these metals completely immune to rust.
The cost of these materials is often double or triple the cost of stainless steel or aluminum, so they are mostly used in architectural projects that are built to last, like fountains or public buildings, or in restoration of historical buildings. These metals are most sought after by architects and designers, whose goal is to make a statement and create a unique and timeless piece.
Weld Rich and Steel is a trusted name in metal fabrication in Toronto. We offer our expertise in working with a variety of metals, creating metal pieces for various applications. Our team of experienced and licensed mobile welders, technicians, designers and stainless steel fabricators in Toronto is always ready to fulfill projects of any size and complexity. Looking for reliable metal and steel fabricators in Toronto? You’ve landed in the right place. Call us (416) 835-5363 to discuss your project and experience a new level of quality metal fabrication and customer service.